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Sixteenth Annual Abbeville Institute Summer School

July 15 - July 20

$1128 - $1956

Southern Identity Through Southern Music

St Christopher Conference Center, July 15-20, 2018

Seabrook Island, South Carolina

Music has been described as “the soul of the world embedded in sound.” Southern music exemplifies the traditions and culture of its people “embedded in sound.” It sprang from the mud, the rivers, the forests, the fields, and the mountains. From the land and place, to religion, folk songs, poverty and defeat, a “new South” and and old culture, the South has a story to tell, and for most of her history, that story has been told through song.

Every form of “American” music is, in fact, Southern in origin. Blues, jazz, rock ‘n roll, country, bluegrass, gospel, and rhythm and blues all originated in the South. Most of the iconic names in American music were reared south of the Mason Dixon. Elvis, Chuck Berry, Hank Williams, Fats Domino, Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Daniels, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and countless others proudly called the South home and often sang about the South and its people. Even modern television singing contests like American Idol typically have Southern winners.

Join us for a thoughtful discussion of how music is a tangible reminder of the valuable and lasting contributions of the South to American culture and one of the elements that will endure. As long as her people can write the songs, the South and the Southern tradition will remain.


Alan Harrelson, Grammy nominated banjo picker and Southern historian

Dr. Brion McClanahan, Author and Historian

Dr. Jeff Rogers, Professor of History, Gordon State University

Dr. Tom Daniel, Music Historian

Michael Martin, Independent Southern Historian

Frank Clark, Musician and Director of the Bell Research Center

Dr. Catharine Brosman, Southern Poet

Katie Harpainter, Ph.D candidate in music performance

More to be announced.

Special Banquet Musical Performance and Lecture

Bobby Horton, Critically acclaimed multi-instrument musician


The cost for tuition, room, board, continuous refreshments for five days, plus the banquet and performance/lecture by Bobby Horton Wednesday evening is $1,128 (single) and $1, 956 (double). Rooms have two double beds. Considerable reduction in room rates for up to four in a room. The conference is open to the public. Scholarships are available to students who are encouraged to apply.  Space is limited. For inquiries and application contact Don Livingston by email or by phone (843) 323 0690.


July 15
July 20
$1128 - $1956
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Don Livingston


St. Christopher Conference Center
2810 Seabrook Island Rd
Johns Island, SC 29455 United States
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