Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) and OKnStyle present The Byron Berline Band for a benefit concert Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. in the college’s Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC) Theater. Sponsored by the Chickasaw Nation, a portion of the proceeds will go to Special Care (www.specialcareinc.org) an organization that provides high-quality early childhood education, specialized care and on-site therapeutic services to children with and without special needs.
At age five, Byron Berline began playing the fiddle and quickly developed a talent for it. Berline won the National Oldtime Fiddle Contest Championship in 1965, 1967 and 1970. Once he finished his education at the University of Oklahoma in 1967, Berline joined the Bluegrass Boys before being drafted by the U.S. Army later that fall. Once he returned from duty, he continued his career as a professional musician over the next two decades, collaborating with a wide range of artists including John Hickman, Dan Crary, Dillard & Clark and Stephen Stills. A young Vince Gill even played mandolin in the Byron Berline and Sundance band in the late ’70s.
In 1995, Byron Berline moved to Guthrie to open a fiddle shop called “Double Stop” and formed the Byron Berline Band while jam sessions were being held upstairs. The group consists of Berline, John Hickman, Jim Fish, Richard Sharp, Greg Burgess and Steve Short. The group regularly tours across the nation and Europe, yet they continue to perform two concerts a month in Guthrie for the locals in their hometown.
In 1997, Berline founded the annual Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival that has brought musicians like Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, and John Hartford to the state. The festival continues to take place yearly in Guthrie.
Tickets for the show range from $17 to $36 and are on sale now at tickets.occc.edu, by phone at 405-682-7579, or at the Cultural Programs box office located in the VPAC Theater lobby. For more information, contact OCCC Cultural Programs at 405-682-7579.
OCCC enrolls more than 20,000 students and has more than 90,000 participants in its various community programs annually. OCCC offers a full range of associate degree programs that prepare students to transfer to baccalaureate institutions while other degree and certificate programs prepare students for immediate employment. At OCCC, students receive a quality education with small class sizes, dedicated professors and leadership opportunities. Students can choose from more than 80 major fields of study and participate in any of the 40+ clubs and organizations. For more information about OCCC, visit www.occc.edu.