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BUgrass Band Warms Bellarmine’s Heart with the Music of Our Commonwealth

By Abby Bullock

For the past few years, Bellarmine has embraced its Kentucky location by giving the music department the platform to create a bluegrass band, more commonly known as the BUgrass Band here on campus.

Jane Halliday, the band’s instructor, had a very specific way to describe what they do. “It’s Bluegrass, plus Americana, plus whatever you want to do,” she said.

With seven different musicians in the group and a five-year history on campus, Halliday said she feels they have already made a name for themselves.

“It actually started because someone on the faculty played banjo and thought that we should be playing bluegrass around here,” she said. “He talked to Tim Glasscock, our head of the music department, and so Tim and I talked about it and got it started, and it’s taken off.”

Mia Hein, a Bellarmine student and violinist in BUgrass, joined the group a bit more recently and said she is thankful for the exposure it has given her.

“I had some friends who were already in the band, and they said it was one of the most fun ensembles on campus,” she said. “I already played the violin but had just been playing by myself, and I was trying to get more used to playing in front of a big audience, so I felt like the bluegrass band would be a good segway into doing little performances and okaying in front of people.”

The BUgrass Band performs at least a couple of times on campus every school year. They’re most likely to perform in the Amy Cralle Theater at Wyatt Hall where they share a show with the pop singing group, The Singing Knights, but Hein said they also have done some performances out in the community.

“There was one in particular last September, and Jane told us we were just going to do a little community performance. It ended being this three-hour Latin American festival, and we were the only bluegrass people in the festival,” she said. “It was beautiful, and there were a lot of Latin American dancers, and a mariachi band, and we came on and were like ‘her-dee-der.”  We felt a little silly about it, but in general it was really fun and we had a great time.”

The BUgrass Band’s most recent performance took place on Nov. 30, 2023, where they once again shared a show with The Singing Knights. While they performed live in Cralle Theater, the performance was also streamed live on Facebook, with several users commenting on their impressive performance.

“We had a great time!” one user said. “Everyone did a wonderful job!”

Another viewer said that they sounded really great, while another said that the entire performance with The Singing Knights and the BUgrass Band were “really fun,” but that they “especially [enjoyed] the second half, the bluegrass band!”

The BUgrass Band has an upcoming performance, where they will once again be performing on the same night as The Singing Knights on April 4 at 7 p.m.



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