Will Oldham Returns to Georgetown

Called “one of the country’s most celebrated singer-songwriters,” (The New Yorker), The man who acts under the name Will Oldham and sings and composes under the name Bonnie “Prince” Billy has, over the past quarter-century, made an idiosyncratic journey through, and an indelible mark on, the worlds of indie rock and independent cinema. With his highly individualistic approach to music making and the music industry—one that cherishes intimacy, community, mystery, and spontaneity— his brilliance has captivated fans and made Bonny one of our most influential and beloved songsmiths. 
Recent projects in 2012 include “Now Here’s My Plan” (EP), “Will Oldham on Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy” (An Autobiography edited by Alan Licht, published by Norton), as well as two singles; Billy F. Gibbons/ Matt Sweeney & Bonny Billy “Oh Well” b/w “Storms,” and Dawn McCarthy & Bonny Billy “Christmas Eve Can Kill” b/w “Walkin the Dog.” In 2013, Bonny released a new full length record of duets with Dawn McCarthy on Drag City.

Having appeared in a Kanye West video, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” with comedian Zach Galifianakis and played a police officer in R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet,” Oldham has also had roles in the films “Matewan,” “Junebug,” “Old Joy,” and “Wendy and Lucy.”


Oldham will lead a masterclass with Georgetown University American Musical Culture majors and minors, FREE and open to all for attendance, on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in McNeir Hall, New North Building

Having visited campus in September 2011 to work with the Music Program’s “History of Rock” course, taught by Prof. Ben Harbert, Oldham will again return to a session to relate his own work to the course though a discussion of his trajectory through the music world for the past 20 years.


Bonnie “Prince” Billy will then perform a ticketed concert that evening at 8 p.m. in the Davis Performing Arts Center’s Gonda Theatre. Tickets are $25 general, and $10 for Georgetown students. To order, visit performingarts.georgetown.edu or call or visit the Davis Performing Arts Center ticket office M-F 11 a.m.-3 p.m: 202-687-ARTS (2787). Georgetown University’s main campus is located at 3700 O St. NW, in Washington, D.C.


Also that afternoon as part of a trio, Prof. Harbert will perform adaptations of classical works that straddle mid-century avant-garde and folk traditions, putting in a new light the original string duos of Béla Bartók, Witold Lutosławski, and Halsey Stevens. All three performers have distinguished themselves in both classical and rock projects: Harbert performs on electric guitar with drummer Amy Farina, who plays and sings in The Evens, and cellist Amy Domingues, who performs with The Washington Bach Consort, The Folger Consort, The Bach Sinfonia and has released three cello-oriented rock albums under the name Garland of Hours. The free concert at 1:15 p.m. in McNeir Hall, New North Building is part of the Georgetown University Music Program’s Friday Music Series. Will Oldham’s masterclass will commence shortly thereafter.


Georgetown University’s Music Program is distinctive for its emphasis on the study of music as both a reflection of multiculturalism in the Americas and a creative activity within contemporary society. The program specializes in all forms of music associated with American Culture, including jazz, rock, film, popular music from around the world, and music of the Western European Tradition (i.e. classical music). The liberal arts degree in American Musical Culture integrates the University’s strengths in politics and American Studies and is designed for students interested in pursuing careers and/or graduate study in arts management, composition, cultural criticism, entertainment law, media studies, music business, music journalism or musicology.