is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create and perform original work based on American history and to preserve American musical styles and instrumental techniques. My name is Bruce Burnside and, as Forgotten Wisdom's Artistic Director, my life is centered in music and researching American musical history. Reconstructing the 19th-century instrumentation and compositions of a banjo orchestra has been a passion of mine for more than thirty years.
Dr. Robert Irrman passed on to me the Stewart Orchestra model banjo purchased by the leader of the Beloit College Banjo and Guitar Club of 1893. Bill Kentner introduced me to the sound and technique of playing nylon banjo strings. Eli Kaufman has always been helpful and willing to answer questions. Warren Nelson, Peter LaBau and Lowell Schreyer have generously shared their banjo music collections.
I'd like to thank not only these individuals but also the Wisconsin Humanities Council and the Wisconsin Arts Board for partially funding this web site.