A professor at UW-Eau Claire said the Chippewa Valley is going through a musical moment. Now he and his students are determined to find out exactly why by building an archive of local music history.
The resources they are collecting give some insight into the growth of the valley's music scene, but not enough to fill in the gaps of the 20th and early 21st century. To fix that, local groups like BluGold Radio, Community Collaborators and the Chippewa Valley Museum have requested residents bring in their own pieces of musical history to be digitized and preserved.
And they did that on Saturday, at the "Sounds of Eau Claire History Harvest" event held at the Chippewa Valley Museum.
"So far, some of the things we have wound up seeing, we've gotten a fair number of scrapbooks associated with long-term music groups like the Master Singers and the men's choir," said Dan Ott, a history professor at UW-Eau Claire. "We've wound up with a fair number of posters from punk rockers in the 1980s, which is cool. I know that we also have had people bring in heirloom instruments that have been in their family since the early 20th century."
Professor Ott's students digitized information and took in the valley's history from anyone who stopped in.
One "blast from the past" came from Sue Gunn of Eau Claire, who brought in posters, pictures and albums, that held a close family history. Two of her sons were members of Eau Claire bands, Grunge Machine and Stonegod.
Once the project is finished, the archive of information will be stored at UW-Eau Claire, as well as online.