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vern2.jpgCatawba Rocks!
The flagship ensemble of the Catawba College music business/popular music degree concentration, the Vernaculars are dedicated to the performance of contemporary popular (aka vernacular) music — alternative, rock, pop, R&B, and more. A for-credit rock band is extremely rare at a college or university and is a clear sign of Catawba's commitment to providing students of popular music with the type of educational opportunities they need.

Beginning with the 2008-9 school year, the fast growth of popular music at Catawba brings with it not just one but three Vernculars ensembles: PRiME, Colloquials and Demotics. As the flagship ensemble of the Catawba music buisness program, the Vernaculars PRiME features the college's most talented popular music students and enjoys an enhance performance schedule each semester.

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The Vernaculars' basic instrumentation includes: 

  • lead and background vocals
  • guitar (electric and acoustic)
  • bass
  • keyboards
  • horns (trumpet, trombone, saxophone)
  • drums


Each semester's playlist comes from three primary sources:

  • Recent songs of artistic influence and inspiration. Artists performed in recent years, include: Incubus, Motion City Soundtrack, Mat Kearney, Sara Bareilles, Matchbox Twenty, LeAnn Rimes, Muse, James Morrison, Jimmy Eat World, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, AFI, OK Go, Coldplay, the Almost, Red Jumpsuit Appartus, Tally Hall, Paramore, Mewithoutyou, Switchfoot, Foo Fighters, Death Cab For Cutie, My Chemical Romance, Goo Goo Dolls, Snow Patrol, Gavin DeGraw, the Violent Femmes, John Mayer, Regina Spektor, Jack's Mannequin, Dave Matthews, the Black Crowes, Nirvana, Live, the Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Mary J. Blige Christina Aguilera, Carrie Underwood, Corrine Bailey Rae, and Eminem.
  • Legacy works that have established the foundation of contemporary popular music, including: Stevie Ray Vaughn, the Beatles, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, Wilson Pickett, Queen, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin...
  • Original pieces by members of the ensemble.

The Vernaculars also provide music business students with opportunities to gain experience as managers, publicists, and the like.

Upcoming Performances
Stay up-to-date with upcoming performances on the Music Calendar or on Facebook!

Sample Past Performances
Below are just a FEW of our past performances:

  • Abbey Road
  • Legacy
  • Singular Voices
  • State of the Music Address
  • Back to Jack
  • Fall Collection

vern3.jpgLearn More

To learn more about the Vernaculars, including information about service award scholarships for membership in the Vernaculars, contact Dr. David Lee Fish at

The Vernaculars proudly use the award-winning Hear Back in-ear monitoring system by Hear Technologies and thank the company for its generous support.