A Special Evening of Entertainment

Wednesday August 13, 2008... following the mixer

Ken Bonfield: Artistry of the Guitar


Ken Bonfield

The 2008 Pennsylvania AMR and Heritage Preservation Conference is pleased to announce a special concert on Wednesday evening by national recording artist, Ken Bonfield.


Bonfield's music has been featured on National Public Radio's "Echoes" program and on Public Broadcasting Service's "New Yankee Workshop"; his first two albums, Mystic Morning and Homecoming, stayed on NAV's top 20 list for over six months; and his song "Floating" was included on one of the best-selling compilations of 1999, Lights Out Volume VI.


There's a sense of energized peace in Ken Bonfield's instrumental guitar artistry. What distinguishes Ken's music in this genre are his  melodies -- inspired by significant events in his life and his love of nature.

"Homecoming is a haunting collection of introspective vignettes and moods from guitarist Ken Bonfield-- a subtle and inviting album that keeps revealing its charms over time."-- John Dilliberto, Billboard Magazine.


Bonfield's musical inspirations range from Bach to rock. For Ken, one of the toughest questions he ever has to answer is 'What type of music do you play?' "I play all kinds of music. Different styles of music help me express a wide range of feelings that in turn allow me to tell different stories with the guitar. I use Celtic ideas to express awe; I use bluegrass forms to express joy; rock and blues to create a sense of tension or humor; and classical structure to create depth and a sense of melancholy."

Ken's strength is his ability to bring this array of musical styles to melodies that evoke strong emotions and imagery. "I'm a big believer in life changing moments. There have been moments in my life, moments measured in seconds, that have changed my life forever."

Ken Bonfield


"Calling Ken Bonfield a guitarist is a bit like calling Michelangelo a painter. Expect to be dazzled by his fretwork, charmed by his wit, & moved by his music." -– Dave Green, WUSP 105.FM, Wisconsin Rapids, WI.




Read more about Ken Bonfield »


A Special Documentary Screening

Out of the Ground: Western Pennsylvania's Coal Mining Experience

Wednesday August 13, 2008

The place we call Pittsburgh and its neighboring regions in Southwestern Pennsylvania Unidentified Miners have been profoundly shaped by its industrial past.  A unique set of circumstances converged here that destined Pittsburgh to become the Steel City, the capital of the world’s industrial might for nearly a century.  The history of the region’s iron and steel industry has been fairly well chronicled and is generally known as part of our heritage.  Not so well known is the story of the supporting industry that literally provided the fuel of the Pittsburgh region’s meteoric rise to prominence, the fuel of the Industrial Revolution, coal.

To provide housing for their workers, coal companies such as those owned by powerful industrialists Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick, constructed whole communities called “Patch Towns”.  These coal-centered villages sprang up quickly in the largely rural areas and soon, the company and company store became the "reason for being" for most coal mining families.  Coal companies became very influential in local and regional politics and for the working class, there seemed no escape from the company’s control.

With particular focus on our largely immigrant ancestors who lived, worked, and died in the region’s coal mining communities during the late 19th and early to mid 20th centuries, "Out of the Ground", a video documentary featuring music by national recording artist Ken Bonfield, will tie our present-day lives to theirs.  We are sure for many this will invoke a sense of pride in the region, its people, and for their contribution toward the shaping of a nation.

Join us on Wednesday evening for a fascinating journey through the lives of coal mining families who, in spite of fear, oppression, and threats, built strong communities--places where memories of our coal mining past still linger.