Steep Canyon Rangers group photo

Marietta College’s Esbenshade Series Presents Steep Canyon Rangers Livestream Nov. 7

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In March 2020, a highly anticipated Esbenshade Series performance at the Peoples Bank Theatre from the Grammy Award winning bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers was cancelled due to COVID-19. On Saturday, November 7 at 8 p.m. ET, an entirely free stream of a Steep Canyon Rangers performance recorded last week in North Carolina will be made available through the Facebook pages of the Peoples Bank Theatre, the Esbenshade Series, and Marietta College.

Steep Canyon Rangers have been playing together for almost 20 years and have been known to collaborate with comedian and acclaimed banjo player Steve Martin. Last year the group signed with Yep Roc Records, and in 2020 they have put out three releases on the label: Be Still Moses (a rendition of a song from their 2007 “Lovin’ Pretty Women” album featuring the legendary Boys II Men and the Asheville Symphony), The North Carolina Songbook, and Arm in Arm.

Band members Mike Guggino and Barrett Smith spoke to WOUB about releasing new music amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting live music venues, and the importance of patrons of the arts, such as Marietta College’s Esbenshade Series, in the feature embedded above.

Steep Canyon Rangers

The Esbenshade Series is a Marietta College arts and humanities outreach program funded by the Frederica G. Esbenshade Memorial Fund. The series makes it possible for arts and humanities events to be hosted at the People’s Bank Theatre. In the past, the series has brought the likes of the Russian National Ballet, Keb ‘Mo’, Rhiannon Giddens, and many more to Marietta.

Esbenshade Series Director Tanya Wilder said the series provides important experiences to both the Marietta College community and the regional community at large.

“I see our concerts and performances as a way to bring people together: unified and all enjoying the same thing,” Wilder said. “The idea is to bring people together in a way that establishes a common ground that is soul lifting and inspiring.”

Wilder said the Steep Canyon Rangers stream is the only virtual event the Esbenshade Series is planning for 2020, and that she hopes to announce more Esbenshade Series events for 2021 and 2022 in the future. To keep tabs on the series, email Wilder at