Since 1997, incoming freshmen at ASU have been asked to read a book as part of their orientation to Appalachian. By participating in the Summer Reading Program, students establish a common experience with other new students that will help develop a sense of community with their new environment and introduce them to a part of the academic life they are beginning at Appalachian. This program is an exciting facet in Appalachian's orientation of new students to life on our campus.
Clapton's Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument has been selected for the 2014 Common Reading Program.
In 1994, Eric Clapton came across a Wayne Henderson guitar in a recording studio and decided on the spot that he had to have one. Rarer than Stradivarius violins, these musical works of art are built from near-extinct Brazilian Rosewood, Appalachian spruce, black ebony, and fine mother-of-pearl. With Henderson's keen ear for the vibrations of each piece of wood he uses, each note that comes out of them has the power of a cannon and the sweetness of maple syrup. In "Clapton's Guitar," Allen St. John recounts how a perfect acoustic guitar comes into the world and how an artist gauges perfection. Wayne Henderson, master luthier and genius in blue jeans, will tell you that he simply puts penknife to wood and carves away "everything that isn't a guitar." Normally, there is a ten-year wait for a Henderson guitar, and St. John finds there are no exceptions even for an iconic figure like Clapton. But seeing it as a shortcut to getting his own guitar done, St. John jump-starts the process, and then takes readers with him on a mesmerizing journey into the heart of high-end instrument making.
Clapton's Guitar will be provided to all incoming incoming students at Appalachian, and Wayne Henderson will speak to members of the campus community and others during Convocation in the Holmes Center on campus, September 4, at 10 a.m. Henderson also will participate in other discussions on campus and in the community, on September 4.