Davidson College Awards Rhiannon Giddens Honorary Degree

Rhiannon Giddens Concert 2023

Rhiannon Giddens masterfully switched between instruments during her performance, taking turns at the fiddle and two types of banjo, and singing solo.

On Sunday, February 26, Davidson was honored to award Grammy and MacArthur award winner Rhiannon Giddens an honorary degree in fine arts before her performance on campus. We are grateful for her art and music, and for the gift of her presence.

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Shelley Rigger and President Doug Hicks awarded Giddens the honorary degree during a brief ceremony before her performance. 

Rhiannon Giddens Accepts Honorary Degree

Following the conferring of Giddens's degree, she opened with a powerful performance of folk musician Alice Gerrard's "Calling Me Home."

Rhiannon Giddens Concert 2023

Joining Giddens on stage were Justin Robinson and Laurelyn Dossett. Dossett is no stranger to Davidson, having led the college's production of "Providence Gap" in 2014 as a visiting artist, and Robinson grew up in the nearby town of Gastonia. 

Justin Robinson, Rhiannon Giddens and Laurelyn Dossett

Throughout the night, Giddens and her fellow musicians told stories, cracked jokes and shared lessons that went beyond the world of music.

Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson Concert
Rhiannon Giddens plays fiddle