JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass, Old-Time and Roots music studies celebrated its 40th anniversary with a concert on Friday.

At the event, Jack Tottle, who founded ETSU’s bluegrass program 40 years ago, was given an honorary doctorate degree, and he had a special guest celebrating with him.

Kenny Chesney made a special appearance at the concert at the ETSU Martin Center.

Chesney told News Channel 11 that Johnson City has made an impact on his own career.

“I didn’t know how to dream this way. It all started here I mean I used to play at Chuckey’s trading post. I played at the Down-Home, I played at a place called Quarterbacks BBQ here on the Tree Streets and that’s where all this started. It really is,” said Chesney.

Chesney was also awarded an honorary degree at the celebration.