2022 IBMA Foundation Fellowships and Rosenberg Prize Winner


The IBMA Foundation, the philanthropic and educational arm of the International Bluegrass Music Association, today announced the recipients of their various college scholarships, many of which are awarded for the first time, and the winner of their Neil Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award. 2022, formerly the IBMA Academic Award.

Scholarships have been awarded to the following people:

  • Crandall Creek Scholarship – Shane Austin
  • JD Crowe Banjo–Max Allard Scholarship
  • Katy Daley Broadcast Media & Sound Engineering Scholarship – Faith Pierce and Chun Is Lee
  • Sally Ann Forrester Scholarship – Bethany Kelley and Gracie Mae Grossman
  • IBMA Bluegrass College Scholarship – Jaelee Roberts
  • Rick Lang Music Songwriter Scholarship – Hayley King

The Neil Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award was presented to Gabby Cameron, a master’s student in ethnomusicology at the University of Maryland for her paper, The Situation of Jewish Weed: An Examination of Nefesh Mountain’s Political Messagedelivered in April of this year at the inaugural String Band Summit at East Tennessee State University.

Gabby receives a $500 honorarium and an invitation to attend the 2022 World of Bluegrass Business Conference and IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards as a guest of the IBMA Foundation.

The Foundation shares this about Cameron’s work…

“There is an emerging subgenre that emphasizes Jewish expression, dubbed ‘Jewgrass,'” Cameron writes, citing New Jersey-based bluegrass band Nefesh Mountain as a prime example. She says the first part of her article “explores Nefesh Mountain’s generational diasporic stance, connecting their music to the experience of Jewish American immigrants.” Cameron examines messages found in the group’s most recent recording, Songs for sparrows, in response to recent political unrest. His writings highlight Nefesh Mountain’s role in bridging contemporary Jewish music and bluegrass communities, while “invoking Jewish values ​​to spread a political message.”

The various scholarships awarded today have been funded in most cases by individuals to help encourage the study of different parts of the bluegrass industry in college. Rick Lang funded the one for songwriting, Katy Daley and her husband, Bill Brown, funded the Broadcast Media Fellowship, and the JD Crowe was funded by Arthur Hancock III, a dear friend of Crowe.

Most offer a $1,000 college scholarship, and it is hoped that with continued donations to these specific scholarships, these annual grants can grow over time.

The Foundation has also provided the following information on recipients and scholarships:

Shane Austin of Fall Branch, Tennessee is the 2022 recipient of the Crandall Creek Scholarship for students who demonstrate an interest in bluegrass music, including but not limited to performance. Austin will be a freshman at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee, majoring in computer science and taking classes in Bluegrass and Appalachian Studies. He is an accomplished guitarist, singer-songwriter and mandolin player. Both of his parents are members of a bluegrass band, so Shane grew up in bluegrass. After acquiring the educational tools to become a software/hardware engineer and architect, Shane hopes to become a technology entrepreneur and start his own company. He is interested in business management and hopes to play and record in a bluegrass band.

Crandall Creek is a Moundsville, West Virginia-based band formed in 2015 that plays a mix of bluegrass, folk, acoustic country and gospel, with Appalachian roots. They created the scholarship in 2021 in conjunction with the IBMA Foundation to help support the future of bluegrass music and give back to the bluegrass community.

Max Allard, a sophomore at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio, is the first recipient of the JD Crowe Banjo Scholarship. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Max plays the banjo and majors in composition. In addition to studying the banjo at the college level or performing in a collegiate bluegrass ensemble, recipients of this award must already demonstrate a high level of performance skill on the five-string banjo and plan to become involved in the bluegrass music industry professionally. level.

A sophomore at Oberlin, Max already has 10 years of playing and composition experience. He co-founded the Oberlin Banjo Society on campus, which organizes jam sessions and workshops. He hopes his studies at a conservatory will give him the tools to succeed in the music industry, whether he ends up acting, teaching or composing films and video games. In January 2022, Allard released a first solo banjo album, Odes / Codes, produced by Jayme Stone. His goal is to create new compositional and stylistic ways of thinking for the banjo, while still playing bluegrass music. “I hope to help pave the way for the future of the 5-string banjo and help keep the instrument alive,” he says.

Legendary banjo stylist and Bluegrass Hall of Famer JD Crowe (1937-2021) was one of the most influential banjo players in the history of bluegrass music. Longtime friend and Kentucky bluegrass musician Arthur Hancock III made the donation in 2022 to endow this new scholarship. His son, Arthur Hancock IV, a board member of the IBMA Foundation, was also instrumental in establishing the Crowe Memorial Scholarship.

The two recipients of the Katy Daley Broadcast Media & Sound Engineering Fellowship are Faith Pierce, who is pursuing graduate studies in interdisciplinary music at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and Chun Si Lee, a senior at the University of North Carolina in Asheville is working on a Bachelor of Science in Music Technology.

A native of Mississippi, Faith’s degree will include studies in music production, music business, film scoring and songwriting. In addition to engineering, Faith plays guitar and sings. An online student at Berklee, Pierce produces a nationally broadcast morning show for iHeart Media in Baton Rouge. Last May, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Media and Entertainment Arts from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is a member of SoundGirls, where she received the “We Are Moving the Needle” scholarship. She also received the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Board of Governors Fellowship at the 2022 Southeast Chapter EMMY Awards.

Chun Si Lee plays guitar and banjo in addition to working as a sound engineer. A native of Conover, North Carolina, he plans to use his education to open a music studio and start his own audio consulting business where he can help venues, churches and schools find the right audio equipment for their needs. their specific needs.

Katy Daley, co-host of bluegrass stories podcast series with Howard Parker, had a career spanning over 30 years in bluegrass (WAMU-FM and Bluegrass Country) and country (WMZQ) radio in the Washington, DC area. Katy was named IBMA Bluegrass Broadcaster of the year in 2009 and 2011, and she received the Distinguished Achievement Award in 2019 for her contributions to bluegrass music.

Bethany Kelley, a multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer from Spring Hill, Tennessee, and Gracie Mae Grossman, a violinist from Huntington, Indiana, are the two recipients of the Sally Ann Forrester Fellowship, created for female bluegrass musicians specializing in any what subject at university. .

Bethany is a senior at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, working toward an Advanced Professional Music Production Certificate. She plays violin, banjo, piano and does audio engineering. She is a violinist, banjo player and singer in the Nashville-based Paper Dolls Band. Bethany’s dream is to finish college and work professionally, both as a recording engineer and a band member, helping to preserve the sound of bluegrass music in the best possible way.

Gracie Mae, a freshman at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee, is majoring in Bluegrass music. Beginning with classical violin in 2016, Gracie Mae transitioned to bluegrass violin in 2017, studying with Deanie Richardson and Becky Buller. In 2019, she started her own roots music radio show, Radio deep roots. Her goal for the past five years has been to study bluegrass music at ETSU.

Sally Ann Forrester played accordion and sang as a member of Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys from 1943 to 1946, becoming the first professional bluegrass musician in history. The initial funds for the Forrester Fellowships were donated by Murphy Hicks Henry, co-founder with her husband, Red Henry, of the educational media company Murphy Method and author of Good enough for a girl: women in bluegrass. Support for the 2022 scholarships came from Robert Forrester, son of Howdy and Sally Ann Forrester, and Megan Brugger of Real Roots Radio in Xenia, Ohio.

The IBMA Bluegrass College Scholarship is awarded to a student who plans to become involved in the bluegrass music industry on a professional level in the future and who demonstrates talent in a bluegrass-related field. Jaelee Roberts is this year’s recipient. Jaelee graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and is majoring in Commercial Songwriting (Recording Industry Department) at the College of Media and Entertainment. Roberts plays guitar and violin, sings, and is a songwriter. Hailing from Murfreesboro, Roberts has released a new solo album on the Mountain Home Music label called Something you didn’t count on, and since February 2021, she has been working as a vocalist and guitarist for the nationally touring award-winning band, Sister Sadie. Jaelee is a former president of the IBMA Youth Council, she was invited to present at IBMA’s World of Bluegrass as an artist and composer in 2019-2020, and in 2021 she was named singer of the year at the IBMA Momentum Awards . She performed at the Grand Ole Opry with Sister Sadie and attended two GRAMMY camps in Nashville and Los Angeles as a teenager. Jaelee is nominated for the 2022 IBMA Awards in the following categories: New Artist of the Year, Plus Artist of the Year and Vocal Group with Sister Sadie.

The IBMA Bluegrass College Scholarship originated from the idea of ​​the IBMA Board of Trustees and has been funded by Lee Zapis of Z Mandolins, Alan Tompkins, Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, Katy Daley and many others.

Hayley King, a senior student at Morehead, Kentucky State University, where she is majoring in traditional Appalachian music and Spanish, will receive the Rick Lang Music Songwriter Scholarship. This scholarship recognizes an IBMA member who plans to study songwriting at university. Hailing from Ridgeway, South Carolina, Hayley is primarily a fiddler, but she also enjoys songwriting, singing, and playing rhythm guitar, bass, mandolin, ukulele, and clawhammer banjo. King believes the combination of a focus on traditional music and foreign language will allow him to pursue a career that will help people appreciate each other and respect their respective cultures.

The Rick Lang Music Songwriter Scholarship is funded by Rick and Wendy Lang. Rick Lang is a Grammy-nominated writer, chair of the IBMA Songwriters Committee and a volunteer with the IBMA Songwriters Mentorship Program.

Information about donations to the IBMA Foundation, which may be earmarked for one of these scholarships or any other Foundation project, is available online.


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