IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger speaks at the 2018 Momentum Awards
while Board Chair Joe Mullins and host Sierra Hull look on – photo © Frank Baker
The Trailblazers and Mile Twelve scored double wins Thursday when IBMA presented the 2018 Momentum Awards at the World of Business Conference.
The organization also paid tribute to banjo man Pete Wernick, awarding him the mentor of the year trophy.
The North Carolina-based Trailblazers were honored as the band of the year, and band member Daniel Thrailkill was chosen as vocalist of the year.
Two of the three instrumentalist awards went to members of Mile Twelve, fiddler Bronwyn Keith-Hynes and mandolinist David Benedict. The other trophy was presented to Aynsley Porchak, who plays fiddle for Carolina Blue.
The award for industry involvement and achievement went to Megan Lynch Chowning and Adam Chowning, music educators and artists involved with Nashville Acoustic Camps.
The festival/event/venue of the year in the Momentum category was the Sam Jam Bluegrass Festival in Piketon, Ohio.
The selection of Wernick as mentor of the year was warmly received. It seems everybody in the industry knows Pete, either as a member of Hot Rize or creator of popular instruction books and videos, or for his Wernick Method instructional camps, which he has put in since 1980. He’s also a past president of IBMA.
The Momentum Awards, except for the mentor trophy, are designed to recognize new talent in the bluegrass world. The annual winners are the top finishers in voting by a panel of industry veterans.