This has been an eventful year for young Brandy Miller. The 14 year old banjo picker’s debut CD, BrandyGrass, was released in May, and in June, she ventured to Nashville to record for the next Daughters of Bluegrass project, Pickin’ Like A Girl.
In August she took top banjo honors at the Galax Old Fiddlers Convention, and during World of Bluegrass in Nashville last month, she picked up a new Huber banjo after being named a Huber Youth Showcase Artist. Brandy was given the banjo through the initiative of a pair of donors with the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, and a donation from the Foundation itself.
Foundation Director Alan Tompkins tells us that…
“Guitarist Lucas White (17 years old, now playing with the Zac Brown Band) approached me in August about a phenomenal young banjo player in North Carolina who he had met at festivals, and with whom he played in the Kids on Bluegrass band through IBMA. He said she was a wonderful young person and an excellent player, but that she didn’t have a professional-grade banjo on which to learn, play, and compete. Lucas wanted to know if the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation could do something to help her out.”
White got the ball rolling with an initial donation matched by someone in the Foundation, and The Foundation agreed to contribute funds from their Play It Forward Instrument Lending Program to make it all happen. Huber agreed to let the banjo go at a heavily discounted price, and it was presented to Brandy during World of Bluegrass.
Shortly after receiving the banjo, she shot this brief video.
Back home now from the excitement of World of Bluegrass (where I saw her jamming in the hallways non-stop), Brandy shared a few words about this unexpected turn of events, and what her future may hold.
“I thought it was absolutely awesome that Lucas White, along with the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation chose me as a showcase artist. The area I live in, the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is saturated with bluegrass heritage. My family also has a deep regard for the music and its tradition as well. It’s been such a part of my life since an early age, I am certain that it will continue to be for many years to come. There’s no way of telling how far I can take the music, or how far it can take me, however I don’t see myself giving up on it anytime soon.
The new Huber Banjo is definitely a way to help keep me inspired. This is the finest new instrument I’ve had my hands on. The tones are rich, the design and the way it is built are comfortable and speedy…Not to mention it’s very beautiful! Steve Huber has definitely got what it takes for building great banjos!
Upon returning to North Carolina after receiving my new Huber banjo, I immediately went to work with more live performances. I’m getting lots of compliments on how good the banjo sounds on stage. I’m also looking forward to getting into the recording studio and starting a new CD project.
Again, I would like to think Steve Huber, Alan Tompkins,The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, and Lucas White for choosing me as their showcase artist. I plan to do my part in keeping the bluegrass tradition alive and well.”
Congratulations Brandy! And hat’s off to Lucas, Huber and Bluegrass Heritage Foundation.