Broadcast/podcast info for From The Top – Rural Episode

Back in February we reported that 16-year-old North Carolina banjo phenom, Bayla Davis, who plays with her siblings in Newfound Gap, had been chosen as a a 2023-’24 Learning and Media Lab Fellowship by From The Top, an organization that seeks to further and foster the careers of outstanding young musical artists.

What was unique about her fellowship is that From The Top typically focuses their efforts on classical musicians, but this spring, they have dedicated a special episode of their broadcast/podcast to young players in rural areas, which will include Bayla and her banjo.

The fellowship also includes a four week/12 hour online curriculum designed to prepare young artists for the life of a professional musician, like developing familiarity with the recording process, the live concert experience, and how to work with media.

A film crew came down from Boston in February to Asheville, NC, not far from her home in Leicester, to interview her for this episode, which is billed as Musicians from Rural America. Also set to be featured are violinist Benjamin Rosenthal, 16, from Damariscotta, Maine; guitarist Laurel Harned, 18, from Redlands, California; violinist Samuel Garcia, 18, from Monroe, Louisiana; and pianist/composer Adam Brachman, 17, from Fargo, North Dakota.

You can learn more about all these stellar young artists at the From The Top web site. Video profiles of Bayla and the other artists from this episode will likewise be available on the site when the episode airs.

The Musicians from Rural America episode is set to release on April 29, at which time it will be available to affiliated NPR radio stations, and as a podcast from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and many other podcast aggregators online. As it is each week, the show is co-hosted by Peter Dugan and Tessa Lark.

Bayla has also been highlighted by Woodsongs Kids, and by Béla Fleck at his annual Blue Ridge Banjo Camp.

Here’s a video of her from last year playing Fisher’s Hornpipe.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.