Rob Ickes and Betty Wheeler, who operate the ResoSummit instructional camp in Nashville each November, have announced the winner of their annual Houston Caldwell Scholarship for 2016. The scholarship provides free tuition for a promising dobro player under the age of 18, and donations from a group of generous donors also provides assistance to other registrants who may need some financial assistance to attend.
For this year, the scholarship goes to 12 year old Duncan Stitt from Corryton, TN. Duncan has grown up in a bluegrass family, his dad, Kipper, being the co-founder of Pine Mountain Railroad. He’s been playing around with instruments since he was 8, but only working on reso-guitar for about a year, studying with two-time IBMA Dobro Player of the Year, Phil Leadbetter.
Grassically Trained is the name of the family band the Stitts are forming, with Duncan on dobro, oldest brother Brandon on guitar, 14 year old brother Caden on bass, and dad Kipper on banjo.
Here’s a look at his scholarship submission video, playing the old Josh Graves version of Home Sweet Home.
ResoSummit 2016 will run next weekend, where Rob and Betty will celebrate the 10th anniversary of this instructional gathering which accepts roughly 120 students each year, and typically sells out in under an hour. More than a dozen teachers will be on hand, including Rob of course, along with noted luthiers Tim Scheerhorn and Paul Beard. Also part of the curriculum – and open to the public – are concerts at Nashville’s Station Inn November 10-12 with Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, The Jerry Douglas Band, and Billy Cardine with Rapidgrass and Mary Lucey.
Rob asked that we remember how well this event has done in recognizing your dobro talent over the past ten years. Gaven Largent, who first attend at age 12, has now taken over Rob’s spot with Blue Highway, and Gary Hultman, also a multi-year student at ResoSummit, who is now playing with The Boxcars. Will young Mr. Stitt also find a place in bluegrass when he is older? We will have to wait and see.
As Rob put it, “We want to make sure that the dobro is in good hands for generations to come.”
To be placed on the list to be notified when registration opens for 2017, visit the ResoSummit web site.