On April 30, 2010, a young musician named Houston Caldwell, of Galax, VA, passed away in a motorcycle accident. Houston was a great advocate for traditional music, and was a skilled banjo and guitar player. Since that time, a festival event has been established in Houston’s honor. In fact, the Blue Ridge Travel Association of Virginia (BRTA) recently named HoustonFest 2011 as the “Best New Event of the Year,” and a presentation was made during a Tourism Awards Ceremony at the BRTA’s Annual Conference.
In a recent press release, HoustonFest 2012 has announced the creation of a Houston Caldwell Music Scholarship to further their “mission is to provide inspiration and avenues for regional youth to pursue their artistic endeavors preserving the musical heritage of our region” (Galax and surrounding areas). Beginning this festival year, a percentage of profits earned from HoustonFest will be dedicated to young musicians and non-profit traditional music programs, with funding levels to be determined by the scholarship committee.
The requirements to apply for the scholarship or grant programs vary depending upon the type of aid requested. These awards are intended for musicians under 21 who currently reside in Virginia, North Carolina, or Tennessee. They can be applied to camps, workshops, or private lessons which will help the student in his or her pursuit of traditional music. Grants will also be offered to non-profit traditional music programs, particularly those in the immediate Galax area (the city of Galax, and Grayson and Carroll Counties).
Applicants can put grant money towards instructor or student fees, or general operating expenses for the program. The deadline for applications to both the scholarship and grant program is April 15, 2012.
For further details regarding the scholarship and grant programs, including the application for each, or for more information on HoustonFest, which will be held May 4-5 in Galax, visit www.houstonfestgalax.com.
[Editor’s note] We would also like to note that John Goad, the author of this piece and a regular Bluegrass Today correspondent, is himself the recipient of a major scholarship award. John is a student in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music program, and is the ACMA/ Leon Kiser Memorial Scholarship recipient for the 2011-12 academic year, which covers full in-state tuition.
We will have more about John’s scholarship and his activities at ETSU in an upcoming post.