June 1 deadline for IBMA Foundation scholarships

The good folks with the IBMA Foundation have asked us to remind everyone that there is a June 1 deadlines coming up for their five scholarships for college students with an interest in bluegrass music. These range from $1,000-$2,500 for the 2023-24 academic year.

The following are available:

  • J. D. Crowe Banjo Scholarship ($1,000)
  • Katy Daley Broadcast Media and Sound Engineering Scholarship ($1,000)
  • Sally Ann Forrester Scholarship ($1,000)
  • IBMA Bluegrass College Scholarship ($1,000)
  • Rick Lang Music Songwriter Scholarship ($2,500)

The Foundation provided the following descriptions of the scholarships, and any restrictions on who may be considered.

The J. D. Crowe Banjo Scholarship ($1,000) is awarded to an individual planning to study banjo at the college level or in a college-level bluegrass ensemble. Applicants must demonstrate a high level of performance skills on the five-string banjo and plan to become involved in the bluegrass music industry as a professional. Bluegrass Hall of Fame member J. D. Crowe, originally from Lexington, Kentucky, was one of the most influential and popular banjo players in the history of bluegrass music. Longtime friend and fellow Kentucky bluegrass musician Arthur Hancock III made the initial $20,000 donation to create and endow the scholarship for the benefit of banjo players for generations to come.

The Katy Daley Broadcast Media and Sound Engineering Scholarship ($1,000) will be awarded to an individual planning to study broadcasting or sound engineering at college or in a continuing education program with a bluegrass music focus. Eligible areas of study include radio, television, digital media, recorded sound engineering and mastering, live sound engineering, and related disciplines. Applicants must plan to become involved in the bluegrass music industry at a professional level and be current IBMA members. Initial funds for the endowed scholarship were donated by Daley and her husband, Bill Brown. Co-host of the Bluegrass Stories podcast series along with Howard Parker, Katy Daley had a 30+ year career in bluegrass (WAMU-FM and Bluegrass Country) and country (WMZQ) radio in the Washington, D.C. area.

The Sally Ann Forrester Scholarship ($1,000) will be awarded to two female bluegrass musicians. Applicants are not required to have a declared major in bluegrass music, although women enrolled in a bluegrass university degree program are welcome to apply. Initial funds for this scholarship were donated by Murphy Hicks Henry, co-founder with her husband Red Henry of the Murphy Method instructional media company and author of Pretty Good for a Girl: Women in Bluegrass (University of Illinois Press). Sally Ann Forrester, sometimes called the first woman in bluegrass, played accordion and sang with Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys from 1943 until 1946.

The IBMA Bluegrass College Scholarship ($1,000) is awarded each year to a student majoring in bluegrass or a bluegrass-related field of study at the undergraduate level. Bluegrass music–related studies include but are not limited to bluegrass performance, music education, folklore, sound engineering and recording, lutherie (building and repairing instruments), business, marketing, public relations, songwriting/publishing, or other academic study of bluegrass and related roots musics. The successful candidate should have aspirations of professional involvement in the bluegrass music industry. IBMA (the International Bluegrass Music Association) is the nonprofit music association that connects, educates, and empowers bluegrass professionals and enthusiasts, honoring tradition and encouraging innovation in the bluegrass community worldwide.

The Rick Lang Music Songwriter Scholarship ($2,500) will be awarded to a student planning to study songwriting at the college level. Applicants are not required to have a declared major in songwriting, but they must already have demonstrated skills as a songwriter and plan to further their study of the art. Initial funds for the endowed scholarship were donated by Rick Lang, a Grammy-nominated writer who also serves as the chair of the IBMA Songwriter Committee and volunteers with the IBMA Songwriter Mentor Program. Applicants for the Rick Lang Music scholarship must be current IBMA members to be considered.

Applications for all of these scholarships can be downloaded online, along with submission instructions.

Also coming up is the June 30 deadline for applying for the The Neil Rosenberg Bluegrass Scholar Award, which awards a $500 honorarium for the best bluegrass-related paper accepted by a juried academic conference during the previous year. Graduate students in MA or PhD programs, and recent PhDs (within five years of degree completion), are edible for consideration.

The award winner will also receive admission to the next IBMA Business Conference and Awards Show.

Full details on the Rosenberg Scholar Award can be found online.

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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.