KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Band contest entries now open

Entries are now being accepted for the 16th annual KSMU Youth in Bluegrass band contest to be held at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO on May 27. Hosted during the park’s month-long Bluegrass & BBQ festival, the competition draws top young grassers from all over the US to take a stab at winning the coveted trophy – and substantial prize money.

Contestants must be no older than 21 years of age as of the contest date, though parents of band members are allowed to participate. Though not specifically a family band event, it does tend to include mostly groups of siblings with occasional moms and/or dads. The level of competition is generally quite high, with many of the young bands appearing in consecutive years vying for that elusive prize.

Up to 20 groups will be selected to compete from among the entries, with a top prize of $1500 awarded to the one chosen by the judges as displaying the greatest skill in the following areas, each accounting for 25% of the scoring:

  • Instrumental ability (in time, in tune, degree of difficulty)
  • Vocal ability (in time, in tune, degree of difficulty)
  • Professionalism (wardrobe, smiles, eye contact, movement, working the microphone)
  • Audience appeal (based on audible response)

A single microphone will be provided on stage for each band, and only acoustic instruments may be used.

The second place finisher receives $1000 with $750 going to third.

Complete contest rules and entry forms can be found on the Silver Dollar City web site.

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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.