Leadership Bluegrass class of 2019

The International Bluegrass Music Association has announced their 2019 class for Leadership Bluegrass, an annual, three-day academy intended to generate future pacesetters in the bluegrass industry. Attendees are selected in a competitive process through an application process, and those selected are invited to Nashville for what the organization describes as “advanced-level interactive learning experiences designed to build commitment, motivate talents, and instill enthusiasm for addressing the future of the bluegrass music industry.”

Next year’s class will be the 20th in this annual tradition, which has seen more than 400 graduates since 2000.

Paul Schiminger, Executive Director of the IBMA, says that this group will be a credit to the program.

“Leadership Bluegrass has become one of the most impactful programs in the bluegrass music industry to connect and develop professionals who have made a strong commitment to advance both their careers and the ongoing efforts of the IBMA. This year’s class has an impressive collective resumé and demonstrated ability to lead across a broad cross-section of our music. Congratulations to the Class of 2019 for being selected out of such a strong group of candidates!”

Chosen as members of the 2019 Leadership Bluegrass class are:

  • Anni Beach – Jam Pak Blues ‘N’ Grass Neighborhood Band  Chandler, AZ
  • David Benedict – Mile Twelve  Cambridge, MA
  • Andrea Berman – Pacific Pickin’, CiTR (101.9 FM)  West Vancouver, BC
  • Sam Blumenthal – Charlotte, NC
  • Philip Chorney – Charm City Bluegrass / Baltimore Management Agency  Rosedale, MD
  • Michelle Conceison – Market Monkeys  Nashville, TN
  • Deborah Fillman – Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum  Owensboro, KY
  • Sophie Galep – Minnesota Bluegrass  Elizabethton, TN
  • Michele Gourley – Durham, NC
  • Philip Graham – Ear Trumpet Labs  Portland, OR
  • Rick Greene – SamJam Bluegrass Festival  Waverly, OH
  • Katie Hogue – John Hartford Enterprises  Nashville, TN
  • John Lowell – John Lowell Music  Livingston, MT
  • Alex Mallett – Folk Alliance International  Kansas City, MO
  • Mary Beth Martin – Earl Scruggs Center  Shelby, NC
  • Jana Mougin – Dark Shadow Recording  Goodlettsville, TN
  • Kali Nowakowski – Straight Up Strings  Atascadero, CA
  • Forrest O’Connor – The O’Connor Band / Kate Lee & Forrest O’Connor  Nashville, TN
  • Thomas Pritchard – Rhode Island Bluegrass Alliance  East Greenwich, RI
  • Gregory Reish – MTSU Center for Popular Music  Murfreesboro, TN
  • Kim Robins – Kim Robins and 40 Years Late  Worthington, IN
  • Matt Royles – Man About a Horse / Philly Bluegrass  Philadelphia, PA
  • John Strohm – Rounder Records  Nashville, TN
  • Maria Wallace – True North Music  Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK
  • Melanie Wilson – Wilson Pickins Promotions  Westminster, SC

All attendees cover their own transportation and accommodation costs, and pay a fee to the IBMA, though fees can be waived in cases of financial need.

Congratulations to the 2019 class!

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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.