Regular readers will recall a tragic story last year about a young banjo player, Martin Acevedo, lost in a boating accident near his home in South Carolina. Only 26 years old at the time, Martin had been a founding member of the Clemson University bluegrass band, Tigertown Roots: Clemson University Bluegrass Ensemble.
The band was started during the fall semester of 2017 with the enthusiastic support of the Clemson Music Department, who offers credit to students who participate, as well as the wider university community. The ensemble is under the direction of Ryan Wilson, a Clemson staff member at the school’s Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.
Martin’s death hit Clemson students hard, as most of them didn’t have much experience with the death of someone their own age, and it was deeply felt throughout the town as well.
His parents, Don and Jane Acevedo, have established a private fund in his name. Proceeds from the fund have been donated so far to search and rescue teams, scholarships for Future Farmers of America students, and for a competition for young people to earn lesson on their chosen musical instrument. The fund is open so that anyone who wishes can make contributions towards these ends.
This week, they have announced the launch of the Martin Acevedo Legacy Bluegrass Award, to honor their son’s memory. The award will be presented to a qualifying Clemson Bluegrass Ensemble member, to cover the cost of private lessons on their instrument, with particular focus on banjo. Initial recipient(s) of this scholarship will be announced in September of 2019.
Anyone interested in contributing to this award is also welcome to do so. Donations can be made through any of the various means enabled by the university, with an indication that funds should go to the Martin Acevedo Legacy Bluegrass Award. Anyone with questions about contributions is asked to contact Renee Dooley by email.
In other Clemson Bluegrass news…
The Music Department has officially brought two new members on to the faculty as Applied Lecturers. Both will offer private lessons to members of the Tigertown Roots band.
Shawn Lane will teach mandolin and fiddle. Well known in bluegrass for his 25 years as a member of Blue Highway, Shawn is also a skilled instructor, having taught at over 300 workshops and camps over his long career.
Charles Wood will teach banjo at Clemson. A former National Banjo Champion, Charles has been performing and teaching for the past 35 years, and has five solo recordings under his name. He currently performs with Nitrograss and the Darren Nicholson Band.