New IBMA Board Members

As most folks know, the IBMA Board of Directors meets regularly throughout the year to make the important decisions that help to propel the organization forward. This group, which represents some of bluegrass music’s best practitioners and most invested personalities, have been hard at work this week during their most recent gathering prior to the World of Bluegrass festivities in Raleigh. With the conclusion of those meetings today just before 1:00 PM, several new board members were seated in accordance with IBMA policy and procedure.

Seats were vacated by Becky Buller (representing Artists, Composers and Music Publishers) and myself (representing Print, Media and Education) at the conclusion of our respective terms. Taking those seats are, respectively, guitarist Kenny Smith and Daniel Boner, director of East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass, Old Time, & Country Music Studies. Claire Armbruster began her term as the representative for Event Production at the beginning of the board meetings on Monday; she filled the seat vacated by Bree Tucker-Myers earlier this year.

Buller, the 2015 IBMA Songwriter of the Year, has spent much of her time on the board promoting the IBMA’s Songwriting Committee. “It is my honor to have served the greater bluegrass community these last four years on the IBMA Board of Directors and three years as the chair of the Songwriting Committee,” she says. “I felt I had the most to offer by being a cheerleader, specifically for our writers and publishers, and doing what I could to cultivate that community within the IBMA.”

She urges IBMA members to check out the many events and resources the Songwriting Committee has to offer. “Make sure to sign up to receive their regular IBMA Songwriter News updates. Make sure to let Rick Land know what you’ve been doing so he can include it in those newsletters,” she says. “Be sure to check out the many events for writers and publishers throughout the week in Raleigh. This is our IBMA and we get out of it what we put in. Every member should take a turn at a deeper level of involvement in the organization.”

Smith, who will be taking Buller’s place on the board, seeks to channel IBMA’s power of encouragement during his time on the board. “I am proud to serve on the IBMA Board of Directors,” he says. “IBMA changed my career path in 1992 with a one-day, life changing visit to Owensboro, KY. IBMA provided an opportunity to talk with many touring artists and musicians and inspired me to become a full time musician. Hopefully, I can be the same inspiration for some young musician who walks through the doors at IBMA for the first time.”

Boner is excited about new opportunities for educators and students, speaking specifically of events taking place later this week in Raleigh. “The IBMA has much to offer educators,” he says. “The bluegrass symposium is reignited with presenters from across the country, young artists can showcase their talent during World of Bluegrass, and academics are talking more about collaboration. It will be an exciting three years to consider new possibilities within Print, Media and Education.”

Here is the current board of directors as of September 2017:

Joe Mullins: Board Chairperson
Ben Surratt: Vice Chair
Regina Derzon: Secretary
Denise Jarvinen: Treasurer
Jeremy Darrow: Artists, Composers & Music Publishers
Jamie Deering: Merchandisers and Luthiers
Mike Drudge: Agents, Managers & Publicists
Mike Simpson: At Large
Marian Leighton Levy: Recording, Distribution & Marketing (Executive Committee)
William Lewis: At Large
Steve Martin: At Large
Stephen Mougin: At Large
Wayne Taylor: Artists, Composers & Music Publishers
Alan Tompkins: At Large
Silvio Feretti: International Representative
Claire Armbruster: Event Production
Bob Webster: Broadcast Media
Dan Boner: Print, Media & Education
Kenny Smith: Artists, Composers & Music Publishers

On a personal note, I’m extremely proud to be a member of IBMA and would encourage everyone reading this post to consider joining the organization. I wholeheartedly believe in the greater mission of the association and the Bluegrass Trust Fund and am privileged to have been able to serve the bluegrass community for the past three years.

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About the Author

John Curtis Goad

John Goad is a graduate of the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program, with a Masters degree in both History and Appalachian Studies from ETSU.