Orrin Star Scholarship for online music students from DCBU

The DC Bluegrass Union has announced a change to its annual Orrin Star Scholarship for young music students pursuing bluegrass and old time music in the mid-Atlantic region of the US.

When the scholarship was first announced in 2019, following Orrin’s death at the relatively young age of 62 in 2017, the funds were meant to assist students attending workshops at Common Ground on the Hill in Maryland. Today, DCBU has shared information that the $500 scholarship is available to a student 21 or younger who is studying instrumental or vocal music in the bluegrass/old time realm who is or will participate in any live or online instructional options.

The award is limited to students in Washington, DC, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

DCBU has made a habit of remembering important musical artists who called the area their home, with their yearly Hazel Dickens Song Contest and Mike Auldridge Instrumental Composition Contest. Given that Star was such a noted instructor in bluegrass, as well as a gifted performer, they chose to honor his memory this way. Orrin taught thousands of students over his career, both locally in the capitol region and at camps and workshops all over the US. He had also released a number of books and instructional videos on bluegrass guitar.

The scholarship is meant for a young student who has been studying and showing promise, and the application requires input either from a teacher who has worked with them closely, or an experienced player who is aware of their abilities. Also required is a one-page essay from the applicant explaining their experience to date, and what they expect to achieve with the $500 grant.

The successful candidate will have $500 paid directly to the instructor, camp, workshop, or online service detailed in the application.

An official application form can be downloaded from the DCBU web site. Submissions will be accepted through June 30, 2021.

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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.