Phil Bankester on Leadership Bluegrass

The Bankester Family - Emily, Phil, Dorene, Melissa, Alysha, Kyle, LindseyPhil Bankester, pére of the pickin’ and singin’ Bankester Family, was among the participants in the 2010 Leadership Bluegrass class.

He passed along these thoughts about his time in Nashville last week.

“Leadership Bluegrass was an incredible experience. It was three days of total immersion into the depth and breadth of the bluegrass industry. Fred Bartenstein, along with IBMA staff, Leadership Bluegrass alumni and other presenters guided us through long days of presentations, team-building exercises, and panel discussions regarding the many different facets of our industry. To their credit, the organizers of LBG made no attempts to steer our thinking in any particular direction. Instead, they encouraged us to develop fresh perspectives and new approaches to the challenges that we face.

Twenty-five participants from across the United States, Canada, Australia and Ireland became good friends last week and new collaborations are already forming as a result. If we are going to succeed as artists, songwriters, broadcasters, educators, event producers, agents, managers and publicists (did I leave anyone out?) we must be willing to adapt and change the way we approach the various areas of our business. Leadership Bluegrass, with more than 250 alumni, is an important and valuable part of helping us do exactly that. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been part of the most recent class.”

But Phil is not just a proud papa when it comes to his talented daughters. He tells us that his oldest, Melissa, and her husband Kyle – who plays banjo with the family band – have stepped up to ensure that show will go on into the next generation.

“Melissa and Kyle had a little boy on December 23rd. Hi name is Jude William Kyle Triplett. He really seems to enjoy the music and sleeps right through most of our practices. He does have long fingers which is promising!

Fortunately his aunts all have friends who are more than willing to tag along with us and babysit during performances.”

Congratulation to Melissa and Kyle, and to new grandma Dorene as well!

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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.