Rick Lang Songwriter Scholarship announced for IBMA members

The IBMA Foundation has announced today a new scholarship for IBMA members who are studying songwriting in college, or plan to be in the coming semesters. It is endowed by Rick Lang, a prolific bluegrass songwriter who has received a Grammy nomination for his songs, and who currently serves as chair of the IBMA Songwriter Committee.

The new scholarship will award $2,000 in 2020 to assist students with tuition or general college expenses. To be eligible, a student must be a member of the International Bluegrass Music Association, and have a demonstrated interest in songwriting. They need not be officially enrolled in songwriting classes. or have a declared major in the field, but plans to further study in the field in college are expected.

To apply for the Rick Lang scholarship, students can be a professional member of the IBMA, a Grass Roots member, or in the discounted College Student or Youth categories.

Lang has seen great success in bluegrass music, with several acclaimed albums of his songs performed by top bluegrass artists. Look To The Light, and Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout are two recent examples. Many of his songs have been recorded by other bluegrass singers on their own projects as well.

Rick says that he is delighted to see today’s announcement, which he has been preparing for some time.

“I’m very excited about the launch of this new scholarship geared to help those furthering their education in the music/songwriting field. At this point in my life my foremost goal is to give something back to the bluegrass community that has done so very much for me. The need for financial help has never been greater than it is now. Our youth desperately need our help, some positive news, and signs of hope for the future. My intent is that the scholarship will help make it affordable for a student to enter a music program where they can chase their dreams and achieve their goals in music. I greatly appreciate the help and support from Nancy Cardwell, Fred Bartenstein, and The Bluegrass Foundation in helping to set up the scholarship.”

An online application will be provided on the Foundation web site, which must be completed by July 1 for consideration of the Fall 2020 award. A video performance of a song you have written or co-written must be included with the application. Further details can be obtained by reaching out to the Foundation at 615-260-4807, or by email

The IBMA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the International Bluegrass Music Association, assisting donors who would like to ensure the continuation and growth of bluegrass music, but who may be overwhelmed by the many worthy organizations seeking aid. They gratefully accept contributions of any size online.

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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.