The world of a professional musician is all too often not the glamorous and luxurious lifestyle one might expect. This is especially true for bluegrass musicians—traveling long hours from gig to gig with a less than minimal salary. Some performers literally go bust, but hard-working, dedicated folks like Scott Napier find a way to succeed. Bluegrass lovers should recognize him from his time spent playing mandolin alongside Larry Sparks in the ’90s, and for the past decade or so, with Allen Mills in the Lost and Found. He now finds himself in another role: teacher.
As of this week, Scott is the newest faculty member within the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music at Hazard Community and Technical College in southeastern Kentucky. In this new role, he will provide instrumental instruction on mandolin and guitar as well as classes in music composition. Napier says that he may even teach a few banjo students as well, but says he can make no promises at this time.
Program Director Dean Osborne is excited to have Napier on board. “I am extremely pleased that Scott Napier is joining our faculty,” he said. “He is a true professional and has extensive experience on stage, in the studio, as well as the respect of his industry peers. That will give our students a tremendous resource toward being successful in the bluegrass industry.”
Napier says he views his new position as offering something back to this music. “After nearly 20 years of touring and recording and teaching along the way, I feel that it’s time to give back to the music industry, and further develop and advance bluegrass and traditional music in every way possible,” he says. Even though he’s glad to be back working near his hometown of Hazard, he won’t be leaving the road completely. He says that the Lost and Found will be playing more select dates this year, giving him time to balance teaching and playing.
Individuals interested in studying the mandolin under Napier who are unable to attend HCTC and the KSBTM will soon have a great opportunity to learn from him from their own home. We have learned that sometime within the early Fall, he plans to release an instructional DVD chock full of his mandolin originals. This will certainly be a treat for fans of Napier’s energetic playing.
The facilities and equipment at KSBTM are truly superb and the tool set that Napier brings to the table will surely create an even richer learning environment. For more information on the KSBTM and the learning opportunities they provide please visit them online at http://ksbtm.hazard.kctcs.edu or contact them by phone at (800) 246-7521, ext. 73630.