Sunday of Grey Fox has a number of the events that folks have been building up to to conclude the festival. There are the raffle drawings for the instruments, more great bands, and the giant group photo of the staff and volunteers. There is also a real focus on the next generation and the future of bluegrass music.
The students in the Kids Academy had been learning songs and practicing all weekend for their main stage appearance Sunday afternoon. During the festival they were attending classes at the academy and also adding to the campground fun and ambiance by having groups of students throughout the farm busking for money to help support the educational programs.
This year there were 140 kids in the Kids Academy studying all the bluegrass instruments. I talked to more than one parent who commented that this is one of the most motivating things all year for their kid’s interest in playing traditional music. One parent commented that they were amazed that the kids learned more in one weekend of Grey Fox than they might in a few months of lessons, because they got really excited and practiced and jammed with their friends performing for small groups of fans, and anticipating and working toward their Main Stage performance.
Sunday also has the announcement of the winners of the Bill Vernon Memorial college scholarships. The scholarships are funded by the raffles at the festival of instruments from Deering, Collings, Northfield, Beard, Eastman, and Artist Works as well as from individual donors.
There were three recipients this year.
- Seth Patrick Evans from Heidrick, Kentucky who is going to University of Kentucky at Louisville.
- Max Silverstein from Bangor, Maine who is attending East Tennessee State University.
- Julian Pinelli from Ashville, NC who is attending Berklee College of Music.
Here’s video of Julian performing after accepting his scholarship.