Two recipients named for initial Mason Ruble Memorial Scholarship

We heard yesterday from Wyatt Harman, who is the bass player for the Harman & Ruble Band in St Louis, MO. His good friend and original partner, Mason Ruble, was killed in a tragic, deer-related auto accident in October of last year. Only 20 years old at the time, Mason was widely loved and admired, and the entire bluegrass community in the Missouri/Kansas region were devastated by the news.

In honor of his friend, Wyatt launched a memorial fund to pay for scholarships for other promising bluegrass young pickers in the area, under the management of Ruble’s parents. Donations received were sufficient to cover two awards in its first year.

Let’s have Harman tell the tale…

“We are so excited to be announcing not one but two recipients of the first Mason Ruble Memorial Scholarship for 2024! We appreciate all that applied and will keep your applications on file if you want to reapply next year!

We were narrowed down to two, and Mason’s parents wanted to send both to the Ozark Mountain Music Camp this June in Branson, MO! Congratulations to 14 year old Wynn Freeland of Ozark, MO, and 14 year old Leah Sanders of Salem, MO. Wynn picks the banjo. Leah picks the guitar and sings.

The scholarship will cover both Wynn and Leah to attend the weeklong Youth Camp for young bluegrass pickers. They will have group instruction, one and one instruction, and will be placed in a band for a special concert finale. We will be presenting them with a certificate at the Back Forty Bluegrass Festival in Curryville, MO at the end of this month during one of the sets by the Harman & Ruble Band.

Harman & Ruble was formed in April of 2023 and myself and my bandmates, my wife Charity Harman, Turner Atwell, and Justus Ross, are going to continue the vision that Mason and I began for the band. Mason was taken way too soon in a car accident in October, and was an amazing banjo player as well as a remarkable person.

I wanted to honor my best friend, and started the scholarship with the blessing of Mason’s parents. We plan on continuing it and keep it growing so that youngsters will have opportunities to learn about bluegrass. Mason was always the first person to sit down with an aspiring young picker and teach them something, or to offer a word of encouragement.

Mason would think this is so cool. Congratulations again!”

Both Leah and Wynn will receive a $500 scholarship.

If you would like to make a contribution to the Mason Ruble Memorial Fund, you can donate online via PayPal. Please be sure to indicate that your donation is or the Ruble Fund.

Checks can be sent to:

Mason Ruble Scholarship Fund
c/o Ozark Mountain Music Camp
attn: Wendy Wright
127 Stone Ridge Drive
Branson, MO 65616

Well done Wyatt!

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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.