Video scholarship competitions for Monroe Mandolin Camp

Despite the highly descriptive name, The Monroe Mandolin Camp is not just for students of the mandolin style pioneered by the Father of Bluegrass. The five-day workshop includes instruction on banjo, fiddle, guitar, and bass as well as Big Mon’s own favorite, the mandolin.

Now in its fifth year, the camp also offers classes in vocal harmony, and brings world class luthiers each year to examine and set up student instruments.

For the first time in 2018, they will offer three full scholarships to attend the September 19-23 workshop for the mandolin, banjo, and fiddle tracks. Sponsors have been found to cover these costs, and the winners will be selected through a video competition. Candidates are invited to submit a YouTube video of themselves playing, up to four minutes in length, along with a brief essay on why they are interested in the music of Bill Monroe, and what they have done to date in bluegrass.

Simply record yourself playing, upload the video to YouTube, and send an email with the link to​. Please use the subject line, “Video Scholarship Competition.” If you are among the first 25 submissions, you will be notified by return email.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to perform a Bill Monroe tune or song in their video. Essays should shoot for a target of 500 words.

To make it easier on the organizers, each of the three tracks will consider submissions during a different month. The first 25 videos received for each instrument will be judged by a panel of expert players. These scholarships are open to players at any age, and at any level of ability, and the winner in each track will receive a scholarship valued at the full cost of tuition, $516.50

The timing for the competition is as follows:

  • Banjo Video Scholarship: Submissions February 1 – 28. (Underwritten by Bradford & Franzke Fine Instruments, Kansas City, MO) Winner announced on March 7.
  • Mandolin Video Scholarship: Submissions March 1 – 31 (underwritten by #GivingTuesday facebook fundraiser) Winner announced on April 7.
  • Fiddle Video Scholarship: Submissions April 1 – 30 (underwritten by The Violin Shop, Nashville, TN) Winner announced May 7.

Full details on submissions can be found 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.