PineCone Bluegrass Camps Nominated for IBMA Momentum Award

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2015 Bluegrass Camp guitar students performing at the camp's June 26 culminating concert, which took place at The Cary Arts Center. Photo Credit: Brainard Photo

On Wednesday, Aug. 12, the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announced nominees for the 2015 Momentum Awards, and the PineCone Bluegrass Camp for Youth, presented in partnership by the Town of Cary, is one of this year’s nominees in the Festivals/Events/Venues category. 

Other nominees in the category this year include:

  • HoustonFest – Galax, VA
  • Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival – Manteo, NC
  • ISIS Restaurant and Music Hall – Asheville, NC
  • Christmas in the Smokies - Pidgeon Forge, TN

A committee of industry professionals will select the final winner, and the winners of the 2015 Momentum Awards will be presented with their awards at a luncheon on Wednesday, September 30 in Raleigh, North Carolina, as part of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, presented by Chiesi USA, September 29 -October 3.

The Momentum Awards were instituted in 2012 by IBMA to recognize both musicians and bluegrass industry professionals who, while in the early stages of their careers, have contributed to, or had an influence on, bluegrass music. These contributions can be to bluegrass music in general, or done in a specific part of the industry.

In 2013, the North Carolina Recreation and Parks Association presented their Arts & Humanities Award to the Town of Cary for the bluegrass summer camp program presented in partnership with PineCone. The bluegrass camps are offered at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center in downtown Cary. This past June marked the fifth year of the camps, which have grown every year – this year, a weeklong bluegrass jam camp was added to the camp offerings, and it runs through August 14. Campers will have the opportunity to jam together in public during the Town of Cary’s Lazy Daze Arts Festival, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 22 – look for the campers in the Page-Walker gallery at 10:30 a.m.!

The camps are taught by veteran musicians Lynda Dawson, Pattie Hopkins Kinlaw, and Charles Pettee. During the June camps, Dawson taught beginner and intermediate songwriting, Kinlaw taught fiddle, and Pettee taught guitar; he has also taught mandolin. Dawson and Hopkins are members of Kickin Grass and have also been performing together as a duo; Pettee teaches and performs with a variety of groups, including The Shady Grove Band and the Iron Mountain Messengers, and late last year his group FolkPsalm released a new album.

“Bluegrass camp is one of our favorite events of the year, and we are honored that this program was recognized,” said Jennifer Koach, Program Specialist with the Town of Cary. “It is a joy for us to work with PineCone to not only develop a love of playing bluegrass music in the campers themselves, but also to develop a love of traditional music in the community.”

PineCone has been hosting facilitated youth jams before select Midtown Bluegrass Series concerts, with two more scheduled this season: Sunday, Aug. 16 and Sunday, Oct. 18. Both jams begin at 4 p.m. and are free and open for any interested youth musicians to attend. PineCone is also working toward a youth council, and staff hosted an informational meeting earlier this year at Marbles Kids Museum.

“PineCone is honored to have our bluegrass camp be among the nominees being considered for an IBMA Momentum Award, and we are proud to share the honor with the Town of Cary, which has been a wonderful and supportive partner in making the camp program available to the community and helping it grow,” said William Lewis, PineCone’s Executive Director. “And students from the camps have been asking for more opportunities to play music together and learn about North Carolina’s musical heritage all year round, so we are excited to build on the success of the camps to introduce future generations to bluegrass and roots music.”

A highlight of the camp experience for many is when the students perform as the “opening act” for a featured bluegrass group as part of the Starlight Concert series. For more information, visit the Town of Cary website.  Registration for the 2016 bluegrass camps will begin in February.

Photo Credit: Brainard Photo

Learn more about the IBMA Momentum Awards and see a list of all 2015 nominees