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KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Contest

The second annual KSMU Youth In Bluegrass Band Contest was held the last weekend of September at Silver Dollar City. Mike Smith hs the story:

The 2nd annual KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest was held at Silver Dollar City in Branson Missouri September 27th and 28th. The contest was part of the Silver Dollar City's Festival of American Music and Craftsmanship. A total of 10 bands entered the contest which awarded $1,000.00 to the winner. Contest rules are simple: Band members must be 21 years old or younger unless a parent or parents are part of the group. All tunes played for the competition must be in the musical tradition of Bluegrass or traditional country music, and all contestants must be of an amateur status.

D.A. Callaway is the Talent Coordinator for the contest, he says after meeting the young musicians, it's clear to him that they each have the goal of the pursuit of excellence.

That pursuit of excellence can be seen in 18 year old Mark Mogus of the Bartlesville Oklahoma based band Newgrass Tradition, and in teenager Stephanie Haisman of Foxfire Bluegrass in Bloomfield New Mexico. They each say Bluegrass music is much more challenging and rewarding than other types of music they have played. Stephanie's father David, and

Curt Mueller, father of the Mueller family from Oakland Maine each say the contest and the Festival of American Music and Craftsmanship at Silver Dollar City are great opportunities for family bands to be a part of.

The Vaughn Family, of The Ozarks Alliance from Salem Missouri agree. 10 year old Jenny Vaughn and her 12 year old brother Alex both say Bluegrass music is a lot of fun to play. The young musicians mother Robin says for the most part, Bluegrass music is for the entire family, and because the instruments are portable, the music can be played anywhere, anytime.

The bands entered into the competition included: The Ackermans, from Pueblo West Colorado. The Cooper Family, from Lake Annette Mo. Doybn's Hall from College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout Mo. Foxfire Bluegrass, from Bloomfield New Mexico. The Kellys, from Norwood Mo. The Link Family, from Lebanon Mo. The Mueller Family, from Oakland Maine.

Newgrass Tradition, from Bartlesville Ok. The Ozarks Aliance, from Salem Mo. And Rachel and Out of the Blue, from Springfield Mo.

Each band had 6 minutes to perform for the panel of three judges present on Saturday the 26th, and the 3 different judges who there Sunday the 27th. The judges based their decisions on quality of performance, natural ability, stage presence, and audience appeal.

The judges all said the bands were competitive and it wasn't an easy task to determine a winner, but in the end, 3rd place and a check for $250.00 went to Rachel and Out of the Blue. 2nd place and a check for $500.00 went to Foxfire Bluegrass, and the $1000.00 first place award went to The Ozark Alliance. For KSMU news, I'm Mike Smith.