HoustonFest is a festival held annually the first weekend in May in Galax, Virginia at Felt’s Park. The 2-day event features a wonderful lineup of bluegrass and old time music, and will feature Ralph Stanley as a headliner this year! HoustonFest is in memory of Houston Caldwell, a young bluegrass musician who tragically passed away in an accident. JAM, Inc will have an information table in the youth area this year, where many great youth acts will be performing, including some JAM alumnni! Make plans to attend today! Check out the HoustonFest Website

Notice to JAM programs and JAM students:   HoustonFest also offers scholarship opportunities to both young musicians and organizations preserving and promoting traditional mountain music.

Here is the information about applying:

Individual applicants are selected to receive a scholarship that may be applied to the traditional music education of the recipient’s choice. Recipients may apply the funds toward traditional music education and can be applied to tuition fees for workshops, camps, or private lessons to learn to play traditional acoustic instruments over a continued period of time. Applicants must demonstrate acceptance to and enrollment in a program of study that fits the criteria. The Houston Caldwell Scholarships assist with fees for tuition or private lessons with funding level at the discretion of the Houston Caldwell Scholarship Committee. Fees are paid directly to the educational institution, camp, or qualified instructor. Scholarship winnings must be redeemed within one year of announcement to recipients. Students/musicians of traditional acoustic music Instruments in grades 8 to 12 and high school graduates up to age 21 are eligible for individual music scholarships. Applicants must be residents of the Central Appalachian Region to include counties in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Application packets must be completed and returned (postmarked) by April 15, 2014 including:

· A completed application form (Click to access)

· Two letters of reference from an adult (parents of applicant excluded)

· Standard size CD or DVD recording demonstrating the applicant’s musicianship

· 150-word essay explaining why the applicant would like to win the scholarship and explanation of how they plan to use the scholarship

Grants to Non-Profit Traditional Music Programs:

The Houston Caldwell Scholarship Program will offer opportunities for Traditional Music Programs to compete for scholarships/grants. Funding level is determined by the Houston Caldwell Scholarship Committee. Organizations must have non-profit status and must be serving youth of Virginia, North Carolina or Tennessee. Preference will be given to applicants in the immediate region including the City of Galax, Grayson and Carroll Counties in Virginia.

Interested organizations should submit a written narrative describing their music program. Narratives must be completed and submitted (postmarked) by April 15, 2014 and must include:

· History and objectives of your program

· Structure of program, target population and number of children served

· Key artists and organizations involved in the program

· Annual operating expense and projected use of grant money

· Proof of non-profit status

Application Packets should be mailed to:

Attn: Scholarship Program
P.O. Box 1516
Galax, VA 24333

Winners of the 2014 HoustonFest Scholarships & Grants will be notified by April 30, 2014. Recipients will be required to be present at HoustonFest 2014 to receive the award when announced. Artists receiving awards will be expected to perform in Scholarship Showcase at HoustonFest 2014. Official Public Announcement of Winners will be made during HoustonFest 2014. e-mail [email protected], or call 276-236-9908 for more information.

Check out the newest JAM program added to our roster of affiliates:  Franklin County JAM!

Click the thumbnail to see what is up on their webpage so far.  The program just started this winter and
is offering fiddle, banjo and guitar to kids from three different elementary schools in the county.

Mark your calendars now for Saturday, April 19, 10:30 – 1:30 for a Regional JAM Teacher Workshop in Floyd, VA at the Jacksonville Center for the Arts!

If you have not RSVP’ed yet, click here to let us know you will be coming. The main topic is behavior and classroom management with extra time for general teacher sharing. The other two regional workshops have already been held in Wise, VA and Sylva, NC with great participation!

If you are a program director, site coordinator or supervisor, administrative volunteer, advisory board member, fiscal agent representative, or some other kind of administrator for a JAM or YAM program, you are invited to participate in a survey that will be used to plan a REGIONAL JAM ADMINISTRATORS WORKSHOP this spring. Click here to access the survey and let us know what you think!

One last thing – don’t forget about our upcoming FUNDRAISER CONCERT for JAM, Inc featuring great Old Time, Bluegrass and Americana music by The Whitetop Mountain Band, Johnny Williams & Friends and Hard Cider on Saturday, April 5 starting at 7 p.m. at the Historic 1908 Courthouse Auditorium in Independence, VA. Advanced tickets are being sold for only $10/each at Grayson National Bank Independence-Galax-Sparta locations ($12/door day of show). We are also accepting any kind of string instruments and accessories as donations during the event (and any other time) that will be distributed to programs in need. Unplayable, or instruments in need of major repairs, will be used in an upcoming project with local artists! For more information, see the flyer in the previous blog post or check out the event on Facebook: Fundraiser Concert