Pisgah Banjos is excited to announce a chance to win a very unique and historically significant custom banjo! Raffle tickets are $20 each and all proceeds will benefit the Arnold Shultz Fund, a grant and scholarship initiative dedicated to people of color pursuing bluegrass-related music. You may purchase a ticket here. The raffle will take place during the month of February.

The Prize: A custom-built Pisgah Banjo made from 200+ year-old heart pine salvaged from Pleasant Retreat, a historical plantation located near Appomattox VA. The plantation where this wood was salvaged is located a half mile from where Joel Walker Sweeney grew up. Sweeney, a banjoist and minstrel performer, is known for popularizing the banjo in White culture in the early to mid-1800s and credited learning how to play banjo from slaves on a nearby plantation (very likely Pleasant Retreat). Pisgah Banjos chose to benefit the Arnold Shultz Fund as a way to help re-appropriate the history of the banjo. We hope this encourages the banjo community and beyond to discover the early American history of the banjo and folk music born on slave plantations and influenced heavily by early American Black culture. The heart pine was donated by Craig DuBose and was salvaged from the roof structure of the main living quarters at Pleasant Retreat. A notarized letter will be provided to authenticate that the wood came from Pleasant Retreat.

Timeline: The raffle will start February 1st and end at midnight on February 28th.  We chose the month of February to coincide with Black History Month.

Tickets: $20 each, unlimited quantity. The more tickets you purchase, the more chances you have to win. Tickets can be purchased here. Each ticket purchased will be placed in a bucket and a name drawn on March 8th via Facebook live.

Goal: To sell 1,000 tickets and donate $20,000 to the Arnold Shultz Fund.

The IBMA Foundation established the Arnold Shultz Fund in 2020 to support activities increasing participation of people of color in bluegrass music. Arnold Shultz (1886–1931) was an African American musician from western Kentucky who had a profound influence on Bill Monroe and the development of bluegrass. You can read more about the Arnold Shultz Fund and the IBMA foundation at https://bluegrassfoundation.org/arnold-shultz-fund/.

The Banjo Specs:  
Scale: 25.5″
Rim: 12″ walnut w/wood tone ring and heart pine rim cap
Neck: heart pine
Fingerboard: persimmon
Peghead: slotted w/persimmon veneer
Head: John Balch pre-mounted goat with PBCO logo
Tailpiece: Pisgah Hawktail
Bridge: walnut/persimmon (Mulherron)
Hardware: aged brass
Tuners: high quality brass (Gotoh)
Strings: PBCO clawhammer medium gauge

For more info, please contact Patrick David Sawyer (828) 338-3488, patrick@pisgahbanjos.com.

Return to the February 2021 issue of The Cornerstone.