We recently received the following report from guitarist/songwriter Jessie Lang, a student at Belmont University who was awarded the Rick Lang Music Songwriter Scholarship in 2021. (Jessie is not related to the scholarship donors.)

“I am so grateful to the IBMA Foundation and Rick Lang for the honor of being awarded the IBMA College Songwriting Scholarship. These funds helped me continue my study of publishing, public relations, and music at Belmont University.

“The fall 2022 semester was jam-packed with life on campus after a quiet freshman year (due to the pandemic)—from the new president’s inauguration, continuing to take guitar lessons, and performing for a live audience with the college’s bluegrass ensemble fall concert to my first ever (filmed!) Christmas at Belmont concert, the fall semester was a dream come true.

“I’ve been studying abroad in England at Harlaxton College for the past spring semester, and I have been able to travel all over the U.K. and Ireland and enjoy the rich musical traditions offered. Participating in collegiate choir abroad and a bluegrass jam with some professors weekly was a joy, experiencing the Transatlantic Sessions concert in London, and being inspired by all the lovely places and landscapes I visited—I would never have gotten the chance to study abroad if it weren’t for the Lang Songwriter’s scholarship.

“I have come back even more inspired and motivated to work on songwriting and reflect on all the experiences I’ve had over this past year. I cannot express my gratitude enough to the IBMA Foundation and Rick Lang for sponsoring the songwriting scholarship and for all they do to help youth go to college and continue their passion for bluegrass music! Thanks again for all your help and encouragement!”

Return to the June 2022 issue of The Cornerstone.