It’s September. In my part of the world, central North Carolina, the weather begins to be tolerable again, and early mornings entice us with a hint of crisp autumn air. We’re looking forward with much anticipation to the unveiling of the fall season, when the trees deck themselves out in breathtaking bright oranges, reds, and yellows. For the worldwide bluegrass community, this month brings World of Bluegrass week, hosted September 26 – 30 by the International Bluegrass Music Association in Raleigh, NC. WOB is the annual gathering of the bluegrass music industry. and a bluegrass family reunion. Don’t miss the opportunity to make new contacts, share and hear new music, take advantage of professional development programs, and just enjoy being with more than 200,000 fellow bluegrassers.

The IBMA Foundation will be in Raleigh all week, staffing a booth in the Expo Hall and hosting the Bluegrass College Band Showcase on the Youth Stage Friday and Saturday nights, September 29-30, from 6-11 p.m. See the article in this issue for the full line-up of 13 talented college bands. Please stop by to hear the music and support their efforts. The Youth Stage is a part of the free admission IBMA Bluegrass LIVE! StreetFest, and it’s located directly across from the entrance of the Marriott Center Hotel in downtown Raleigh. When you visit us in the Expo Hall booth you can sign up to be a “Friend of the Foundation” and pick up your free sticker and magnet, and you can also check out the Golden Era Deering Banjo we’ll be raffling off in April – May, 2024 as a part of the 4th annual Strings for Dreams Bluegrass Raffle.

IBMA Foundation board members Becky Buller and Arthur Hancock will be speaking on our behalf at the Industry Awards Luncheon on Thursday, September 28, in the Raleigh Convention Center, announcing scholarship, grant, and award recipients for the year.

If you are headed to college soon or know someone who is interested in bluegrass degree programs, ensembles, and scholarship opportunities, please come to the Bluegrass College Info Session at the Raleigh Convention Center (room 306) on Saturday, September 30, 1-2:30 p.m. You’ll meet directors of leading college bluegrass programs across the country and hear their students play and sing.

One of the greatest things about World of Bluegrass is witnessing the incredible talent among our young musicians. I always come away from the week celebrating that the future of bluegrass music is in good hands! That’s our focus at the IBMA Foundation, and I thank you for your support as we all work together to make the future of bluegrass brighter.

See you in Raleigh!

-Nancy Cardwell 

Return to the September 2023 issue of The Cornerstone.