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IBMA Announces the 2012 Class of Leadership Bluegrass

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IBMA Leadership BluegrassNashville, Tenn....The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) is proud to announce the graduating class of Leadership Bluegrass 2012. Leadership Bluegrass, now in its 13th year with more than 300 alumni, is an intensive, three-day program of interactive learning and networking experiences that invites participants to examine the challenges and opportunities facing our music, along with related leadership issues. The Leadership Bluegrass program pulls together a cross section of people with exhibited or potential leadership qualities into a network of learning and communication. The results will foster a broad-based understanding of the total needs of the bluegrass community, which will help participants better prepare to determine the goals of the particular organization, company or group in which they choose to serve.

Leadership Bluegrass 2012, hosted March 8-10 at BMI and Bone McAllester Norton PLLC in Nashville, Tennessee, was facilitated by Trisha Tubbs. Each year the individuals selected to participate in Leadership Bluegrass represent a cross section of current and future leaders from various facets of the industry, as well as diverse regions of the country and world.

Congratulations to the following graduates:

  • Bob Altschuler; Dyer Switch Band, Thirteen Feet of Bluegrass, Educator; Albany, N.Y.
  • Jimmy Bowen; Jimmy Bowen & Santa Fe; Lebanon, Tenn.
  • Casey Campbell; Belmont University student/Musician; Kingston Springs, Tenn.
  • Sonya Robles Cotton; The Louisville Bluegrass Music Association; Louisville, Ky.
  • Martha Stracener Dantzic; Quicksilver Productions; Washington, D.C.
  • Laurie Dashper; Music City Roots, Bluegrass Underground; Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  • Denise Hitchcock; BlueHighways TV; Hendersonville, Tenn.
  • Lisa Jacobi; Steel String Session, Lisa Affordable Websites; Copperhill, Tenn.
  • Denise Jarvinen; Boston Bluegrass Union, Traditional Music Foundation; Brookline, Mass.
  • Russell Johnson; Grass Cats, Red Sock Publishing, The Comfort Zone Recording Studio, New Time Records; Four Oaks, N.C.
  • Gerald Jones; AcousticMusicCamp.com; Garland, Texas
  • Jamie Katz; PineCone, The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, Inc.; Raleigh, N.C.
  • Rick Lang; Haley Anna Music, BMI; Kingston, N.H.
  • Claire Lynch; The Claire Lynch Band; Hermitage, Tenn.
  • Michael McLain; Belmont University; Cane Ridge, Tenn.
  • Ronnie Norton; Lonesome Highway; Dublin, Ireland
  • Chris Oliver; Infinity Luthiers; Springfield, Ill.
  • Ross Pomerenk; Acoustic Sound/ Wintergrass; Lopez Island, Wash.
  • Daniel Routh; Nu-Blu, Red Squared Audio; Siler City, N.C.
  • Gene Skinner; Great Stuff Radio Network; Springfield, Mo.
  • Jennifer Strickland; Jenny Lynn Publishing, Rural Rhythm Records; Antioch, Tenn.
  • Chris Teskey; WAMU’s Bluegrass Country; Washington, D.C.
  • Tony Watt; TheBluegrassUniversity.com, Boston Bluegrass Union; Cambridge, Mass.
  • Sharon White; The Whites; Hendersonville, Tenn.
  • Kimberly Williams; East Public Relations, The Expedition Show; Sparta, Tenn.


The International Bluegrass Music Association is proud to announce the 13th class of Leadership Bluegrass, pictured here at Bone McAllester Norton on March 10, 2012. Row 1, L-R: Ronnie Norton, Denise Hitchcock, Sharon White, Jamie Katz, Sonya Cotton, Jimmy Bowen, Laurie Dashper, Casey Campbell; Row 2, L-R: Russell Johnson, Martha Stracener Dantzic, Kimberly Williams, Rick Lang, Jennifer Strickland, Lisa Jacobi, Denise Jarvinen; Row 3, L-R: Bob Altschuler, Gene Skinner, Claire Lynch, Daniel Routh, Tony Watt, Ross Pomerenk; Row 4, L-R: Gerald Jones, Michael McLain, Chris Teskey, Chris Oliver (photo by Stephanie Taylor)

Thanks to the following sponsors of Leadership Bluegrass 2012:

  • Leadership Bluegrass Platinum Sponsors:
    • BMI
    • The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation
    • Bone McAllester Norton LLC
    • Wintergrass Music Festival (Acoustic Sound)
  • Leadership Bluegrass Patrons:
    • John & Trisha Tubbs
  • Leadership Bluegrass Family:
    • Nick Barr
    • Bluegrass Bands Helping Hands
    • Katy Daley
    • Arnie Fleischer
    • Bill Foster
    • Louis Meyers
    • Tim O’Brien
    • Richard Spratt
    • Anonymous
  • Friends of Leadership Bluegrass:
    • Claire Armbruster
    • Fred Bartenstein
    • Janet Brightly
    • Tom Brown
    • Mary Burdette
    • Jill Crabtree
    • P. Crist
    • Regina Derzon
    • Amy Beth Hale
    • Michael Hall
    • Craig Havighurst
    • Suzanne Hays
    • Denise Hitchcock
    • Rienk Janssen
    • T. Jarrell
    • Todd Jarzen
    • Dan Keen
    • Larry Klein
    • Tom Kopp
    • Joan Kornblith
    • Tim Kruzic
    • Barry Mazor
    • Roger C. Moss
    • Dagfinn Pedersen
    • Michael Ramsey
    • Ronnie Reno
    • Stephen Ruffo
    • Jerry Salley
    • Sheila Selby
    • Linda Shaw
    • Jean Spivey
    • Nora Jane Struthers
    • Stephanie Taylor
    • Wayne Taylor
    • Dana Thorin
    • Tom Thorpe
    • Traci Todd
    • Ashlee-Jean Trott
    • Angelika Torrie
    • April Verch
    • Archie Warnock
    • Bob Webster
    • Jon Weisberger
    • Dwight Worden
    • Bob Wright

The Leadership Bluegrass Planning Committee this year included Alan Tompkins (chair), Joan Kornblith, Katy Daley, Emilee Warner, Frank Solivan, Jean Spivey, Ben Surratt, Trisha Tubbs (facilitator) and Nancy Cardwell (staff liaison). Joan Kornblith, Ben Surratt, Heidi Labensart and Dana Thorin served on the Selection Committee. Kelli Catey, from Belmont University, was the facilitator’s assistant.

The 2012 class was held March 8-10 in Nashville, Tennessee. Leadership Bluegrass seeks to explore bluegrass music and its place in the larger world of entertainment through:

  • A systematic study of the business of bluegrass, its institutions and organizations, their needs, problems and resources
  • Exposure to a wide variety of current music leaders and notable persons
  • Encouraging independent thinking, fresh perspectives and approaches. It is not intended to "indoctrinate" or pass on the current leaders' views and ideas.
  • Acquaintance with relevant issues facing bluegrass, their history and future possibilities
  • Involvement of all related facets of the music industry which impact bluegrass
  • High quality interactive sessions for the participants.

The selection process for Leadership Bluegrass is competitive, with more applicants than there are positions available. While the application or recommendation does not guarantee a position in the class, IBMA does guarantee that everyone who applies will be given an equal opportunity. Enrollment and participation in Leadership Bluegrass is voluntary and a new class is selected each year. All class members are expected to bear the expense of any travel and/or lodging during the program as well as pay a class participation fee. A limited number of partial scholarships are available to qualified applicants.

For information on the next Leadership Bluegrass class, contact Nancy Cardwell at (615) 256-3222 or nancyc@ibma.org. Tim O’Brien/li

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