Bob shared his experience from Nashville with Bluegrass Country.org.
During March 8-11th, I was fortunate to have been one of twenty-four people selected to attend the IBMA 2011 Leadership Bluegrass Class held in Nashville, TN. The program was started twelve years ago and is designed to pull together a cross section of people with exhibited or potential leadership qualities into a network of learning and communication. We now have 275 graduates.
I traveled to Nashville with colleague and Bluegrass Country Host Katy Daley (who serves on the class planning committee and is an alumni of the program) on the day before the class began and we had a short time to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame where two items helped remind me of the foundation for the origin of our beloved Bluegrass music. One was the motto “Honor Thy Music” found inside the building. Outside was another reminder, in the form of plaque in tribute to the firefighters and police officers, of the sacrifices many people before us have made that enable us all to enjoy our freedom which includes this American music.
The class was intensive and included evening sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday as well. Opening remarks were provided by Tom T. and Dixie Hall who have promoted this music to the fullest for many years. Then we moved into many of the issues facing our Bluegrass Community and the complexities that rapid changes bring to our music in the form of delivery, format, performance rights and royalties, and trends. Excellent presentations were delivered by such notables as Dan Hays, the IBMA Executive Director; Ronnie McCoury and staff from the Del McCoury Band; Todd Mayo of the Bluegrass Underground/Music City Roots; Scott Welch of AirPlay Direct; Dailey & Vincent (including some of their staff such as Don Light from the Don Light Talent agency, and David Crowe, Esquire for the legal perspective); Jesse McReynolds, Grand Ole Opry member and artist; and Dan Keen from Belmont University with David Crow from Milom, Joyce, Horsenell & Crow, PLC regarding songwriting and publishing. There many others but space limitations prevent mentioning them all.
Absorbing all the information presented is ongoing and probably impossible but I became more acquainted with many of the pieces of the music business puzzle. Attendees were encouraged to read the book “All You Need to Know about the Music Business” by Donald S. Pressman before arriving for the class. This is an excellent reference if you want to know more.
IBMA Executive Director Dan Hays and wife Suzanne hosted the class for dinner at their house one evening to allow class members to become more acquainted with each other and exchange perspectives from our various fields including broadcasting, instrument manufacturing, bluegrass associations, song publishers, band leaders, event producers, journalism, and even one member from Switzerland representing the European Bluegrass Music Association.
For more information about IBMA go to their website at www.ibma.org and learn how to help strengthen our collective efforts in all facets of Bluegrass Music.