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Old-Time Music and Dance Award

Brad Leftwich and Linda HigginbothamWe are delighted to announce the establishment of an endowed fund dedicated to nurturing research, study, and preservation of old-time music and dance, through the generosity of well-known Bloomington practitioners in these traditions, Linda Higginbotham and Bradley R. Leftwich. The donors' hope is to help sustain an interest in old-time music and dance among IU students and faculty and to encourage connection to the old-time music and dance community, both local and beyond. For the purposes of this fund, old-time music is defined as follows:

"A traditional music that developed primarily from a mingling of British Isles and African traditions, emerging over the last few centuries in the rural southeastern United States but spread through migration, and later, through commercial recordings, across much of the country; it is a music featuring stringed instruments, especially fiddle and banjo, and one often associated with dancing."

The intent of this fund is to highlight the more traditional end of a tradition that has been much affected by commercialization and artistic innovation. Support will be directed toward research, especially by IU students, but also to concerts and performances, publication, preservation, support for artists, and academic symposia and workshops. With the establishment of this fund, we can anticipate the continuance of a strong interest in old-time music and dance that has been a feature of this department since, at least, the days of the Pigeon Hill String Ticklers.

Here are the current and past winners of the Old-Time Music Award:


Claire Write



Meghan Smith
Meghan Smith
Photo provided by Facebook.



Doug Peach
Doug Peach
Photo provided by Facebook.



Kaitlin Justin
Kaitlin Justin, Dual MA in Ethnomusicology and SLIS
Read a College of Arts and Sciences blog post about the award here!



Timon Kaple
Timon Kaple
Photo found here.

Cullen Strawn
Cullen Strawn playing old-time fretless banjo with Brad Leftwich and Joel Lensch
Cullen Strawn (middle) playing old-time fretless banjo with Brad Leftwich (fiddle, left) and Joel Lensch (mandolin, right). Photo provided by Cullen Strawn.



Thomas Grant Richardson
Thomas Grant Richardson with the Carolina Chocolate Drops
Thomas Grant Richardson with the Carolina Chocolate Drops at a show in Danville, Indiana in 2009 (L to R: Dom Flemons, Thomas Grant Richardson, Rhiannon Giddens, Justin Robinson). Photo provided by Thomas Grant Richardson, taken by a bystander.

Photos on upper right and below courtesy of Brad Leftwich and Linda Higginbotham.