Gabrielle Gray Shifts to ROMP Festival Executive Producer; Carly Smith Named Interim Director National Search For New Director Underway
The board of trustees of the International Bluegrass Music Museum today announced an important transition in its administrative leadership that reflects the organization’s rising stature and maturity as a center of preservation and innovation in bluegrass music.
Gabrielle M. Gray, the museum’s chief executive, ends her exceptional 12-year tenure as the museum’s creative leader and retires as executive director. Gray retains her position as Executive Producer of ROMP, the signature bluegrass music festival she founded in 2004. Gray also remains the museum’s primary grant writer.
Carly Smith, a staff member since May 2011 and the museum’s assistant director, will assume the role Interim Director. The museum’s board, chaired by Peter Salovey, the president of Yale University, will conduct a nationwide search for a new executive director.
|This is a tremendous convergence of events that strengthens the museum’s work to promote bluegrass music.The shift in leadership responds to Gabrielle’s desire to focus on ROMP and fundraising, giving the museum continuity and keeping her closely connected to the project that has become a signature event in the nation and helped to brand Owensboro as a leading worldwide center of bluegrass music.The leadership transition that starts today comes after months of preparation and follows more than a decade of steady growth in the International Bluegrass Music Museum’s programs and activities, fostered by the close collaboration between Owensboro philanthropist Terry Woodward, the museum’s 21-member board of trustees, and Gabrielle Gray.|
|Gray’s work to establish Owensboro’s national and global reputation as the center of bluegrass music is most closely identified with ROMP, the annual music festival that attracts the finest bands in bluegrass roots and branches music with over 20,000 people attending during its annual run at the end of each June. The festival’s success is due in large part to the close working relationships Gray formed with the IBMM board’s ROMP committee and her staff, including Carly Smith, whom Gray hired to help manage volunteers and ground activities at the festival and run administrative operations at the museum.Gray leaves her directorship having constructed a strong foundation for future excellence at the museum, including an operating endowment exceeding $1million.”It gives me great pleasure to see how far we’ve come as a museum and as a performing arts entity in our community,” Gray said. “All of our programs have grown by leaps and bounds. Working in close partnership with Carly Smith for the past three years has given me complete confidence in her ability to guide staff and operations at the museum while the Board of Trustees search for a new Executive Director. We have a dedicated Board of Trustees, two of whom – Rosemary Conder and Ross Leazenby – are assisting with this transition.””I am delighted to remain in the leadership coalition of the museum, to write its grants and produce what I and many others consider to be one of the finest music festivals in the world. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than presenting the best musicians in the world in the finest atmosphere at Yellow Creek Park. Nothing makes me happier than experiencing amazing music and sharing it with my local and global community. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the terrific staff at IBMM, and the trustees — especially Terry Woodward — the City of Owensboro, Daviess County Fiscal Court, Kentucky Arts Council, all our granting agencies and foundations, ROMP sponsors, Museum and Center donors, members and supporters, volunteers and attendees – all the thousands of people who have been so instrumental in enthusiastically elevating the bluegrass museum to carry the banner for Owensboro, Kentucky, and for bluegrass music worldwide. All these entities working together have made it possible for ROMP to advance to the position it now holds in the pantheon of great American festivals, and for the International Bluegrass Music Museum to responsibly preserve the history and artifacts of this amazing, international music genre.”|
For More Information:
Mike Simpson, Board Vice-Chairman and ED Search Committee Chairman
Carly Smith, IBMM Interim Director
Gabrielle Gray, ROMP Executive Producer
John Prine will be coming to ROMP 2015 in Owensboro, Kentucky. Join us for ROMP June 24-27, 2015. For more ticket info, click here.
The first time he got onstage to perform – at a Chicago open mic night – there was absolute silence. Here comes a guy nobody had ever seen, a mailman from nearby Maywood, and the very first songs he ever sings are miracles, songs like “Hello In There” and “Angel from Montgomery.” But this stunned silence spelled disaster to Prine. “They just sat there,” he said. “They didn’t even applaud, they just looked at me. I thought, `Uh oh. This is pretty bad.’ I started shuffling my feet and looking around. And then they started applauding and it was a really great feeling. It was like I found out all of a sudden that I could communicate deep feelings and emotions. And to find that out all at once was amazing.”
That one night changed his life. The club-owner offered him a gig, and from that moment on he quickly became one of Chicago’s most beloved local heroes, a guy who would honor the Windy City with as much love and grace as Studs Terkel and Carl Sandburg. Prine soon befriended another local hero, Steve Goodman, and with Goodman he met the world. Kris Kristofferson heard his songs, helped him land a record deal, and soon everyone knew what Chicago already did, that Prine was the real deal.
For tickets, click here!
Join us Saturday, November 15th at 7:00 pm for a great night of music. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online or at the door. Click here for more info.
Freedom to create music and art is one of many things we are grateful for today as we honor the men and women who have served this country. In order to show our appreciation, all veterans, active military and their families will receive free admission today; active military from today forward are always free.
IBMM’s 9th annual Mandolin Camp, at the Museum in Owensboro, KY, is November 14-15-16, 2014! With Mike Compton continuing as Camp Director, the Bill Monroe banner will still be carried high at this year’s camp, while other faculty members will add different methods of teaching. (Mr. Compton may do so, as well!) The Museum’s goal is to be inclusive of several styles in our 2014 curriculum.
The IBMM Mandolin camp faculty includes:
Many know Mike from the Nashville Bluegrass Band, John Hartford Stringband, or as the featured mandolin player on “O Brother, Where Art Thou”. Mike returns as Director of the IBMM Mandolin Camp – his 9th straight year imparting Monroe-style knowledge to mando campers.
One of the greatest mandolinists of all time, a Bluegrass Hall of Fame member, and constant trend-setter in Bluegrass Music, Jesse joins the IBMM staff to teach his unique style of cross-picking, and provide insights into historical mandolin techniques from a life-time career in music.
Band leader Sierra Hull attended Berklee College where she refined the skills she now teaches to others. Sierra has traditional bluegrass sensibility and skill that defies her age. Already having presented numerous mandolin workshops alone and with other mandolin virtuosos, Sierra brings a youthful slant to bluegrass mandolin applauded by veterans as well.
While still in his teens, Don learned to play the mandolin from the innovative virtuoso Jethro Burns, who guided him into a lifelong career in music. A leading exponent of jazz mandolin style and band leader of the Don Stiernberg Trio, Don has eight personal recordings, and appears on others by a variety of artists in all styles.
Whether writing a new piece, learning a tune or performing with his confreres, Dominick has an infectious love of music that inspires others to excel with the same passion.
Dominick has performed the last three years at ROMP and given mandolin workshops each year that have been highly regarded by all attendees.
Born in 1969, luthier Will Kimble fell in love with mandolins in 1997, and began building in 2000. His father, Fred Kimble, taught Will how to build and still works with him to this day. A favorite at IBMM camp, Will continues to provide mandolin repair, advice, and construction and care sessions at mando camp.
New performers are imparting their own footprints on bluegrass. Stay tuned (all 8 strings, please) for news of other mando camp news to be announced…
- Museum members $500 (Museum membership costs $45)
- Non-members $550
- Registration includes: All three days of classes, meals (Friday dinner, Saturday lunch), Lodging for two nights (Friday and Saturday – discounted rates for additional lodging nights if desired), free admission to All-Star Faculty concert and reception Saturday night, and camp T-shirt!
- Online mando camp registration in the online Gift Shop.
- For More information see the Mando Camp info page
Exciting news out of Raleigh, NC! IBMM Mandolin Camp instructor, Dominick Leslie has received a Momentum Award for Mandolin performance at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass. Congratulations to this stellar young performer!!
Congratulations and good luck to all award winners and nominees!