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2013 Governor’s Award for Community Arts awarded to International Bluegrass Music Museum

October 29th: the museum receives the 2013 Governor’s Award for Community Arts.

The museum will be closed on Tuesday October 29 for the awards ceremony in Frankfort.


From the Kentucky Arts Council press release above:

Community Arts Award – In 1985, the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Ky., began to develop — and has since maintained — an environment in which people of all ages can discover the richness of bluegrass music. The museum is the world’s only facility dedicated to the history and preservation of bluegrass music, an important chapter in Kentucky’s musical songbook. Through its exhibits and displays, special events including a video oral history project and the overwhelmingly popular ROMP Festival that attracts thousands of visitors from across the globe, the museum ensures the living legacy of bluegrass music continues.

More details about why the International Bluegrass Music Museum has fostered community involvement and is so deserving of this award is available on the Kentucky Arts Council website for the awards.  News about the ceremony and recipients of other 2013 Governor’s awards is also on the awards page.

Clark County artist creates 2013 Governor's award

The recipients of the 2013 Governor’s Awards in the Arts will each receive a handcrafted, turned wooden sculpture by Clark County artist John Keeton when Kentucky presents the state’s highest honors in the arts.



2013 Monroe Camp Faculty Members

Mike Compton – Camp Director

Mike ComptonBorn in Meridian, Mississippi, in 1956, Mike took up the mandolin as a teenager, and in 1977, moved to Nashville and quickly found work with veteran banjoist and former Monroe sideman Hubert Davis. In the mid-1980’s, he was recruited to help found the Nashville Bluegrass Band, and the group quickly became one of the most prominent and admired in bluegrass. He worked closely with John Hartford, recording six albums with the Hartford String Band and touring extensively until Hartford’s death in 2001. That same year, Mike performed as a Soggy Bottom Boy on 2001’s Grammy Album of the Year, O Brother, Where Art Thou? He’s Mike Compton — Grammy and IBMA award-winning recording artist; solo, duo and band performer; passionate teacher and advocate for the mandolin.

Mike is well-known as one of the foremost authorities on Monroe-style Mandolin. Mike serves again as your Camp Director. For more information on Mike Compton, see

Richard Brown, Associate Director

Richie BrownRichard Brown has been a bluegrass musician in the Boston area since the mid-sixties. He has played with prominent New England bands and nationally known bluegrass artists. Richard’s playing is heavily influenced by Bill Monroe’s style and “old style” mandolin players. He is currently bandleader of the Boston-based Reunion Band. Richard serves on the Board of Directors of the International Bluegrass Music Museum, and is associate director of the Museum’s Monroe-Style Mandolin Camp.

Roland White – Faculty Member

rolandWhiteGrowing up in rural Maine in a household of musicians, Roland White’s passion for music was instilled at an early age, playing a $2.50 “tater bug” mandolin alongside his siblings. By the time the family moved to Burbank, California, in the early 1950’s, the children were ready to take their careers to the next level. By the mid-50’s the White brothers met banjo player Billy Ray Latham who, along with Roland and Clarence, formed the nucleus of the Kentucky Colonels. In 1967, Roland was recruited to play guitar with Bill Monroe, a job that lasted for the better part of two years, until White signed on as mandolin player with Lester Flatt’s newly formed Nashville Grass. After a fateful automobile accident in 1973, Roland returned to Nashville and joined the band Country Gazette.  Since 1989, Roland has played with the Nashville Bluegrass Band.

Roland returns again as an instructor at mando camp,   is the author of several instructional mandolin publications and regularly teaches mandolin lessons.  See the Roland White page for more information on his books, mandolin lessons, his current band, and other musical endeavors.

Skip Gorman – Faculty Member

2009 National Cowboy Poetry GatheringSkip Gorman was born in Rhode Island in 1949 and introduced to traditional music at an early age.  An encounter with Monroe at age twelve was a pivotal moment in the young musician’s life, and aside from being a masterful cowboy singer and fine fiddler, Gorman is one of the premier mandolinists in the style of Bill Monroe.  In 1977, Skip recorded his first album of old-time cowboy songs and fiddle tunes, Powder River, which, along with his Trail to Mexico (1983), was among the very first attempts by a folk revivalist musician to reintroduce the older traditions of American cowboy music. In 1995, Gorman’s Rounder debut, A Greener Prairie, was released to universal acclaim.

Skip has taught at mando camp for several years. For more information, see

Jesse Brock – Faculty Member

jesseBrockWinner of the 2009 IMBA Mandolin Performer of the Year, Jesse Brock has spent a lifetime in bluegrass, starting with his family band at the age of nine, and later with national acts such as Chris Jones and the Night Drivers and The Lynn Morris Band. Jesse first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry at age 11.  He has performed on stages with Ricky Skaggs, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, The Tony Rice Unit, among others. Jesse was an integral part of Michael Cleveland’s two solo albums on Rounder and is a solo artist in his own right, with an IBMA award-nominated CD Kickin’ Grass.  Aside from his touring schedule, Jesse teaches mandolin in Yarmouth, ME, at the highly-acclaimed 317 Main St. Music Community School.

This is Jessie’s first year as a Monroe-Style Mandolin Camp faculty member.  For more information see


Mark Royal, Adjunct Faculty Member

markRoyalHailing from Ohio County, Kentucky, birthplace of Bill Monroe, Mark stays true to his roots as an avid follower of the Bill Monroe mandolin performance style.  An important fixture on the regional bluegrass scene, he has attended several mando camps in the past, and joined the camp as an adjunct faculty member in 2012.


Will Kimble – Luthier

willKimbleBorn in 1969, Will 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.  He is also influenced by his friend and mentor, Lynn Dudenbostel.  Will and his father are inspired by Loar-era Gibsons as they pursue their passion of building mandolins.

Will (along with fellow Luthier Paul Duff) will be providing mandolin repair, advice, and construction and care sessions at mando camp.
Paul Duff – Luthier
paulDuffPaul’s passion for building mandolins was born out of a chance encounter with the music that was to become such an important part of his life – a bluegrass performance in Western Australia.  After building his first mandolin in 1982, Paul became fascinated with the array and diversity of skills, many from a bygone era, required to successfully build a mandolin. In the almost three decades since, he has been focused on refining, developing and applying these skills to his one true passion; the mandolin family of instruments produced by Gibson in the 1920s.

Paul (along with fellow Luthier Will Kimble) will be providing mandolin repair, advice, and construction and care sessions at mando camp.

2013 Monroe-Style Mandolin Camp

2013MonroeStyleCampINFO COPIED INTO A PAGE, this is post-dated to make it non-visible.
September 13, 14, & 15, 2013
International Bluegrass Music Museum
Owensboro, Kentucky
Register Now for Mandolin Camp!


At the 8th annual Monroe-Style Mandolin Camp, you will spend three days with the finest mandolin faculty and luthiers and up to 50 of the coolest mandolin students you’ll find on Planet Earth.

With registration for each camp capped at 50, the camps’ intimate environment allows for ample opportunities to receive personal, hands-on instruction from each of these legends of Monroe-Style mandolin.

The 2013 Monroe-Style Mandolin Camp Faculty is comprised of the leading purveyors of Monroe style and many of them learned directly from and played with Bill Monroe. Our luthiers will be providing on site repair and advice as well as leading workshops of their own. Our camp faculty includes:

  • Mike Compton, Camp Director
  • Richard Brown, Associate Director
  • Roland White, Faculty Member
  • Jesse Brock, Faculty Member
  • Skip Gorman, Faculty Member
  • Mark Royal, Adjunct Faculty Member
  • Will Kimble, Luthier
  • Paul Duff, Luthier


Jam with new friends surrounded by Bill Monroe’s artifacts. Eat great barbeque and discover why Owensboro’s famous for barbeque! Experience rare performances by master musicians, onstage and off. Enjoy a total immersion in bluegrass music’s homeland, history and future at the world’s only bluegrass music museum dedicated to preserving the international history and performance art of bluegrass music… all the while surrounded by rare bluegrass memorabilia. Compare, sell or swap mandolins with other players. Get expert advice from our resident Luthiers and ask for a tune-up for your mandolin while you’re there. Be part of the museum and let it become an integral part of your life and music.

This is the last year that our Mandolin Camp will focus solely on Monroe-Style. We invite you to immerse yourself in the techniques passed down from the father of bluegrass himself.

The tuition fee for 2013 is $500 ($450 for museum members) and includes:

  • Private room for Friday and Saturday nights at The Sleep Inn of Owensboro.  Your reservations will be held in our block, listed in your name by the time you arrive. If you want a smoking room, please be sure to indicate that when you register, otherwise all rooms are non-smoking.
  • Friday evening meal and Saturday lunch. Please eat before you arrive on Friday. Classes begin at 1 PM. Breakfast will be available at The Sleep Inn on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday lunch is on your own.
  • Camp T-shirt
  • Camp Poster
  • Admission to the All-Star Faculty Concert on Saturday evening

Register Now for Mandolin Camp!

More Camp Info:

Please call the museum at:
or email

Town Mountain Concert – October 20, 2013

Town MountainSOLD OUT!

Join us at the International Bluegrass Music Museum on Sunday night, October 20, 2013 for a benefit concert by Town Mountain, from Asheville, North Carolina.

Banding together in 2005, Town Mountain is Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals, Robert Greer on lead vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, and newest member Jon Stickley rounds them out with his steady bass and rock-solid guitar and vocals. They share the kind of easy-going friendly bond that relays itself through their music. One listen to their instantly memorable songs, and it’s plain to see why Grammy-winner Mike Bub would align with the group to produce Leave the Bottle as well as 2011’s Steady Operator, both through Pinecastle Records. Banjo player extraordinaire and longtime member of the Sam Bush Band, Scott Vestal, also joined the team by engineering the new album, which was recorded at Digital Underground Studio in Nashville, TN.

The concert will begin Sunday night October 20 at at 7:00 PM. Tickets are only $20 and include a performance from this award winning group, hors d’oeuvres, and refreshments from Gambrinus Libation Emporium, and Country Boy Brewing. Call 270-926-7891 to reserve your spot!

To reserve a ticket, please call 270-926-7891. Don’t wait too long because seating is limited.

Music Lessons – Spring 2013


Dates are not yet set for the spring semester, but they will be approximately the same as in 2013 below.

Spring Flier 2012

Music lessons with professional instructors take place every other Saturday morning … Fall 2013 lessons begin on October 26.  Stay tuned for more information!

Classes fill up up quickly. If you would like to add your name to the list, click here to email the museum.  More information will be posted here shortly.

1st Thursday of the Month Jams

Come jam at the International Bluegrass Music Museum each first Thursday of the month at 6pm! The jam is for musicians of all levels who play traditional bluegrass instruments. See you there!


Hours of Operation

Regular hours:
Tuesday - Saturday
10am-5:00pm CST
1pm -4pm CST

Closed on Mondays

Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day.


Museum members always get in free
Adults / Seniors: $5
Students: $2
Children under age 6: free
Group Rates: Call 270-926-7891
Special pricing & event packages are available for tours or groups.
Call 270-926-7891 to arrange a unique trip, live performance, or guided tour:

Enjoy the Museum!

888-MY BANJO (toll-free)

Museum Entrance
117 Daviess Street
Owensboro, KY 42303
between the Ohio River & 2nd Street

Mailing Address
International Bluegrass Music Museum
207 East Second Street
Owensboro, KY 42303

Facility Rentals
email Carly Smith

Gold Membership Payment Plans
email Gabrielle Gray

Artifact Donations
email Gabrielle Gray

email Chris Langdon

Gift Shop Manager
email Chris Langdon

email Beth Tibbitts