In late September, Xavier High School freshman Redmond Day traveled with his mother and older brother to Raleigh, North Carolina to attend the Kids on Bluegrass Program for mandolin during the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) World of Bluegrass week-long conference. Redmond had auditioned for the program in May and was selected to join kids up to age 17 from all over the United States.
The program included workshops, seminars, and various performance stages, and Redmond was able to perform with like-minded kids and industry professionals.
Redmond's favorite part of the whole trip was the Awards Show, where he got to see all of the famous bands like the Del McCoury Band, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, and others. He also grew as a musician during the trip, “I played with others for about 10 hours a day and improved my improvisation skills greatly,” Redmon said. “I played more than I had ever at one time, and I got to play with so many talented musicians, which was great.”
Redmond's three biggest takeaways from the trip were how large the Bluegrass community is, how many other kids out there also played bluegrass like he does, and how many opportunities there were for bluegrass musicians. It was an incredible experience for him to be in an environment with all the industry professionals, and to perform with like-minded kids.
The Kids on Bluegrass Program is a great opportunity for young musicians looking to grow their skills and become part of a larger community of bluegrass enthusiasts. With the chance to perform with industry professionals and other young musicians, it's an experience that can't be missed.
For Redmond, the trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that he will never forget. He was able to see some of his musical heroes perform live, and he was able to hone his own skills as a musician. He encourages other young musicians to take advantage of opportunities like the Kids on Bluegrass Program, and to never stop learning and growing as musicians.
As a member of the Xavier High School community, Redmond's experience is a testament to the power of music education. With programs like the Kids on Bluegrass Program, students have the opportunity to learn from industry professionals and to grow their skills in a supportive environment. It's an experience that can't be replicated in a classroom, and it's one that Redmond will always cherish.
Also of note, Redmond was recorded in May of 2023 for Season 27 of WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour in Lexington, KY as the "WoodSongs Kid" and was featured on two songs. The radio aired this summer and has been released in the archive, with the TV episode set to come out this Fall.
Congratulations to Redmond on his amazing experience at the Kids on Bluegrass Program, and we look forward to seeing where his musical journey takes him next.
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