Liam Purcell attends Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy
on Bluegrass Heritage Scholarship
May 6, 2014
The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, as part of a continuing effort to encourage young people to learn to play bluegrass music, provided scholarship assistance to 11-year-old Liam Purcell so that he could attend a day of the Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy this past weekend. Liam was thrilled to meet many of his banjo heroes, including Mr. J. D. Crowe, winner of the Foundation’s Bluegrass Star Award® in 2011.
Liam is from Deep Gap, North Carolina, just two miles from where Doc Watson was born and raised. He plays bluegrass and clawhammer banjo, as well as guitar, mandolin, bass, and fiddle. “I would like to thank the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation and every person who helped to make it possible for me to attend the Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy. I am grateful to be given this opportunity. I like to go to festivals and attend workshops and jams wherever I can. I enjoy teaching banjo and guitar to beginners, so by helping me, you help others to learn as well.”
The scholarship to Liam was part of the Foundation’s Play It Forward!™ program. The program helps foster music literacy and performance skills in deserving young people (ages 8-21) by providing free access to the primary bluegrass musical instruments, including mandolins, guitars, banjos, and fiddles. Several dozen instruments are in presently in circulation as a result of the program. See more on this story at BluegrassToday.com.