HoustonFest to award grants and scholarships

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Last year's scholarship winners will perform in a special showcase during the music festival, set for May 3-4 in Galax's Felts Park.

Last year’s  Houston Caldwell Music Scholarship recipients will be showcased in a special performance during this year’s festival.
Last year’s recipients — Jared Boyd, Brandy Miller, Danielle Yother, Daniel Greeson and Catherine Conner — will perform during HoustonFest 2013, which is scheduled for May 3-4 at Felts Park in Galax.
HoustonFest is organized and presented by Galax Volunteer Fire Department and community volunteers.

Student musicians received awards at HoustonFest 2012 that were applied toward tuition fees for workshops, camps and private lessons.  Each student will be showcased with an individual performance, as well as a group performance.
The Houston Caldwell Scholarship Program is part of the HoustonFest mission “to provide inspiration and avenues for regional youth to pursue their artistic endeavors preserving the musical heritage of the region,” according to a news release.
Caldwell, who passed away on April 30, 2010, was only 18 years old, but his musical legacy, passion for the continued growth of the local musical heritage and his spirit of community service live on as the event organizers continue to fulfill his vision.
HoustonFest Mission is:
• To honor Houston’s spirit and legacy by transforming lives through the power of music and community service.
• To provide inspiration and avenues for regional youth to pursue their artistic endeavors preserving the musical heritage of our region.
• To provide support to the Galax Volunteer Fire Department.
Work to sustain Houston’s incredible legacy in an enduring way by providing support to young people.
A percentage of HoustonFest profits will be earmarked for scholarships to individual youth and grants to non-profit traditional music programs.  Funding levels will be determined at the discretion of the Houston Caldwell Scholarship Committee.

Individual Scholarships
Individual applicants are selected to receive a scholarship that may be applied to the traditional music education of the recipient’s choice.
Recipients may apply the funds toward traditional music education and can be applied to tuition fees for workshops, camps or private lessons to learn to play traditional acoustic instruments over a continued period of time.
Applicants must demonstrate acceptance to and enrollment in a program of study that fits the criteria.
The Houston Caldwell Scholarships assist with fees for tuition or private lessons with funding level at the discretion of the Houston Caldwell Scholarship Committee. Fees are paid directly to the educational institution, camp, or qualified instructor.
Scholarship winnings must be redeemed within one year of announcement to recipients.
Students/musicians of traditional acoustic music instruments in grades 8 to 12 and high school graduates up to age 21 are eligible for individual music scholarships.  Applicants must be residents of the Central Appalachian Region to include counties in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Application packets must be completed and returned (postmarked) by April 15, including:
• A completed application form
• Two letters of reference from an adult (parents of applicant excluded)
• Standard size CD or DVD recording demonstrating the applicant’s musicianship
• 150-word essay explaining why the applicant would like to win the scholarship and explanation of how they plan to use the scholarship.

Grants to Non-Profit Traditional Music Programs
The Houston Caldwell Scholarship Program will offer opportunities for traditional music programs to compete for scholarships/grants. Funding level is determined by the Houston Caldwell Scholarship Committee.
Organizations must have non-profit status and must be serving youth of Virginia, North Carolina or Tennessee. Preference will be given to applicants in the immediate region including the City of Galax, Grayson and Carroll Counties in Virginia.
Interested organizations should submit a written narrative describing their music program. Narratives must be completed and submitted (postmarked) by April 15 and must include:
• History and objectives of program
• Structure of program, target population and number of children served
• Key artists and organizations involved in the program
• Annual operating expense and projected use of grant money
• Proof of non-profit status
Winners of the 2013 HoustonFest scholarships and grants will be notified by April 30. Official public announcement of winners will be made during HoustonFest 2013.
Recipients will be required to be present at HoustonFest 2013 to receive the award when announced. Artists receiving awards will be expected to perform in the Scholarship Showcase at HoustonFest 2014.  
Go to www.HoustonFestGalax.com for scholarship and grant details and application form, e-mail HoustonFestGalax@embarqmail.com or call (276) 236-9908. Application packets should be mailed to: HoustonFest, Attn: Scholarship Program, P.O. Box 1516, Galax, VA 24333.

HoustonFest, “A  Celebration of Song and Service,” will be held at Felts Park in Galax on May 3-4. For tickets go to www.HoustonFestGalax.com or phone 276-236-9908.