Bluegrass in the News


An Interview with Amanda Lynn McDowell

What are you doing this summer?
I have an internship at the International Bluegrass Music Association in Nashville which is like any other internship - I'm doing ALL the grunt work...but I absolutely love it. I'm also working at the Parthenon, part time, which is a really cool experience. (Mrs. Scruton gives extra credit to those who attend the parthenon...I wonder if she would've given me EXTRA extra credit for visiting AND getting job out of it? Maybe not… Haha.
Are you from Nashville?
I'm not from the Nashville area, but rather Peach Bottom, PA in the heart of "Amish Country". You can imagine between home and Bethel, jumping into "city life" has been a bit of a change. Interstate driving has gotten a lot easier.
What’s your major?
I'm a music business major which means I had to do an internship before my senior year. When I found this out as a first semester freshman my mind immediately went to IBMA (the International Bluegrass Music Association). IBMA is a non-profit organization which helps preserve and promote bluegrass music all over the world. They host an annual week long event which is held at the Renaissance Hotel/convention center and includes a 4 day long business conference with music showcases in the evening as well as a 3 day music festival known as Fan Fest. There's also an awards ceremony right in the middle of the week at the Ryman Auditorium which is like any other awards ceremony - everyone's dressed to the nine's in tuxes and ball gowns everything - it's pretty legit. :)
What do you do at the IBMA?
 I've been in charge of stuffing envelopes, mailing all sorts of things (I mail a lot of stuff to Alison's not nearly as exciting as it sounds haha), renewing memberships, making spreadsheets (something I've been learning since the 7th grade - I finally got to use it!), answering phones, inventory, running the copier to death, organizing papers, helping Photoshop stuff for the website...basically all the grunt work that nobody wants to do or puts off doing until they find someone to do for them. Thing is, I absolutely LOVE it. The people are really great, there's music playing in there all the time and I get to see EVERYTHING that goes into producing the event that I've gone to religiously since I was 14. When this year even rolls around at the end of September I'll be coming back to Nashville to help out with it. I couldn't ask for a better internship.
Would you want to work at the IBMA full time?
If they offered me a job when I graduate, darn skippy, I'd take it in a heartbeat!

What are you doing at the Parthenon?
The days I don't intern I'm working at the Parthenon. I really, really like it there. I've gotten to meet people from all over the world and to be honest, the hours and pay aren't that bad which is definitely a plus! I've learned so much about Greek mythology it is ridiculous...and I only work at the front desk and gift shop! (I wish I would've had humanities NEXT semester - that's one test I would have aced!) It's a lot of fun and I work with some really cool people there too.
So there ya have it. That's been my summer in a nutshell. BUSY BUSY BUSY! In fact, tomorrow will be the first day I'll have had off in 9's veg out time! But while it's been crazy busy it's been extremely fun and full of wonderful learning experiences and life lessons.


An Interview with Zach Tucker

What are you doing this summer?
I’m going to airborne school this month at Ft. Benning, GA to jump out of C-130 planes and I can’t wait!

How or why did you get involved?
I’m in an Infantry unit out of Springfield TN. I got back from Iraq last August. I went to Air Assault School over Christmas break. It was the toughest ten days in the Army; rappelling out of Blackhawk helicopters. I actually had to complete a semester two weeks early to go.