Old-Time Music and Dance Award

Old-Time Music and Dance Award

We are delighted to be home of an endowed fund dedicated to nurturing research, study, and preservation of old-time music and dance, through the generosity of well-known Bloomington practitioners in these traditions, Linda Higginbotham and Bradley R. Leftwich. The donors’ hope is to help sustain an interest in old-time music and dance among Indiana University students and faculty and to encourage connection to the old-time music and dance community, both locally and beyond. For the purposes of this fund, old-time music is defined as follows:

Old time music is a traditional music that developed primarily from a mingling of British Isles and African traditions, emerging over the last few centuries in the rural southeastern United States but spread through migration, and later, through commercial recordings, across much of the country; it is a music featuring stringed instruments, especially fiddle and banjo, and one often associated with dancing.

The intent of this fund is to highlight the more traditional end of a folk tradition that has been much affected by commercialization and artistic innovation. Support will be directed toward research, especially by Indiana University students, but also to concerts and performances, publication, preservation, support for artists, and academic symposia and workshops.

With the establishment of this fund, we can anticipate the continuance of a strong interest in old-time music and dance that has been a feature of this department since, at least, the days of the Pigeon Hill String Ticklers.

Past winners

  • 2020-2021: Jennie Williams (Community Music Participation in Rural Southern Indiana)
  • 2019-2020: Donald Bradley (Transnational Tradition: Identity, Community, and Performance in Japanese Old-Time Music Scenes)
  • 2018-2019: Kelly Bosworth (“Migracious Music”: Mobilities Paradigms in the Charles L. Todd and Richard Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, 1940 to 1941)
  • 2017-2018: Micah Ling (All Dressed Up in Calico: Tradition and Identity in the Dress of Female Old-Time Musicians)
  • 2014-2015: Claire Wright (Old-Time Festivals as Economic Development: A Case Study in Eden, NC)
  • 2013-2014: Meghan Smith (Pickin' Styles + Community: A Study of Old Time Banjo at the Festival)
  • 2012-2013: Doug Peach (“Enduring On: The Legacy of Ola Belle Reed”)
  • 2011-2012: Colin Justin (Genre and Performance Context at Fiddler’s Conventions in North Carolina and Virginia)
  • 2010-2011: Timon Kaple (Music and Nostalgia on Lower Broadway, Nashville, TN)
  • 2010-2011: Cullen Strawn (The Life and Tunes of Joe Dawson: Indiana Farmer, Carpenter, and Old-Time Fiddler)
  • 2009-2010: Thomas Grant Richardson (The Carolina Chocolate Drops: African-American Voices, Past and Present, in Old-Time Music)