Congratulations to Jack Baker of London, England

Winner of the 1st Annual Mon Man Camp Video Scholarship Competition

competition-posterHe wins a full scholarship—including tuition, lodging, meals and t-shirt—to the September 9–13, 2015 Mon Man Camp.

A difficult process for the judges, one said, “It was great fun, and required real concentration and reflection.” Based on total points for playing and essay answers, a clear winner emerged: Jack Baker of London, England.

If for any reason Jack is unable to attend, we will announce the next runner-up—the points were very close for the top 3!

Mike and I would like to personally thank each of you for your submissions and entries, which came not only from around the U.S., but the world—it’s encouraging to see so many Monroe enthusiasts! Thank you all for your efforts, time investment, and contribution to this competition. We proudly support and invite you to attending the camp this year, or anytime in the future.

Keep playing, keep practicing, and keep keeping Monroe’s music alive in your life and community.

Heidi Herzog

The Winning Video and Essay Questions

Jack’s video:

Jack’s answers to essay questions:

  1. Why is the Monroe Mandolin Camp, and the study of Bill Monroe’s music, and traditional bluegrass mandolin music important?For me, bluegrass music, and particularly the music of Bill Monroe, is everything that music should be. It deals with the full spectrum of human emotion and can elicit the full spectrum of human feeling. The distinctive sound, pioneered by Monroe, is what allows it to do that, whether in the form of songs or instrumental numbers. The study of the mandolin is important as it’s the instrument played by the man who, more than anyone, led to the development of bluegrass as a genre; in my opinion, his style of playing allows you to get closest to the music in its rawest form, featuring the drive, speed, delicacy, precision, and the blues/old time/Scotch-Irish musical influences that give bluegrass instrumentation its characteristic feel. Specifically, I feel most enthusiastic about learning, sharing and preserving Bill Monroe’s myriad instrumental compositions that are, as far as I’m concerned, some of the most unique and creative pieces ever composed, and stand as an indication of his singular nature amongst musicians of any genre or time period.
  2. Why do you want to come to Mon Man Camp?Bluegrass is also a style of music firmly rooted in a cultural identity and geographical location, and I feel that if you want to understand the music fully, you need to experience and understand the history of the peoples and places that led to its development. I come from London, England, and have lived there all my life, and the opportunity to come over to the US to learn at first-hand about the music I love in the area it originated and from musicians, professional and amateur, with a much closer personal and cultural connection to the music than I have, would be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
  3. What do you expect to take away from the camp?I feel I would gain a much more authentic appreciation of bluegrass music in general, and Bill Monroe’s mandolin style in particular, by attending an event like the Monroe Mandolin Camp and learning from who knew Monroe himself or who have a much closer personal connection to the history of the genre and the places it came from. I’d also love to make some of my own connections to other musicians from around the world who feel the same as I do about the music of Bill Monroe and his style of mandolin playing, and hopefully contribute in my own way to keeping both alive as an art form in order that future generations can hear and appreciate the incredible music that Bill Monroe created.