Old-time music and dance award supports research, preservation

Fiddler conventions in North Carolina. Music and cultural heritage archives and special collections. Self-representation and sociopolitical change. And a type of the Latin American folk music known as “nueva canción.”

Kaitlin Justin

What do these things have in common? They’re among the diverse research interests of Indiana University graduate student Kaitlin Justin, the 2011-12 winner of the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology’s Traditional Old-Time Music and Dance Award.

Endowed by longtime Bloomington musicians Linda Higginbotham and Brad Leftwich, the award aims to nurture the research and preservation of old-time music — distinguished by its use of traditional stringed instruments, such as the fiddle and banjo — and dance.

Support is directed toward research, but also to concerts and performances, publication, preservation, support for artists and academic symposia and workshops.

Cullen Strawn playing old-time fretless banjo with Brad Leftwich (fiddle) and Joel Lensch (mandolin).

Justin is seeking a dual master’s degree in folklore, ethnomusicology and library science in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology in the College of Arts and Sciences and IU’s School of Library and Information Science.

Winners of the 2010-11 award were Timon Kaple, a doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology, and newly minted Ph.D. Cullen Strawn, who is now curator of the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.


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