The never nervous, always prodigious Acoustic Kids

By Mariah Taylor, Boulder Weekly, August 18, 2016

Read on the Boulder Weekly site  ◊  PDF

Andy May is a soft-spoken man who calls children “youngsters” and adults “folks.” His talent as a musician and teacher is undisputed, but he’s likely best known as the founder of the Acoustic Kids Showcase. The showcase is a non-competitive “Opry-style” performance program that allows musicians [16] and younger to perform on professional stages at festivals around the country.

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Nickel Creek in Acoustic Kids - Walnut Valley Festival - 1995

Sara Watkins: Andy May’s Acoustic Kids

Andy has a remarkable ability to make kids feel welcomed and valued as a person and musical contributors. I’m so glad Acoustic Kids has stayed involved in the community, because not only does it give all these kids good memories, but as they grow up, they’ll remember that their contribution is important. – Sara Watkins (Website)

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ANdy May & the Bluegrass Band at Mount Pleasant, TN, Middle School for the Visual and Performing Arts

Mt. Pleasant, TN, Middle School of the Visual and Performing Arts – School Show

All of us down at Mt. Pleasant Middle School …remember your show as being one of the best we’ve ever had. …It’s hard to hold the attention of middle school kids, and you and your band certainly did the trick.

—Camille Allen, Mt. Pleasant Middle School of the Visual and Performing Arts, TN

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Tennessee Arts Commission, Arts in Education: Andy’s School Program

Andy May has tremendous respect among traditional musicians nationwide. [He] has developed a program that … is devoted to the preservation of American traditional music. …The materials presented in his performances work well with the PBS documentary series “American Roots Music”….

—Hayden Roberts, Tennessee Arts Commission, Arts Education Director

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Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife Program – Andy’s School Program

I thoroughly endorse and encourage your continued work in this area, and I think you’re uniquely situated to help implement future programming of this sort. Every school should be lucky enough to benefit from it.

—Robert Cogswell, Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife Program Director

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