MerleFest’s Acoustic Kids 2014 Wrap-up

MerleFest’s Acoustic Kids 2014 Most Memorable Yet

Read in the MerleFest eNewsletter

Liam Purcell in Acoustic Kids

Acoustic Kids 2014’s Liam Purcell performed on the Cabin Stage.

All-in-all, this was one of the most memorable youth showcase series that we have organized at MerleFest in our thirteen (or so) years of presenting them. We had an absolute blast! With over 70 fine young performers participating, a welcoming audience in attendance, wonderful sound and stage support, and magnificent weather to boot, MerleFest’s Acoustic Kids 2014 was a delight to present.

As you may know, Acoustic Kids Showcases are not contests but rather are opportunities for young performers to show their skills to a supportive festival audience. Young musicians and dancers apply to be a part of Acoustic Kids, and I review each and every application that comes in, select the performers, and set up the showcases so that everyone can shine, whatever their level. This year, we had performers at all levels – over 70 in all – from confident beginners to state and regional champions, and the showcases were very fast-moving and exciting! Check out the Acoustic Kids FaceBook Page for pictures and videos.

Acoustic Kids Anna Rollins

Acoustic Kid Anna Rollins in Friday’s Showcase on the Dance Stage.

Our new showcase feature, Acoustic Kids Ambassadors, brings Acoustic Kids to the main festival audience and gives a handful of our top-level performers a chance to perform on the iconic Cabin Stage. Our ambassadors this year were: The Williams Brothers (Walt and Noah), Blake Lanning, Presley Barker, Liam Purcell, Lauren Kate Hurlocker, Morgan Bullock, Kitty Amaral and John Arters. They put on a top-notch show!

Many thanks to Lauren May for her behind-the-scenes organizing, to Larry Skipper for his unwavering support of young musicians and Acoustic Kids, to TKL World-Class Cases for sponsoring MerleFest’s Acoustic Kids this year, and most of all, to the young musicians who put in the time and effort to hone their skills and then step up and share their music with everyone. As we like to say, “The music is in good handsTM!”