AUDIO: Outlaw Run Wooden Roller Coaster/Silver Dollar City Train Whistle/Screams from Riders of Giant Swing.
Producer Mike Smith: “On the NW edge of Silver Dollar City, near where the Silver Dollar City Railroad passes underneath the Giant Swing and the Outlaw Run wooden roller Coaster, sits Silver Dollar City’s largest indoor performance state; the 800 seat Opera House Theater, site of the annual KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest. The 15th such event was held at The Opera House over the Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday May 28th.”
Audio: Young Man from Riegle Family Band Singing Dooley, by The Dillards.
Mike Smith: “Of the 22 bands from 9 states which competed, 5 were awarded prize money from Silver Dollar City, totaling $4,000. 5ht Place went to The Foust Family from Vanita Ok.; 4th Place to The KBA Treblemakers, from Wichita Ks.; 3rd Place honors went to The Russell Clan from Guthrie Ok.; 2nd Place was awarded to Kentucky Drive, from Mayfield Ky.; and the contest’s 6 judged awarded top honors in the 15th KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest to The Baker Family of Birch Tree Mo.”
DA Callaway is Silver Dollar City’s Talent Coordinator, Bluegrass &BBQ Festival Coordinator, AND Person in Charge of the KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest: “We had a marvelous time didn’t we? We had 800 adoring, loud, wild, rambunctious fans, and that Opera House was rockin’! We call the event a contest, but after all is said and done, who wins or who places 2nd or 3rd is not that important. The fact that we are sharing what we love about life with each other….The cultural heritage is alive and well in America at functions like this.”
Norm Farnum is father to the young members of The Farnum Family Band from Galena Mo., which has competed in the contest for the last 8 years: “It’s something that you can take with you for the rest of your life, this music, this family music and this family environment that Silver Dollar City has rooted itself in and has grown tremendously. It’s a blessing to be a part of this.”
Dan McLemore is father to the young members of Rusty Nail Crossing, from Michigan City Indiana. “The favorite part of being here for this contest is the commonality it gives to the kids. When our kids are out for the rest of the year, and they go home and talk to their friends, there’s not always an understanding of what we do, and of the music, and what it means to travel. But when they come here, they’re with a hundred other kids who speak the same language and know exactly what they do. And even as parents, we also have that common ground. As parents we can trade those experiences and trade those stories, and help build one another.”
Mike Smith: “YouTube videos of the KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest are posted on-line, and in the years leading up to the 2016 contest, there have been well over 700,00 views of the event. And on Saturday June 11, KSMU’s Seldom Heard Music (7pmCT on KSMU-FM & ksmu.org) will feature the contest performances of the top 5 bands.”