14 July 2017

Dutch dobroist wins US music scholarship

Owen Schinkel (Share America photo: Loletta Lita Grant)

Owen Schinkel, a young dobroist from Meppen, a small village in the eastern Netherlands, has just been awarded the 2017 Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship by the Share America Foundation, Inc. The $1,250 award, given to students excelling in the Appalachian musical arts, helps to support him at East Tennessee State University (ETSU), which has a long established Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music programme in its Appalachian Studies department.

Owen came to the US in January this year and is now resident in Johnson City, TN. Mountain music changed his life at the age of 16, when he found a video of Jerry Douglas and Dan Tyminski playing ‘The boy who wouldn’t hoe corn’ on the Transatlantic Sessions, and fell in love with the dobro sound. He enrolled in ETSU with the dual aims of becoming a master on his instrument and building up a network of contacts to increase the popularity of the music overseas. ETSU encourages students to form bands, and he's already a member of three bands in college and another outside.

'Encouraging the future of youth is the focus of what we do and our name "Share America" has never been more appropriate as we help a young man bring Appalachia with him when he completes his education and returns to Europe,' said Share America chairman Gary Knowles.

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