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Volume 26, Number 6 — June 2019

ACMA Establishes Leon Kiser Scholarship at ETSU

The ETSU Bluegrass Band performs at ACMA's Mountain Music Museum in Bristol, Va.
The ETSU Bluegrass Band performs at ACMA's Mountain Music Museum in Bristol, Va.

March 02, 2010

BRISTOL, VA — The Appalachian Cultural Music Association (ACMA) recemtly announced their newly established Leon Kiser Scholarship at East Tennessee State University.

The announcement was made on February 18, 2010 at the ACMA's Mountain Music Museum in the Bristol Mall to an audience which included members of the late Leon Kiser's family. The East Tennessee State University Bluegrass Band provided music for the event under direction of interim director Daniel Boner.

The new scholarship will benefit students who are enrolled in ETSU's Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Program which now boasts a four-year degree in this curriculum.

"We are very pleased to announce this new scholarship in the name of the late Leon Kiser, who worked very hard for decades promoting bluegrass music," stated Tim White, president of the ACMA, a non-profit organization. "The Leon Kiser Memorial Tribute Committee recently met with the folks at ETSU's Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Program and explored starting a new scholarship and naming this scholarship after a gentleman who did so much during his lifetime to perform, share and spread the gospel of bluegrass music to others. He always was a friend to musicians...young and old, he believed in the music he played and the many songs that he wrote about life here in East Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia. He always had a smile on his face.... he really did! And I think he would be smiling today if he could be here."

The ACMA presented a check in the amount of $1,000.00 as "seed money" for the scholarship. In accepting the check, Jim Hunter, chairman of the Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Program's advisory board at ETSU. said, "We are very appreciative to the ACMA and their continued support of our music program at ETSU. This scholarship is very important and will help our students tremendously."

The ACMA promises that the scholarship will be endowed to the required $10,000.00 level by the end of this year, and the first ACMA Leon Kiser Scholarship will be awarded in 2011. "Our board of directors and membership has set this as our goal, and we will fulfill this objective in 2010." stated White.

The Appalachian Cultural Music Association is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Its mission statement reads: "The ACMA is a non-profit organization preserving and promoting bluegrass, old time, gospel, classic country, and Appalachian style music and provide education through jam sessions, instructional workshops, concerts, community festivals and provide a musical alternative to traditional school bands. To support the Pickin' Porch, Song of the Mountains, Mountain Music Museum, the Carter Fold and other venues of like ideas."

For information on ETSU's Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Program or to make a contribution to the newly established Leon Kiser scholarship, please contact Karen LeBlanc Sullivan, Director of University Advancement, East Tennessee State University, P.O. Box 70721, Johnson City, TN 37614; call 423.-439-6969 or visit