For 30-years old & under


Each year the Austin Friends of Traditional Music awards a scholarship to promising musicians and dancers who wish to further their studies of old time music and dance by participating in the Swannanoa Gathering’s Old-Time Music and Dance Week. This is held on the campus of Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa NC, just east of Asheville, NC.  Swannanoa Old Time Week offers a rich variety of hands-on classes with masters of fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, autoharp, as well as traditional singing styles, and Old-Time dance.        

Musicians and dancers from the Austin area, 30-years old or younger, may apply and will be selected from the entries to attend master classes at the annual Old-Time Music and Dance Week of the Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, North Carolina, tuition and lodging provided by the scholarship. (Awardees under 16 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian)


OLD TIME WEEK  held in late July

Old-Time Music & Dance Week at the Swannanoa Gathering explores the deep and rich music, dance, and singing traditions of the southern Appalachian region through a wide variety of classes taught by an experienced and supportive staff. The many diverse offerings enable students to add to their skills and knowledge as well as explore playing other instruments, dance opportunities (clogging, square dance), and singing (harmony, ballad, shape note). The Teen Gathering is a class specifically for teenagers. Students enroll in as many as three regular classes during the week, and each afternoon a variety of short workshop topics are offered during the Potluck Sessions. The daily midday Communal Gathering features well-known master musicians, singers, and dancers from across the Appalachian region. Evening activities include faculty concerts,square dances every night, jam sessions, singing, , clogging, and the popular Honky-Tonk Night! 

For more information on the Swannanoa Gathering, and Old-Time Music and Dance Week, visit


Please submit a description of your interest in traditional music, background, and why you think you ought to be chosen for a chance to learn from the masters. With the exception of proof of age, this information may be e-mailed.  Please send a scanned copy of a birth certificate, a drivers license or other appropriate I.D. as proof of age via U.S. mail.

Travel expenses, and any other costs associated with attendance are the sole responsibility of the selected applicant.

Submit your entry for the AFTM scholarship by December 1 to:

Austin Friends of Traditional Music
P.O. Box 49608 
Austin, TX 78765.

OR by email:

For more information about the scholarship, CONTACT: 
Jeanne DeFriese,

Helping the next generation to learn the music, not so much as a way to make a living as to make life itself worth living.

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Past Recipients

Zephyr Yellman (2019)

Alexa Bender (2018)

Tim Auld  (2017)

Britt Irick (2016)

Rose Griffith (2016)

Mira Dickey (2016)


April Eason (2015)

Ian Stewart (2015)

Matt Harmon (2015)

Josh Moore (2013)


More about Josh and Isaiah...

Isaiah Sibi-Hackney (2013)


More about Josh and Isaiah...

Eliana Salinas (2012)


A letter from Eliana....

Bren Koch (2012)


A letter form Bren...

Sara Cottingham (2011)


Sara Goes to Swannanoa...