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Blue Ridge Music Center to host virtual conference on women in music

Blue Ridge Music Center to host virtual conference on women in music

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Join lively discussions, mini-concerts, and presentations by women musicians and industry leaders during an online conference Friday, Feb. 26, titled "A Place in the Band: Women in Bluegrass & American Roots Music."

The event, hosted by the Blue Ridge Music Center in Galax, Va., runs from noon to 4 p.m. and will explore multiple topics related to women in music.

Those topics will include what women bring to the table, how to create more and better opportunities, the importance of mentorship, and promotion and support of issues such as equal pay and representation.

Alison Brown, Grammy and IBMA award winner and co-founder of Compass Records, will kick off the conference with music and the keynote address.

Panelists include musicians Cathy Fink, Leyla McCalla, Missy Raines, and Annie Staninec.

It also will include industry professionals, Jamie Katz Court (communications and programs manager, PineCone), Kimberly Glick (tour manager and audio engineer, Willow Pool Productions), Trisha Tubbs (event producer, Wintergrass and IBMA), and Lisa Schwartz (festival and programming director, Philadelphia Folk Festival, and president, Folk Alliance International).

Piedmont singer-songwriter Laurelyn Dossett will help facilitate the discussions.

To register for the conference, go to and click on events.

There is no mandatory fee to register for the conference. Registrants are asked to make a suggested donation of $25 to support "A Place in the Band" programming.

Contributions of any amount are appreciated and complement the generosity of the project sponsors and supporters: the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Blue Ridge Parkway/National Park Service, National Endowment for the Arts, National Park Foundation, and The Bluegrass Situation.

All participants are being compensated for their participation in the conference and donations will help to offset the participant fees. Donations can be made at, or by texting MUSIC to 833-705-1234.

The conference is part of "A Place in the Band: Women in Bluegrass and American Roots Music," a project by the Blue Ridge Music Center that began in 2020, honoring the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote.

It follows the release of 10 video interviews with female musicians and music industry professionals that premiered in January on the Blue Ridge Music Center’s YouTube channel, with links posted at

Conference Schedule (all times are EST)

Noon: Welcome remarks, short set by Alison Brown

12:15 p.m.: Keynote address (Alison Brown)

12:45 p.m.: Short set by Cathy Fink and excerpts from the interview series

1 p.m.: Panel 1 — Discussion with women industry professionals: Kimberly Glick, Jamie Katz Court, Lisa Schwartz, Trisha Tubbs

1:45 p.m.: Short set by Missy Raines and excerpts from the interview series

2 p.m.: Panel 2 — Discussion with female artists: Cathy Fink, Leyla McCalla, Missy Raines, Annie Staninec, facilitated by Laurelyn Dossett

2:45 p.m.: Short set by Annie Staninec and excerpts from the interview series

3 p.m. Panel 3 — Kimberly Glick, Lisa Schwartz, Trisha Tubbs, Cathy Fink, Leyla McCalla, Missy Raines

3:45 p.m.: Short set by Leyla McCalla and wrap-up.

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