[testimonial received in 2016 by a parent of a BBS scholarship winner]
My son Thomas, originally became aware of the Boise Blues Society by showing up one day at a jam that BBS was hosting, not even realizing BBS existed at that time. He performed in the public for the first time at a jam session hosted by BBS, and ultimately ended up being a scholarship recipient from the BBS. He plays guitar, and he was only 13 years old at the time that he won the scholarship.
The result of the Boise Blues Society involvement with my son has been vast. I really can’t say enough about the contribution the BBS has made. My son gained exposure in a public setting, that especially at his age, he otherwise would not have had. He won a BBS $500 music scholarship, which in turn allowed him to purchase better music equipment so that he could enhance his quality of performance.
He met the person recommended by the Boise Blues Society, who sold him great quality equipment at a great price, and he made a friend. He met a group of people who share his love of music, and who he was able to perform with to approximately 200 people, at a paid event. He met people who he knows will be lifelong friends, and who encourage him and challenge him, and some of whom he now practices with from time to time.
He had never had a guitar teacher, but the BBS got him involved with a man they recommended, and he is now taking lessons from that man, to improve even more. He was notified of a rare opportunity of a mid-semester opening at the Idaho Fine Arts Academy, because of a person he met through Boise Blues Society, who notified him and encouraged him to audition. He did audition, and was accepted into the Idaho Fine Arts Academy, where he will gain even more experience.
I can honestly say that discovering and becoming involved with the Boise Blues Society, has changed my son’s life. The BBS has made a huge impact on his development as a musician and as a person. They are changing communities by supporting these musicians and providing opportunities that otherwise would not exist. They are great role models demonstrating professionalism, sharing their knowledge, encouraging and showing support to musicians, and the list could go on. I will be forever grateful to the Boise Blues Society for their impact on my son and on me!
Below is Thomas onstage at the November 2015 edition of the BBS monthly Blues Jam, with a group of veteran Boise Blues musicians, including lead singer Bob Kohnke (aka Jake Blues of the Blues Brothers Tribute band). All pretty heady company for a 13-year-old guitar player!
See this video post of Thomas with fellow scholarship winner Zack Quintana at the January 2016 Blues Jam. Thomas and Zack will be part of the headlining band at the 2016 BBS Fat Tuesday Celebration and Fundraising for the Blues in the Schools program.