Charlotte Folk Society logo celebrating 30 years

Dedicated to promoting the ongoing enjoyment and preservation of traditional and contemporary folk music, dance, crafts and lore in the Carolinas Piedmont,
since 1982.

Swannanoa Gathering Logo

Charlotte Folk Society and Tosco Music
2018 Swannanoa Gathering Scholarships

A partnership with the Swannanoa Gathering
at Warren Wilson College
Youth Scholarship Info and Forms:   Guidelines || Application || Release

The Charlotte Folk Society (CFS) and Tosco Music are pleased to announce that the 2018 Scholarships to the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College are now being offered to five youths and two adults. Named youth scholarships include those honoring Marilyn Meacham Price, founder of the Charlotte Folk Society; William Thomas Covington, a former CFS president; and the late Anne Spychala. The Spencer-Bryant Adult Scholarship honors Sara Spencer, for many years the Music Department faculty sponsor of CFS at Central Piedmont Community College, and the late Gene Bryant, long-time chair of the Music Department at CPCC.

The scholarships will be fully funded through a partnership between CFS, Tosco Music, and Warren Wilson College. The scholarships cover tuition ($555) provided by CFS and Tosco Music, and room and board ($435) provided by the college, for a total scholarship of $990 to each recipient. The Anne Spychala Youth Scholarship is fully funded ($990) through a grant to the CFS from the Anne Spychala Family Charitable Foundation.

The scholarships are to be awarded to students of acoustic music, either instrumental or vocal, who are performing at the intermediate or advanced level. The scholarships are a one-time award for any one of the following 2018 Swannanoa Gathering Music Workshops at Warren Wilson College:

  • Traditional Song Week, July 1 - 7
  • Celtic Week, July 8 - 14
  • Old-Time Week, July 15 - 21
  • Contemporary Folk Week, July 22 – 28
  • Guitar Week, July 22 – July 28
  • Fiddle Week, July 29 - August 4
  • Mando/Banjo Week, July 29 - August 4

Transportation will be the responsibility of the student.

All applicants must:

  • be between the ages of 12 and 21 for the youth scholarships, and 21 or older by February 1, 2018 for the adult scholarships
  • either be a member of the Charlotte Folk Society or Tosco Music
  • submit a completed application by February 12, 2018
  • submit a letter telling of your interest in acoustic music, why you would like to receive the scholarship, and how your attending the Swannanoa Gathering might benefit the community
  • you may also submit a letter of recommendation from your teacher or mentor, provide a brief history of your involvement with folk arts, along with supporting documentation
  • submit a non-refundable fee of $10 to the Charlotte Folk Society with the application
  • return the signed liability release form that accompanies the application (signed by a parent or guardian if the applicant is under 18 years old) giving the applicant permission and holding CFS and Tosco Music blameless in the event of any liability
  • attend an interview and audition to take place at 2:30 PM on Sunday, February 18, 2018 in the Myers Park Baptist Church Education Building, 1900 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC. The applicant may have one accompanist during the audition. Auditions must be in person. No exceptions to the time and place can be made.

Application materials are available and can be downloaded from the CFS website, the Tosco Music website (, or by contacting Mark Clemens at 704-345-2634 or email Swannanoa Gathering class schedules and other information can be found at

Completed applications and letters should be mailed with the $10 fee to the following address by the February 12th deadline: The Charlotte Folk Society c/o Mark Clemens, 20521 Bethelwood Lane, Cornelius, NC 28031.

Auditions for the scholarships will take place and the winner will be determined on Sunday, February 18, 2018.

All applicants will receive a 2018 CFS membership. The winners will receive a certificate of completion of the course on stage at Warren Wilson College in a special ceremony. Both youth and adult first and second runners-up will receive awards valued at $50 and $25, respectively. In the event that the winner is unable to attend, the next runner-up will be awarded the scholarship. The winners will be given an opportunity to perform for the Charlotte Folk Society and/or a Tosco Music Party at some time after the Swannanoa Gathering.

Applicants will not be judged on the basis of religion, sex, ethnic background, economic status, or physical challenges.

CFS, Tosco Music staff, members of the CFS and Tosco Music Boards of Directors, and any staff, or Board members’ immediate family members are not eligible to receive scholarships. Judges, their students, and their family members are not eligible to receive scholarships. Youth judges: Ron Ellis, David Fee, Phyllis Fulton, Julie Dean. Adult judges: Mark Clemens, Tom Covington, Ivi Bilich, and DeWitt Crosby.