First Lady of Pennsylvania Judge Marjorie Rendell recently announced this year’s Governor’s Arts Awards Honorees, and Del McCoury has been named Artist of the Year. The Award will be presented April 8 in Del’s hometown of York, PA.
The annual awards are a 29-year gubernatorial tradition honoring outstanding Pennsylvania artists, arts organizations and patrons who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the arts.
Del McCoury began his illustrious career just 50 miles from York in the bars of the Baltimore waterfront. Now, more than 50 years later, the one-time farm boy has taken Bluegrass music across the country and around the world, earning widespread acclaim as its foremost ambassador by balancing a profound immersion in its traditions with a wide-open appeal to listeners young enough to be his grandchildren. A staple of the mid-Atlantic bluegrass scene for decades, he built a reputation and influenced up-and-comers like Alison Krauss while raising his family in the same area where he grew up. Starting in the early 90s, Del blasted onto the national scene, earning dozens of awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association and NARAS, appearing at venues as varied as Carnegie Hall and the Bonnaroo Music Festival with his own band and with artists ranging from Phish to Dierks Bentley, and accepting induction into the world-acclaimed Grand Ole Opry cast in 2003.
Yet whether he’s entertaining a youthful audience numbering in the hundreds of thousands, appearing at a hard-core traditional bluegrass festival or presiding over his own freewheeling DelFest, McCoury has become universally acclaimed as a bluegrass patriarch whose commitment to musical excellence is surpassed only by his geniality and easy rapport with listeners. And though his career has led him to reside near Nashville, TN, Del remains proud to call York County home, and still maintains his Civil War era farmhouse a few miles out of town, where he sneaks away when his schedule allows.
Here’s a full list of the awards Governor Rendell will present at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 8, at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center in York: (more…)