July 30th Trivia Question

This Contest is Closed
The winner is Vinny Nugent


Today’s question is about two large bluegrass associations. The International Bluegrass Music Association – IBMA; and The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America – SPBGMA.

Both hold an annual festival and awards ceremony in large city hotels. IBMA in Raleigh NC, and SPBGMA in Nashville.

What is/are the key difference(s) between the two organizations?

A. IBMA is a professional business organization that welcomes fans as non-voting members; SPBGMA permits all members, especially fans, to vote.
B. IBMA was formed by a small group of bluegrass professionals/business people to help the bluegrass industry expand and prosper world-wide. SPBGMA was formed by a show promoter to PRESERVE traditional bluegrass music; he considered SPBGMA to be “his” business. Both organizations are now non-profit.
C. IBMA and SPBGMA have interlocking boards of directors. Whoever wins an award from IBMA in September wins the same award from SPBGMA in February.
D. SPGMA is a more or less “regional” organization of the mid-west US (HQ in Missouri). IBMA takes pride in the INTERNATIONAL aspect of their organization.
E. The IBMA annual meeting is considered a paradise for pickers and jammers. SPBGMA’s annual meeting in February in Nashville does not permit picking and jamming in the hotel.
F. IBMA and SPBGMA both have banned electric bass, drums, and “plugged-in” bluegrass instruments and ear monitors for stage performers.
G. SPBGMA schedules many “business” conferences during their annual meeting. IBMA is all music all the time.
H. IBMA is older than SPBGMA
I. All of the above
J. A, B, and D
K. A
L. C
M. E
N. F and G


Additional Bowden Comments
Good job Vinny.

Answer C is a no; there is no interlocking board of directors. Would never happen! IBMA award winners are much more likely to be “contemporary/progressive” especially recently. SPBGMA is PROUDLY focused on traditional bluegrass.

Answer E is wrong, because there is also spacious jamming at the IMBA annual convention. Jamming at SPBGMA takes place in a somewhat smallish hotel lobby — it is very crowded and a cacaphony of noise!

Answer F is wrong. SPBGMA steers much more to the traditional side and in the past actually did ban electric basses. Even now they’re not wild about them. IBMA on the other is nearly “anything goes”. I personally stopped attending after the first year in Raleigh NC because more bands than not were performing “plugged in” and swanning about the stage like rock ‘n’ rollers.

G is wrong because it’s backwards. IBMA is the one that holds a full schedule of business-oriented meetings, seminars, tutorials, etc. IBMA is at heart a BUSINESS organizations.

H is backwards; SPBGMA is smaller but older by a few years.

IBMA “World of Bluegrass” is generally held near the end of September — currently located in Raleigh NC (which puts on a HUGE welcome!). SPBGMA typically meets around the first week of February in Nashville, which just about completely ignores it. If you’ve never been, you should go at least once. Both are a real “experience”.

Dick Bowden

Dick Bowden recently retired after a 45 year career in the paper industry, and moved from Connecticut to Big Indian NY (Ulster County) where he ekes out a precarious existence as a groundskeeper. Dick has been performing bluegrass music on banjo and guitar since 1966 in his home state of Maine, throughout New England, and internationally with The Case Brothers - Martin & Gibson. He has performed for HVBA with the Old Time Bluegrass Singers, and also sent in a squadron of Dick Bowden's Flying Circus. Most recently Dick has played Dobro (tm) with the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. Dick has written many articles for Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Today, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass magazine) and HVBA.

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