Exciting news this week from The Texas Folklife Apprenticeship Program, Austin, Tx:
Ella and Mr. Robert Herridge ("the little fiddler" of Gilley's, "Urban Cowboy" fame) were selected into the Master/Apprentice "Folk and Traditional Arts Program." They were selected "from a pool of highly qualified applications by a panel of esteemed professionals and Folk Life staff." This organization specializes in the accordion-based traditions found in the state of Texas and special consideration was given to Polka and Zydeco applicants--a reason we were pleasantly surprised.
What this means for Ella, is she will have the awesome opportunity to train under Master Robert from March - September 2017. The program will provide support to offset the costs of his time and training, travel and supplies. The goal of this program is for master artists ("finest practitioners of their craft") to help the apprentice improve his/her skills and work with the community to help carry on the cultural tradition.
Special thanks to Gary McKee, Editor of Polka Beat Magazine, for telling us about the program and encouraging us to apply.
Oh happy day!
P.S. I read the email from Texas Folklife to Ella when I picked her up from school Wednesday. She was so excited, and the first words out of her mouth were, "Thank you God for putting it on their hearts to choose me."