View Full Version : Hannah Johnson, 2018 MonManCamp Video Scholarship Winner

Mandolin Cafe
Mar-25-2018, 8:31am
The Monroe Mandolin Camp has selected Hannah Johnson of Foster City, MI as the winning entry in their Video Scholarship competition. Hannah played "Get Up John." Info about her from the camp, but first, her video entry:


A little about Hannah in her words:

I first heard what might be called “Real” Bluegrass in 2012, when I saw a video of the Nashville Bluegrass Band performing “Lee Highway Blues” at Fisk University in Nashville. This immediately interested my brother Sam, sister Lydia and me. We instantly loved the sound and since we were from a musical family, (who, however, hardly knew what Bluegrass was), we decided we could try to produce this sound ourselves. We had already been singing in harmony since young ages, so the style was a natural fit.

We dove headlong in, and devoured anything with the words “Bluegrass” on it. We did not have any internet or TV, being from a rural and quite old-fashioned household, so we learned from older CDs at our library, “Bluegrass Classics” books from our local music store, and so forth. When we could get online, we looked anything Bluegrass up. We became slightly addicted to Del McCoury and the Nashville Bluegrass Band. Of course, one cannot be interested in these things in any sort of an in-depth fashion and not soon become acquainted with the name “Bill Monroe.”

We went on a trip to our state’s capitol the next year, and were staying with folks we knew. I saw, on their antique-filled bookshelf, a box: the complete Colombia recordings of Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys. I instantly asked if I could look thru the package, and included was a booklet (with pictures and history) and several cassette tapes. The owner very generously offered them to us to keep. I was elated. This started our quest for more information and history. Neil Rosenburg’s books were soon purchased and devoured. We got Ronnie McCoury’s teaching DVD, which made us fall head over heels with Bill’s driving and aggressive mandolin style. I learned many licks from that and from Mike Compton’s playing with the NBB. Many of the new mandolinists, while I respected them greatly, made me so irritated, for the simple reason that they had almost completely left behind the style of the very Founder of Bluegrass himself. Of all the things to drop about Bluegrass!

In 2016, we took a short pilgrimage to Kentucky/Tennessee. Highlights included a powerful tour of the Monroe Homeplace, conducted by Mr. Tom Ewing, with whom we have corresponded ever since. His deep respect for Mr. Monroe influenced us greatly. This led us to the Bill Monroe reader and the knowledge of what this music meant to Mr. Monroe, and fueled our already strong desire to carry on this wonderful sound.

We have spent much time, energy and money in our pursuit of excellence, and think that attending the Monroe Mandolin Camp will greatly help toward that goal. We would also get to meet and play with other pickers (something we’ve never done). Our hope—whether realistic or not—is to make a living as Bluegrass Musicians, if possible. We are working toward that as our time and incomes allow.



Mar-25-2018, 8:40am
Congrats! From the video I would think she might be teaching at the camp rather than attending. Powerful stuff.

Daniel Nestlerode
Mar-26-2018, 8:40am
Great stuff! A shoo in!


Elliot Luber
Mar-26-2018, 12:17pm
A well-earned reward.

Mar-26-2018, 3:17pm
Thanks, folks! :) I'm so excited to attend Monroe Mandolin Camp...I've heard so much about it, and everyone who's been there loves it! I'm so glad to know Bluegrass is in good hands with folks like Mike & Heidi keeping the flame.


Mar-27-2018, 7:56am
Awesome picking, Hannah! Can’t wait to hear about your experience at the camp!

Mar-27-2018, 11:34am
Awesome picking, Hannah! Can’t wait to hear about your experience at the camp!

I agree and am overjoyed to see a Up-er* win this scholarship! Congrats Hannah!

* colloquial term for residents of Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Northwest Steve
Mar-28-2018, 2:28pm
Holy smokes.... congratulations. Great playing and keep on pickin.

Mar-30-2018, 10:54am
Congrats! From the video I would think she might be teaching at the camp rather than attending. Powerful stuff.

Thanks for the kind words! Glad you enjoyed it!

Mar-30-2018, 10:55am
Thanks, Steve! :) I'm excited to be able to attend!! Sounds like so much fun!