The International Bluegrass Music Association will honor adjunct professor Michael McLain and his family with its Distinguished Achievement Awards for their pioneering contributions to bluegrass music. The IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Awards will be presented at a Special Awards Luncheon on Sept. 26 during IBMA’s World of Bluegrass events.
McLain teaches guitar, mandolin and banjo at Belmont and led the University’s Bluegrass Ensemble for more than a decade.
The McLain Family Band began performing in 1972. One of the first bluegrass bands to perform with symphony orchestras, the group performed in more than 80 countries for the U.S. government as “America’s Ambassadors of Traditional Music.” The band hosted a festival in Berea, Ky. for 13 years, and the siblings recorded more than a dozen albums on their own Country Life Records label. Fans will remember Raymond W. McLain as a banjo player with Jim & Jesse and mandolin player with Reno and Harrell, and Michael McLain on guitar and banjo with the Claire Lynch Band.