Behind the Scenes at International Bluegrass with Katherine Coe (October 2012)

Alison Krauss Katherine Coe

There is something special about each “first” in life, which always holds a special place in your heart. This week was my first time at World of Bluegrass, the annual Business Conference, Awards Show, and Bluegrass Fan Fest for IBMA, and it was quite the way to be initiated as a new staff person! 

The first CD I ever owned was Alison Krauss’ Now That I’ve Found You. I played those 12 songs so much that my uncle bought me my first CD player and another CD: I’ve Got That Old Feeling, also by Alison Krauss. Jump forward about 15 years to my college graduation day when I kissed my parents goodbye and drove over 400 miles to Nashville. I had never been to the city, but I knew that it was where I needed to be to start the career I was anxiously anticipating. By the end of the month I set up my first internship interview and walked out of an office with a copy of -- you guessed it -- Paper Airplane, the latest CD by Alison Krauss, in my hand. The next day I started my first day of work with Denise Stiff’s management company. I spent a crucial year watching, listening, and learning from her before I got my first full time job with the International Bluegrass Music Association. 

This past Tuesday, Alison joined us in the Center Hall at the Nashville Convention Center for a special performance, and I flashed back to the first lines of the song I’ve sung along with her for so long called "Broadway”:

“I stood on faith and the corner of ambition.
I came here to sink or swim,
And to show them all that they were wrong,
And though I never thought I’d make it this far.”

Constantly anticipating what will happen next in my life, these lyrics by Sidney and Suzanne Cox hit me hard. So far my faith and ambition have led me to be a part of an association that brings people from all over the world to share a love of music! What more could I want? And to top it off, I am literally on "Broadway” meeting Alison Krauss for the first time. 

Thanks to all of you who made such an encouraging first impression on my life this week. It has been an amazing welcome as I join the IBMA staff. I finally feel like my "stride is in rhythm to the beat of home, sweet home." This might be the last year in Nashville for the World of Bluegrass, but I will always remember it as my first!

---Katherine Coe,
IBMA Media & Administrative Assistant