And the award goes to…
It may not have been the Grammys, but the first-ever North Dakota Music Awards had its share of excitement for a Rugby resident.
Micah Scott attended the Feb. 19 ceremony and show at the Belle Mehus Auditorium in Bismarck. He had been nominated for the honor in two categories, voice and guitar.
Scott has no idea who nominated him.
The competition was the brainchild of URL Radio of Bismarck and was announced in the fall of 2014. It was strictly people’s choice–candidates were nominated online by fans and voting was done on the award show’s website. Except for a couple of categories, nominees had to reside in North Dakota and have their base of operations in the state.
Scott estimates there were 40 categories in the competition, and they were very diverse, including folk, rock, country, Native American music, even marching bands. He was a little surprised to see hip hop very well represented. There was even a category called ‘Bands that Give Back’, one of the nominees for which was a bluegrass group that raised $50,000 for charity.
Some acts were nominated many times, so entries were narrowed down to the top four or five in each category, which were then listed on the final ballot. And some categories were combined because of a lack of nominees. “After this year they’ll have a much better idea of which categories to have,” Scott said.
Like the Grammys, the evening consisted of award presentations and musical performances. “Most performances were by groups not nominated for an award,” Scott said.
Tigirlily, the up-and-coming duo from Hazen with connections to Pierce County, took home many awards, according to Scott. Sisters Kendra and Krista Slaubaugh – who constitute the duo – have grandparents and relatives living in the Wolford area. And Gwen Sebastian, who has relatives in the Towner area and has appeared at the Pierce County Fair, was a presenter. Winners received a plaque on which was affixed a gold record for each award they won.
Long-range plans for the music awards include a Hall of Fame. “They plan to induct two people each year, and in 2019 they will open the Hall in a building in Mandan,” Scott said. Well-known musicians Lawrence Welk and Bobby Vee were chosen this year as the first two inductees.
Even though Scott didn’t win an award he was pleased with the event because he was able to rub elbows with musicians representing wide-ranging styles.
“That part was really eye-opening,” he said. “There were a number of people I knew, but a lot I didn’t. It’s a real service to musicians because you might never cross paths with other genres. You can get into your world and forget that there are other people out there doing other kinds of music. It was really a fun event.”
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