Lyons’ RockyGrass Academy cultivates ‘a living tradition’

Steve Cody and his daughter Maddie Cody, 11, rehearse together along the North St. Vrain River during the RockyGrass Academy in Lyons on Tuesday. See more photos at dailycamera.com. (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)

Steve Cody and his daughter Maddie Cody, 11, rehearse together along the North St. Vrain River during the RockyGrass Academy in Lyons on Tuesday. See more photos at dailycamera.com. (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)

It was the second day of school Tuesday morning for 238 adults and 36 kids admitted by lottery to the sold-out, four-day RockyGrass Academy at the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons.

The lucky students left their campgrounds carrying mandolins, banjos, guitars, fiddles, basses and dobros across slightly muddy fields, heading to class under large tarps set up along the St. Vrain River.

In its 21st year, the school is held each summer prior to the RockyGrass music festival, which begins Friday.

The popular academy attracted 370 applicants from 35 states and several foreign countries, from which 274 students were selected. Approximately 70 percent of them are from Colorado.

Students receive daily instruction in playing music, building an instrument, singing or songwriting, and also choose from an array of electives such as Clogging, Slapping the Bass, Pete Seeger Tunes and Techniques, Intro to Clawhammer, or Guitar Thievery in Songwriting.

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