HoustonFest 2018


Houston Caldwell; who passed from us on April 30, 2010; was only 18 years old, but his musical legacy, passion for the continued growth of our musical heritage, and his spirit of community service will continue through HoustonFest. The Houston Caldwell Scholarship Program is a key component of the HoustonFest Mission.


A percentage of HoustonFest profits will be earmarked for scholarships to individual youth and grants to non-profit traditional music programs.  Funding levels will be determined at the discretion of the Houston Caldwell Scholarship Committee.

HoustonFest Mission

  • To honor Houston’s spirit and legacy by transforming lives through the power of music and community service.
  • To provide inspiration and avenues for regional youth to pursue their artistic endeavors  preserving the musical heritage of our region.
  • To provide inspiration and avenues for regional youth to pursue their community service goals through continuing education and training (i.e. fire fighting, medical services, law enforcement).
  • To provide support to the Galax Volunteer Fire Department.
  • Work to sustain Houston’s incredible legacy in an enduring way by providing support to young people.

Individual Scholarships

In keeping with HoustonFest’s slogan of “A Celebration of Song and Service” individual applicants are selected to receive a scholarship that may be applied to either:


  • Regional Traditional Music Education
  • Community Service Education/Training


Recipients may apply the funds to tuition fees for classes, training programs, workshops, camps, or private lessons. Applicants must demonstrate acceptance to and enrollment in a program of study that fits the criteria. The Houston Caldwell Scholarships assist with fees for tuition or private lessons with funding level at the discretion of the Houston Caldwell Scholarship Committee. Fees are paid directly to the educational institution, camp, or qualified instructor. Scholarship winnings must be redeemed within one year of announcement to recipients. Students in grades 5 to 12 and high school graduates up to age 21 are eligible for individual scholarships. Applicants must be residents of the Central Appalachian Region. Application packets must be completed and returned (postmarked) by April 30th of the year of application, including:


  • A completed application form
  • Two letters of reference from an adult (parents of applicant excluded)
  • Standard size CD or DVD recording demonstrating the applicant’s musicianship (For a music Scholarship)
  • 150-word essay explaining why the applicant would like to win the scholarship and explanation of how they plan to use the scholarship

download forms BELOW

Mail application to:



Attn:  Scholarship Program


P.O. Box 1516


Galax, VA 24333

Winners of the HoustonFest Scholarships & Grants will be notified by May 30 of the year awarded.


Recipients will be required to be present at that year’s HoustonFest to receive the award when announced.  Artists receiving awards will be expected to perform in a Scholarship Showcase at HoustonFest the year following award.  Official Public Announcement of Winners will be made during HoustonFest.


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