Share America Foundation Chooses Dobro Player For Scholarship

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Owen Schinkel jokes with the audience about how he is adopting a Southern accent since starting school in East Tennessee
Owen Schinkel jokes with the audience about how he is adopting a Southern accent since starting school in East Tennessee
- photo by Loletta Lita Grant

The Share America Foundation, Inc. announced its 2017 scholarship winner at Ringgold’s Patriot Hall in Ringgold.

The events help fund the organization’s Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship. Pearl and Floyd Franks are the late parents and former entertainment managers of actor/entertainer Randall Franks, "Officer Randy Goode" from TV's "In the Heat of the Night." The scholarship honors students excelling in the Appalachian musical arts.

“The call of Appalachia reaches around the world,” Mr. Franks said. “Our latest scholar is the perfect example of how someone from Holland found their way to Appalachia to study and change the direction of their life.”

Dobroist Owen Schinkel of Johnson City, Tn. was selected as a Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship Designee. Designees receive a $1,250 scholarship from the organization continuing his music studies. While in Ringgold, he also appeared on the long-running Ringgold Opry at the Ringgold Depot and toured the region’s historical sites meeting many locals and tourists.

“I greatly appreciate the opportunity that Share America and all those who support its efforts have given to me,” Mr. Schinkel said.

Mr. Schinkel is a freshman musician at East Tennessee State University as part of the Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies program in the Appalachian studies department. He is an international student from The Netherlands. He came to the U.S. in January 2017.

“The focus is preserving the Appalachian traditions and culture and of course its music,” he said. “Moving to East Tennessee and studying Bluegrass, Old Time and Country music is a big step in my career learning and understanding this Appalachian music and its culture.

“I’ve got two main education goals for the time I am in the United States. One is to become a master on my Instrument by playing with a lot of people in a lot of different situations,” he said. “ETSU is actually making this possible. Before I was never able to play serious bluegrass music with people from my age. While here, I’m jamming almost every day. I’m thinking about missing this when move back to Holland again.”

He said his second goal is to build up a network of friends/musicians/promoters to increase the popularity of Bluegrass, Old Time & Country music overseas.

“I fell in love with mountain music when I was 16 years old, it changed my life,” he said. “I stumbled over a video from Jerry Douglas and Dan Tyminski playing the song ‘The Boy Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn’ on the Transatlantic Sessions.

“After doing some research I found out that Jerry was playing a Dobro, I immediately fell I love with the sound of the Dobro and knew I wanted to play that instrument,” he said. “I purchased a Dobro and started my journey. Several years of practice brought me where I am now: The United States of America. A part of the study at East Tennessee State is the participation in student (Bluegrass) bands.”

He is already participated in three school bands and an outside band.

“Being part of four bands since my arrival is a lot of fun. I feel my playing progress every day since my arrival in the United States,” he said.” My heart and mind are telling me to pursue my dreams, and that is what I am doing right here, right now.”

“Encouraging the future of youth is the focus of what we do and our name Share America has never been more appropriate as we help a young man bring Appalachia with him when he completes his education and returns to Europe,” said Share America Chairman Gary Knowles.

Share America Foundation Board members include Mr. Franks, Mr. Knowles, Jimmy Terrell, vice chairman; James Pelt, secretary; and Jerry Robinson, Sr., vice president.

The next Sacred Sounds Fridays is Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. featuring the Hullender Family and Testimony Quartet at the Ringgold’s Patriot Hall. Admission is a $10 donation. Mr. Franks will host the event.

For more information about the organization and its programs, contact Share America, P.O. Box 42, Tunnel Hill, Ga. 30755 or visit www.shareamericafoundation.org .

From left are Share America Secretary James Pelt, President Randall Franks, Schinkel, Chairman Gary Knowles and Vice Chairman Jimmy Terrell
From left are Share America Secretary James Pelt, President Randall Franks, Schinkel, Chairman Gary Knowles and Vice Chairman Jimmy Terrell
- Photo2 by Ryan Stinson


CSO Presents Compose Yourself Feb. 11

The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera will present their annual family-friendly symphony event, Compose Yourself, on Sunday, Feb. 11, at 3 p.m. at the Volkswagen Conference Center.  Conducted by CSO Music Director Kayoko Dan and narrated by Carey Shinbaum, Compose Yourself is a 50-minute concert designed to introduce young audiences to the wonders of a symphony orchestra. ... (click for more)

String Theory To Host Annual Family Concert With WindSync

String Theory, in partnership with Lee University and the Hunter Museum of American Art, will host its annual Family Concert on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 1 p.m. at the museum. The concert will feature a special performance with WindSync presenting an interactive and educational retelling of Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” complete with costumes and choreography.  Review ... (click for more)

Snow Reaches Chattanooga on Tuesday Afternoon, But Brings Little Accumulation; Many Schools Closed Wednesday

Snow began falling in downtown Chattanooga early Tuesday afternoon, but there was little accumulation.  Less than an inch of snow was predicted, but a number of schools, courts and events were cancelled on Tuesday. Hamilton County Schools will be closed  on Wednesday  "due to the snowfall in the area this afternoon and dangerous secondary roads reported across ... (click for more)

Young Gets 23 Years In North Chattanooga Murder

Abram "AB" Young pleaded guilty on Tuesday morning to a murder in North Chattanooga and was sentenced to 23 years in prison. Young was 17 at the time of the 2015 slaying of 19-year-old Charles Holsey during a drug deal behind the Kangaroo on Dallas Road. He is now 20. Prosecutor Cameron Williams said the sentence for second-degree murder will be served at 100 percent. Young ... (click for more)

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for stepping-out.  Thank you for your lasting voice to what it's all about. Thank you, Dr. King for  stepping up and also showing-up, ...when decisions were being made and  your refusal  to shut-up.  We find your fingerprints on both directions and toward progress.  your modeling, mentoring,  and reactions helps ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vulgar Trump & More

Nothing rankles me more than seeing obscenities and vulgarity that appears in today’s liberal media, not to dare mention our public forum. Understand, I will use “damn” when no other word will fit as well. I’ll use “hell” as an exclamation point sometimes and I also may quote an aggressor in a story where he threatens to whip another’s “ass.” But our President reached an all-time ... (click for more)