Hazard Community and Technical College student Alan Tompkins has been nominated for the IBMA Bluegrass Broadcaster of the Year Award for his work on the Bluegrass Heritage Radio Show. Tompkins (age 55), born and raised in Madisonville, Kentucky, is presently enrolled at HCTC’s Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music. He plans to complete both the Audio Recording and Bluegrass & Traditional Music certificates by December and the Bluegrass & Traditional Studio Artist Diploma by next May.
When asked about his plans, Alan said that he hopes to “continue playing bluegrass music as often and as well as possible.” He can be found producing great bluegrass music events in the north Texas area through the non-profit Bluegrass Heritage Foundation and also putting great bluegrass music out on the airwaves in Dallas/Fort Worth at KHYI-FM 95.3.
Tompkins appreciates his HCTC education. “I’ve had a wonderful time gaining a stronger academic understanding of the music that I love. The courses are convenient and easy to use, and the faculty and staff are wonderfully helpful and accommodating,” he said.
Dean Osborne, director at the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music, noted, “We are very pleased to have Alan Tompkins in our program. As someone who has already accomplished a tremendous amount in Bluegrass music, Alan still has the desire to study new things and explore different ways of learning. Our online classes have been a perfect fit for Alan to be a part of KSBTM while living in Texas. In addition, we could not be more proud of his nomination as Broadcaster of the Year!”
Tompkins noted, “I was shocked and thrilled to be nominated for this award. Simply being included in a list of amazingly talented broadcasters such as Kyle Cantrell, Joe Mullins, Ronnie Reno, and Larry Carter is an incredible honor,” he said.
Tompkins has an interesting resume. He is the founder and president of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of bluegrass music. He is an avid bluegrass fan and an established banjo and acoustic bass player whose solo album, No Part of Nothin’, was released in 2012. He is Vice President & General Counsel of Unity Hunt, Inc., in Dallas where he manages legal matters for the Lamar Hunt family and their related entities. Alan moved from western Kentucky to Texas in 1983 to earn an MBA, and then went on to become licensed as both an attorney and CPA in Texas. He has served on the boards of several charitable organizations including AFI-Dallas International Film Festival, FC Dallas Foundation, Pegasus Theatre, Dallas Christian Leadership, and For The Love Of The Lake Foundation, and is a former chair of the State Bar of Texas Entertainment & Sports Law Section.
Alan’s love of music began in Kentucky at an early age, and he played southern gospel and country music extensively before and during his college years. With Gerald Jones, Alan co-founded the Frisco Bluegrass Festival (in Frisco, Texas) and Acoustic Music Camp, an annual instructional institute for acoustic musicians. In 2010, together with the City of Farmers Branch, Texas, Alan created the Bloomin’ Bluegrass Festival & Chili Cook-Off, the largest bluegrass event in north Texas, which was nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Event of the Year Award in 2014. Alan is a graduate of the IBMA Leadership Bluegrass class of 2009, has served on the Leadership Bluegrass Planning Committee since 2010, and served as the Committee Chair from 2011-2014. Alan received the IBMA Momentum Award for Industry Involvement in 2015 and is presently serving on the IBMA board of directors.