The Rising Artist Award
FocusMusic is pleased to announce that applications for the Heyman Rising Artist Award are open! Last year, FocusMusic created this award to recognize and support an up-and-coming artist. Our inaugural recipient, Goldpine (formerly My One and Only) are gaining rave reviews for their new CD, “ONE” that was funded in part by this award.
Vic and Reba Heyman were more than the ultimate folk music fans. For decades, they attended concerts and festivals across the nation, supporting artists with their energy as well as financially, earning them the affectionate title of “folk angels”. Their generosity in things both tangible and intangible was career changing for many artists, especially those early in their careers.
In their spirit, this award recognizes and supports a rising individual or group in the folk community. Eligibility includes performers that have only one initial release* and have not previously won or placed (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) as a new artist in a national music competition. Applications must include two You Tube links of a live performance and a statement from the artist summarizing their background and vision of themselves as it relates to folk music. Winner will receive a $1000 award to be used towards an upcoming recording with a planned release within the next year.
There is no fee to apply. To submit an application, fill out the application on this page! (if the application is not visible, please follow this link) Applications close April 30, 2023. The winner will be announced in the Summer of 2023.
*For the purposes of this award, FocusMusic considers a “release” to be either a physical or digital body of work of at least 30 minutes in length released as a single product.
2023 : Tina Ross!
Focus Music is pleased to announce Tina Ross as the 2023 recipient of the Heyman Rising Artist Award. Focus Music created this award to honor the legacy of Vic and Reba Heyman, folk angels who supported and promoted countless artists.
Focus Music is dedicated to bringing folk and acoustic music to a growing audience through virtual and in person performances in the greater Washington metropolitan area.
Tina has emerged in her “Act Two” as a dynamic singer songwriter after first act gigs as a mother, wife, grandmother, chiropractor, nutritionist, advocate for raising awareness of food insecurity and hunger, public speaker, vocalist in a jazz trio, and a forever hopeful fan of music. All these experiences enrich her songwriting and performances.
Tina had to overcome challenges before she could fully explore a songwriter career. After being accidentally hit in the throat, she could not talk for more than five minutes without her voice frying. Singing was out of the question. She worked through this successfully with doctors, physical therapists, and vocal coaches. Then, after she injured her hands as a chiropractor, she searched for a way to adjust her guitar playing to the limitations of this disability. Open tunings became an essential part of Tina’s music, opening
sonic landscapes that she would not have imagined without that adaptation. This discovery resulted in distinctive, nuanced textures in her guitar playing.
A quiet, elegant fierceness runs through her songs, speaking to wonder, humility, doubt, defiance. They are imbued with vulnerability as well as mastery. And like Tina, they are a testament to giving it one’s best shot. Her debut album, “While I’m Here” was released in February2023. Focus Music is happy to support her next effort with this award.
The Rising Artist Judging Panel also named Gabrielle Zwi as the runner up. Gabrielle is an up-and- coming musician in the Washington, DC area who masterfully performs folk-pop and bossa nova in songs about love, identity, and the issues we collectively face.