Michael Furry is the 2023 RockyGrass Flatpick Guitar Champion
Michael Furry is the director of the Lamont Bluegrass Ensemble and Building Coordinator for the Lamont School of Music.
And now, he's also the 2023 RockyGrass Flatpick Guitar Champion.
The RockyGrass Music Competitions are traditional bluegrass competitions that began at the First Annual Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festival in 1973. Instrumentalists can compete in flatpick guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro, and fiddle. They take place at The Planet Bluegrass Ranch located just northwest of the historic downtown area of Lyons, CO.
Furry first entered the competition in 2016, "on a whim," as he put it. He still won second place, and said, "It was at that moment that I knew I could win the competition if I really put serious thought and effort into it. Since then, I’ve worked on arrangements every year. It took me 7 years to accomplish this goal. I guess the 7th time is the charm!"
Over the last seven years, Furry has placed 2nd three times and 3rd once. He has made it to the final round five times.
"It feels good to finally get to the finish line," he said. "I’m grateful for the work that it required me to put in: creating arrangements, learning and searching for new music and ideas, and the people I’ve connected with along the way.
Furry was backed in his performance by Casey Cormier, who also happened to back him for the first time in the 2016 competition. He is grateful to Cormier and to his wife, Darcy Koehn, who he says has "been there for every…single…competition."
Furry's prize for wining the competition was a Preston Thompson D-MA Guitar. He said, "I’m looking forward to putting the new guitar into action around the front range. Let’s pick!"