Austin Scelzo Receives IBMA Mini-Grant

posted in: News, Teacher Feature 0

Wernick Method teacher Austin Scelzo (based in CT) received one of IBMA’s Bluegrass in the Schools Mini-Grants. From the June 2022 issue of the IMBA Foundation Cornerstone:

Check out the video for a message from Danbury, CT-based bluegrass educator and musician Austin Scelzo. The video visits the series of Bluegrass in the Schools programs his band is implementing in Connecticut high schools (Austin is the mandolin player/fiddler in the video). Don’t miss the comments at the end from the orchestra students who participated.

During the month of May Scelzo’s band presented to 100 high school students at South Windsor (CT) High School, and also for 140 high school students at Ridgefield (CT) High School.

More Info!

Austin Scelzo Interview

posted in: News, Teacher Feature 0

Wernick Method teacher Austin Scelzo (CT) is interviewed by at the 2021 Podunk Bluegrass Festival, and talks about playing with Michael Cleveland, his decision to quit his full-time school teaching job to devote himself to a career teaching and playing bluegrass. The interview was conducted by Backstage View, which is hosted Scott Wilkins, an enthusiastic advocate of the Wernick Method and former teacher himself.

More Info!

Larry Kernagis sings national anthem at Cubs game

posted in: News, Teacher Feature 0

Pete says:

“Believe it or not, our esteemed colleague (and Wernick Method teacher who’s taught classes in the most states: 16 states, as well as Ireland, and soon in Canada), JamKazam Man himself, Larry Kernagis, has one of the highest profile music gigs of anyone I know: 23 years of singing the National Anthem at Wrigley Field in Chicago, before a baseball game.

“I knew Larry is a good singer, but I was super-impressed by his a cappella rendition of one of the hardest songs to sing. Not only did he nail the very wide range of notes with apparent ease, he actually sang it soulfully and accurately, without resorting to the acrobatics that some singers apply. Have a listen!”

More Info!

Liam Purcell’s Cane Mill Road wins IBMA Momentum Award

posted in: News, Teacher Feature 0

Wernick Method founder Pete Wernick couldn’t be more proud of Liam Purcell, whose Cane Mill Road band won the 2019 IBMA Momentum Award.

Cane Mill Road’s leader, front man, mandolin and fiddle player, main songwriter is 17 year-old Liam, himself a Momentum Instrumentalist nominee this year. Certified as a Wernick Method instructor at age 15, Liam is the busiest teenager in bluegrass. Along with friend and band mate Tray Wellington, Liam has been mentored by since he was a youngster. Pete reports:

Liam on fiddle preparing to perform at Merlefest, 2014


I first met Liam and Tray as applicants for scholarships for my pre-Merlefest jam camp. Liam was 10, having started with the local JAM program at age 6. A few years later, 15 year-old Tray applied, showing a lot of promise despite playing less than a year.

More Info!

Petr Brandejs Bluegrass CD Czech

posted in: News, Teacher Feature 0

by Pete Wernick

One of our few teachers who teaches WM jam classes to over 60 people a year, Petr Brandejs (pronounced “Peter Brandise”), has not only written a whole book introducing Czech folks to bluegrass, but has now produced a full jam video with songs and instruction in Czech.

Check out the promo video, pun not intended! They even give out solos to the viewer, as we did on the original videos.

Petr informed me from the start that he wanted to create something like my jam videos, covering much of the same instruction, and selecting favorites from the Czech bluegrass jam repertoire. I gladly gave him my approval, and at his request recorded — with the help of Colorado WM teacher Kevin Slick — a carefully-spoken video greeting to Czech bluegrassers.… More Info!