Share America Foundation Awards Scholarship to Tyler Martelli

Image634788805420444573Tyler Martelli, 18, of Hixson, Tenn. graduated from Hixson High School and plans to attend University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

“Until I was a freshman, I played electric guitar listening to Rock and Roll,” he said. “Then a friend of mine invited me one night to the Mountain Opry on Signal Mountain. This was my first encounter with bluegrass music.

“I began to regularly sing and perform there and fell in love with the Appalachian style music,” he said.

He eventually joined Mountain Cove Bluegrass Band, a group of Signal Mountain youth. He initially played guitar but soon took up the mandolin and later the harmonica adding both to the band’s stage show. He also sings with the group. For more information, visit www.mountaincovebluegrass.com.

“Bluegrass has no doubt affected my life in a huge way,” he said. “ Playing and singing in front of so many people has helped me to be more comfortable speaking in crowds, and I can be more open when performing.

Tyler said he plans to use the  $1,000 scholarship towards his educational needs to get a degree in music with a focus in music therapy.

“The most rewarding thing about playing bluegrass is the fans,” he said. “It has given me the opportunity to perform at places I would’ve never dreamed.

He won the harmonica contest at Smithville Fiddler’s Jamboree. While in high school, he played clarinet and drum and was part of the Hixson High School Marching Band. He also plays guitar at Battlefield Baptist Church in Fort Oglethorpe.

Tyler is the son of Mary Martelli and Anthony Goodner, both of Chattanooga, Tenn. 


About Share America

Promoting the traditional music sounds of Appalachia in our youth is the major focus of the Share America Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501-C3, operating from Catoosa County, Ga.

"We are just now beginning to explore all the areas in which we might encourage young people's interest in the true music of our region," said Randall Franks, president, former "In the Heat of the Night" co-star who played "Officer Randy Goode." Franks' musical styling's have been heard in 150 countries and by more than 25 million Americans. The Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame member's career boasts 17 album releases, 17 singles, and over 200 recordings with various artists from various genres. In addition to his solo career, Franks is a former member of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, Jim and Jesse's Virginia Boys and has performed with Jeff and Sheri Easter, The Lewis Family, the Marksmen, "Doc" Tommy Scott's Last Real Old Time Medicine Show and Doodle and the Golden River Grass.

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

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