HCTC Alumni Spotlight: Lindsey Branson | HCTC

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HCTC Alumni Spotlight: Lindsey Branson

girl in front of a microphone with a guitar

Lindsey Branson graduated from Hazard Community and Technical College’s (HCTC) Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music in 2016. Once she graduated, she attended Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) where she received a bachelor's degree in music business and a minor in entertainment technology.

Branson always had a love for music. She sang songs growing up and taught herself how to play the guitar at the age of 16. When she moved back home after attending MTSU, she began performing in an all-female band called Coaltown Dixie, they perform a mix of folk and country music. She has been with the band for more than two years.

Earlier in May, she performed with the Louisville Orchestra at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg where she would perform a piece called “Home.” In March, she began working on the piece she co-composed with Lisa Bielawa, a Creative Crops Composer in Residence with the Louisville Orchestra. Branson composed the lyrics for the piece, while Bielawa composed the orchestral portion. She performed with the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music’s Dean Osborne and Scott Napier along with their student Paul Wooton.

“The experience was everything and more. I wanted to write something that everyone could relate to, and I thought Home was perfect,” she said. “Home can be a physical place or a building, but it can also be a feeling, a person, a song, or anything you want it to be and it's within every single person,” she noted. “For me, being on stage with the Louisville Orchestra gave me that feeling of home every single night and I will never forget the experience,” she added.

Branson credits HCTC and the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music for preparing her for a successful music career by giving her the opportunity to play and make music with people passionate about their craft.

“I will always appreciate the guidance and the education I received,” she said. “They also care about the students that have graduated and will be there for you when you need them. I'm very thankful for my time and my decision to begin my higher education with them,” she noted.

She serves as the Director of Education at the Appalachian Arts Alliance, a non-profit located in downtown Hazard. She also teaches classes at the organization such as guitar, mandolin and Kindermusik.