Grant Award Information and Application

The Nora Candey Memorial Songwriting Grant was established after Nora’s passing in 2020. This grant exists to encourage songwriters of all levels. Distributed funds are intended for in-person or online classes, lessons, workshops, books, etc., to develop your music or lyric writing.

Think you don’t have anything to say? You’re mistaken. Joe Newberry, an acclaimed songwriter, and advisor on this grant, sometimes starts his writing workshop by asking attendees to write down what they did the previous day. In that, a seed often emerges. It might be a phrase, an emotion, an image, or simply a word. 

Music assimilates the experience of its audience if it is to remain vital and evolve.  It keeps the timeless themes relatable even as the symbols and sensibilities that gave rise to the music fall further away from our daily lives.

Songwriting breaks hearts, builds worlds, empowers, and seeks the truth. If you have tried it, want to but aren’t sure where to start, or are already creating songs, this grant is for you. To create something that would never have existed if not for you is something to take pride in, even if no one ever knows.

Nora Candey was a song writer, multi-instrumentalist, fiber artist, and active member of the OBA. Its purpose and its people meant a great deal to her. This community changed her life. Finding a voice as a songwriter might change yours just a little bit too. 

You can hear some of Nora’s music at for free. Any proceeds since her passing go to further this grant. 

Online Application Form

Download Application Form

Funding & Donations

If you would like to donate to one of the grants, you can do so through a secure Paypal link here. Select the Grant you wish to support from the drop-down menu. Or, if you prefer, you can mail a check or money order to

Oregon Bluegrass Association, c/o (Grant preference), P.O. Box 1115, Portland, Oregon, 97207

Past Recipients List


Megan Alder is a vocal powerhouse performing upbeat swing and Americana music.  She delivers her original songs with raw grit and soul.  Influenced by artists like Billie Holiday and Bonnie Raitt, Alder leads her band with fearless flat picking.  She performs as a solo artist with live loops and kazoo flare. 

She will use the funds from the Nora Candy Songwriting Grant to attend my first songwriting workshop.

Rachel Harrington is a singer-songwriter with five full-length studio albums to date and 4-star reviews from Mojo, Q, Uncut, Utne Reader, The Irish Times, and others.

Rachel will use the Nora Candey Songwriting Grant to attend the 2023 Rocky Mountain Song School from Planet Bluegrass under the tutelage of longtime Berklee College of Music songwriting professor, Pat Pattison.