When the photo above was taken back in March, 12-year-old Williamsburg resident Logan Layman already knew she was heading to north to play the Chicago Blues Festival on June 6 as part of a youth all-star band.
Turns out, she's going to Chicago twice this summer. Her mother, Sandy Layman, called this week to report that the young bass player and singer will attend the Fernando Jones Blues Camp in the Windy City on a scholarship won through an online contest.
Held through the www.fernandojones.com website, the contest was open to student musicians throughout North America ages 11 to 14. Young players entered by uploading audition videos of themselves playing or singing live.
As winner, Logan gets a prize package that includes air fare for two to Chicago and hotel accommodations during the camp session July 14-20. Sandy Layman estimated the value of the prize package at $3,000.
Logan's guitar-playing older brother, Cole, who, like Logan, is part of The UnXpected Band, will attend the camp, too. At 15, Cole was too old to be eligible for the contest and scholarship.
The Layman family will return to the Peninsula to attend the Fernando Jones Blues Camp session being held at The American Theatre in Hampton July 22-26.
What's more, The UnXpected band recently won a grant that will allow them to rehearse and record music for a forthcoming EP.
That's a lot of activity for a crew of young musicians. Sandy Layman said she's careful not to push too hard and to leave time for summer rest and relaxation.
"Logan wants to do it all," the mother said. "It sounds great on paper, but I know she’s going to want to do some relaxing, too, going to the pool and hanging out with friends and being a kid ... I’m not one of those pageant moms ... I compare myself more to a soccer mom or football mom. I just want to support them, with what their interest is and what their passion is."
Sandy Layman works at a special education teacher at J. Blaine Blayton Elementary in Williamsburg.