CBA Youth Program

Kids Love Bluegrass

Instrument Lending Library

Megan January with her Lending Library bass

The Kids Instrument Lending Library was the brainchild of Darrell Johnston, past CBA Treasurer.  Darrell had a great love for bluegrass and old time music and was passionate about children learning to play the music. He learned about one young girl’s need for a fiddle, so he purchased a small fiddle, donated it to the girl and the Darrell Johnston Kids Instrument Lending Library began. Darrell passed away shortly after this deed and the CBA decided to formalize a lending program and name it after him.

Since then, Randy January has taken over the library and the inventory of donated bluegrass instruments (guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass, banjo, dobro) has grown. There are now almost 70 instruments in the hands of the children of CBA members. We accept donations of playable instruments needing little repair/set up. The instruments are labeled and then are ready to be put into the hands of children. We have strings, cases, picks, instructional materials available as well. We have member luthiers who assist us with setup and small repairs.

Mandolin Café ( has twice held major events for the library and Mandolin Café is a sponsor of the CBA Youth Program. We welcome other sponsors or donors to step forward to help us get more instruments into the hands of more children. Contact information for the Youth Program can be found in the Contacts section of this website.

Requirements for borrowing an instrument are few: parents must be a current CBA member (go to for joining online) and must arrange for pickup with our librarian. We encourage the child with the instrument to attend one of our festivals each year and check in with us to see if the instrument is still in good playing condition and is being used.  Many families check out a number of instruments until they find the instrument their child wants to play.

Donations are always welcome and, of course, essential.  Donations of instruments or accessories are tax deductible because of our 501(c)3 status.  We will send a letter of acknowledgement but setting an estimated value of the donation is the responsibility of the donor.

Cash donations will be used towards buying instruments and accessories.

Our current Lending Library Librarian is Randy January and he can be contacted at