story[2012 DESCRIPTION] In the summer of 1978, a month after graduating from high school, Alison Brown took first prize at the Canadian National Banjo Championship, landing her a one-night gig at the Grand Ole Opry. By the time Alison Krauss asked her to join Union Station, in the late 1980s, Brown had an illustrious decade of solo performing behind her. Today she heads the Nashville-based music label Compass Records while performing internationally to a wide-ranging and loyal fan base. Compass is a great partner of FreshGrass, participating in the inaugural FreshGrass Award (for which Alison is a juror) and supporting the festival in myriad ways, and Alison will be teaching a banjo workshop for the second year in a row.