Taylor Sharp ’16 releases short film about brother, folk musician Jacob Sharp ’13 of Mipso

News & Spotlights | September 9, 2022
A man carrying a cased mandolin walks across a pier above water at sunset.
Jacob Sharp ’13 of Mipso (photo contributed by Taylor Sharp ’16)

Taylor Sharp ’16 has released Jacob’s First Mandolin, a short film that tells the founding story of Mipso. The North Carolina quartet was formed by Taylor’s brother, Jacob Sharp ’13, along with Joseph Terrell ’13, Libby Rodenbough ’14, and Wood Robinson (UNC–Chapel Hill ’13).

As Taylor shares through the documentary, Jacob received his first instrument, a mandolin, as the result of a fishing bet with his father in Emerald Isle, North Carolina.

“Growing up in the foothills, string band music was always around, so I was aware but not that interested until seeing its history and how it was tied to all sorts of music before it,” Jacob says in the film. “That’s when I realized that North Carolina had this amazing legacy that it’d given to the rest of the country and world.”

As a high school senior at Freedom High School in Burke County, Jacob was selected as a finalist for the Morehead-Cain. He brought his mandolin to the Final Selection Experience in Chapel Hill, where he met Joseph and Libby.

“Not long after, their band Mipso was born, and the rest is history,” says Taylor, the co-founder, producer, and director of Blue Cup Productions, a television and film production company based in Durham, North Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York. The alumnus runs the independent company with writer and director Holland Randolph Gallagher (UNC–Chapel Hill ’16).

Jacob’s First Mandolin is an entry in the Firsts That Last series. The competition features the works of 12 filmmakers that “bring their North Carolina stories to life.” You can watch and vote for Taylor’s film on Visit NC’s website by September 30.

The video, Queen of Pisgah, is also an entry in the competition, a film by Elliott Childress (son of Karen Rogers Childress ’88) about a pro bike race through the Pisgah National Forest.

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