More than 100 compete at fiddlers' convention
By Heather Canter from Ahse Mountain Times
With singing, dancing, banjo picking and everything in between,
Bluegrass and Old Time music lovers got to enjoy the dulcet sounds they
love over the weekend at Ashe County Park.
The 42nd annual Ashe County Bluegrass and Old Time Fiddler's Convention took over the park in Jefferson on Friday and Saturday. Area folks and visitors alike competed for more than $3,000 in cash prizes and ribbons while some attendees held impromptu jam sessions throughout the park.
The event came together well, according to Josh Roten, president of the Rotary Club of the Jeffersons. There were a few bands and individual competitors on Friday, but the majority of the performers and bands played on Saturday.
"Attendance improved as each day progressed, and we actually sold out of tickets Saturday and started selling wrist bands for admission," said Roten.
"The weather forecast was against us with a 70 percent chance of rain for Saturday, but we lucked out and just received a little drizzle for about 15 minutes," Roten continued.
The event saw more than 30 Old Time and Bluegrass bands and more than 100 individuals competing.
Final totals for the amount of money raised by the convention were unavailable as of press time.
"I would like to thank all of our Rotarians and their families who helped with the event," said Roten. "Without all of their help, we could not pull this event off."
Roten also said the club would like to thank the Ashe County High School JROTC and Ashe County Parks and Recreation for their help with logistics; Cindy Baucom, known for her Knee-Deep in Bluegrass Program, and Harold Mitchell, who also emcees at the Galax Convention, for emceeing the event; and judges Steve Kilby, Lynn Worth and Butch Barker.
"We want to thank our local newspapers and WKSK for help getting the word out,"said Roten. "We are also appreciative to the businesses in the High Country who advertised in our program and who are always there to help every year."
Roten said the club is grateful to everyone who came to compete and those who came to enjoy the music. Without these people, "we would have no fiddler's convention," said Roten.
Winners of the competition are as follows:
Folk Song: First, Jean Callison; Second, Harry Jones; Third, Chester Ball; Fourth, Sara Pyles; Fifth, Sierra Wilson.
Old Time Band: First, Crooked Road Ramblers; Second, Slate Mountain Ramblers; Third, Hard Cider; Fourth, New River Coots; Fifth, Buck Dancers Choice; Sixth, Sheets Family Band.Bluegrass Band: First, Sons of the South; Second, Southbound; Third, The Dalton Gang; Fourth, Snark Grass; Fifth, The Jordan River Band; Sixth, Bell Branch Boys.Dance: First, Kelly Snider; Second, Chris Testerman; Third, Katie Jones; Fourth, Caleb Broome; Fifth, Laci Broome.
Bluegrass Fiddle: First, Daniel Greeson; Second, Jerry Correll; Third, Danny Castevens; Fourth, Sierra Wilson; Fifth, Chris Testerman.
Old Time Fiddle: First, Kilby Spencer; Second, Troy Parker; Third, Richard Bowman; Fourth, Jerry Correll; Fifth, Daniel Greesom.
Guitar: First, Eric Hardin; Second, Steve Lewis; Third, Glenn Craver; Fourth, Marty Pennington; Fifth, Daniel Wright.
Dobro: First, Roy Bourne; Second, Robert Ellis; Third, Dennis Sheets.
Mandolin: First, Connor Lambert; Second, Robert Steelman; Third, David Murph; Fourth, Caleb Courtner; Fifth, Dean Bledsoe.
Bluegrass Banjo: First, Eric Hardin; Second, Courtney Wright; Third, Brandy Miller; Fourth, Steve Lewis; Fifth, Al Wood.
Bass Fiddle: First, Rozie Randolph; Second, Kevin Miller.
Old Time Banjo: First, Stanley Widener; Second, Trish Fore; Third, W.A. Moore; Fourth, Marsha Todd; Fifth, Brett Riggs.
Old Time Fiddle: First, Tori Jones; Second, Rozie Randolph; Third, Ruth Shumway.Bluegrass Banjo: First, Jacob Johnson; Second, Clint Lemondz; Third, Carter Wilson.Bluegrass Fiddle: First, Rozie Randolph Second, Laci Broom; Third, Ruth Shumway.Guitar: First, Nathan Sykes; Second, Emily Long; Third, Nate Heiner. Old Time Banjo: First, Madison Shepherd; Second, Brittany Osborne; Third, Liam Purcell. Mandolin: First, Tori Jones; Second, Liam Purcell.
For more information about the fiddler's convention, click to ashefiddlers.com.