The 45th annual Ashe County Bluegrass and Old Time Fiddlers Convention held last weekend at Ashe County Park brought top notch musicians and enthusiastic audiences together for two days of traditional music.
Performers from North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and beyond competed in the Adult and Youth categories of Old Time and Bluegrass Individual and Band competition categories. Prize money totaling $4,350 was awarded.
The Ashe County Arts Council was the sponsor of the 2014 event following the lead of the Rotary Club of the Jeffersons who began the Fiddlers Convention in 1969. The Arts Council’s commitment to celebrating the musical heritage of our region and to encouraging the preservation of the tradition of bluegrass and old time music was the motivating factor in taking on the sponsorship of the event. Proceeds from the Fiddlers Convention will support the Junior Appalachian Musicians program (JAM) which encourages Ashe County’s youth to be an active part of the music of the region. Young people ages 16 and under competed in both the Youth and Adult categories.
2014 Adult Winners:
Bluegrass Band: First, Groundspeed of Todd; Second, Line Drive of Jefferson; Third, Hard Tymes of Millers Creek; Fourth, Dry Fork of White Top, Virginia; Fifth, Open Road Bluegrass of Mocksville.
Old Time Band: First, Crooked Road Ramblers of Crumpler; Second, Cabin Creek Boys of Lansing; Third, Trade Hill Hoppers of Banner Elk; Fourth, Bromide Ramblers of St. Paul, Minnesota; Fifth, High Ridge Pickers of West Jefferson; Sixth, Reckon Hollers of Winston Salem.
Dance: First, Madison Shepherd of West Jefferson; Second, Erica Testerman of Lansing; Third, Liam Purcell of Deep Gap.
Folk Song: First, Lynn Powell of Mocksville; Second, Debra Jean Sheets of Vilas; Third, Sierra Wilson of Fleetwood; Fourth, Ehukai Tevis of Bryson City; Fifth, Jacob Greer of Jefferson.
Dulcimer: First, Steve Kilby of Mouth of Wilson; Second, Wayne Seymour of Reidsville; Third, Jean Callison of Mouth of Wilson; Fourth, Ehukai Tevis of Bryson City; Fifth, Fred Reynolds.
Autoharp: First, Penny Kilby of Mouth of Wilson; Second, Wayne Seymour of Reidsville; Third, Rhonda Jane Meadows of Roan Mountain, Tennessee.
Bass Fiddle: First, Lloyd Richardson of Warrensville; Second, Tommy Nichols of Mount Airy; Third, Lynn Powell of Mocksville; Fourth, Karen Reynolds of Glendale Springs.
Old Time Banjo: First, Kelly Breiding of Crumpler; Second, Trish Fore of Galax; Third, Randy Sheets of Vilas; Fourth, Robbie Anders of Galax; Fifth, Brien Fain of Stuart, Virginia.
Bluegrass Banjo: First, Brandy Miller of Fleetwood; Second, Steve Lewis of Todd; Third, Eric Hardin of West Jefferson; Fourth, Andy Lowe of Winston Salem; Fifth, Tyler Thompson of Hampton, Tennessee.
Mandolin: First, Eric Hardin of West Jefferson; Second, Scott Freeman of Todd; Third, Greg Blevins of Marion, Virginia; Fourth, Dean Bledsoe of Creston; Fifth, Austin Greer of Marion, Virginia.
Dobro: First, John Powell of Mocksville; Second, Dan Rourke; Third, Danny Hargis of Huntersville; Fourth, Jim Reynolds of Glendale Springs.
Guitar: First, Steve Lewis of Todd; Second, Eric Hardin of West Jefferson; Third, Presley Barker of Traphill; Fourth, Steve Kilby of Mouth of Wilson; Fifth, Jacob Greer of Jefferson.
Old Time Fiddle: First, Kilby Spencer of Crumpler; Second, Annie Spring; Third, Erica Testerman of Lansing; Fourth, David Burns of Banner Elk; Fifth, Robbie Anders of Galax.
Bluegrass Fiddle: First, Crystal Shipley of Kingsport, Tennessee; Second, Kilby Spencer of Crumpler; Third, Sarah Lemons of Charlotte; Fourth, Scott Freeman of Todd; Fifth, Chris Testerman of Lansing.
2014 Youth Winners:
Old Time Band: First, Ashe County JAM Band of West Jefferson.
Bass Fiddle: First, Katie Jones.
Old Time Banjo: First, Madison Shepherd of West Jefferson; Second, Robbie Anders of Galax; Third, Brittany Osborne of Jefferson.
Bluegrass Banjo: First, Carter Wilson of Fleetwood; Second, Trajen Wellington of Jefferson; Third, Seth Pritchard of Jefferson.
Mandolin: First, Liam Purcell of Deep Gap; Second, Madison Shepherd of West Jefferson; Third, David Brown of Fleetwood.
Guitar: First, Presley Barber of Traphill; Second, Ellie Jones.
Old Time Fiddle: First, Robbie Anders of Galax; Second, Liam Purcell of Deep Gap; Third, Ruth Shumway of West Jefferson.
Bluegrass Fiddle: First, Ruth Shumway of West Jefferson; Second, Liam Purcell of Deep Gap; Third, Sam Tsolis of West Jefferson.
Support for the Fiddlers Convention came from Stage Sponsors: AEV and Scott Harris Guitar; Gold Level Sponsors: Boondocks Brewing, Fleetwood Max General Store, Greenhouse Craft Shop, Mountain Aire Golf Club, Northwest Lawn Care, Quilt Square Girls, Reeves Law Firm, Roten Insurance Company and WKSK; Silver Level Sponsors: Ashe County Ford, Badger Funeral Home/Ashelawn, LifeStore Bank, New River Outfitters and Vannoy Construction Company; Bronze Level Sponsors: Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation, Mountain Aire Seafood, The Mountain Times, Scott Brothers Heating and Air and Weaver Equipment; Copper Level Sponsors: Appalachian Music Shoppe, Dan’l Boone Inn and Restaurant, Dr. Pepper, McDonald’s of West Jefferson, Priscilla L. Norris, CPA and High Country Family Medicine. Grant support for the Ashe JAM program comes from a Folklife Grant from the N.C. Arts Council.
For additional information about the Ashe County Bluegrass and Old Time Fiddlers Convention check the website at www.ashefiddlersconvention.org or contact the Ashe County Arts Council at 336.846-2787.