DOBSON — Organizers of the Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention focus on the genre of old-time music, but understand the importance of reaching younger generations.
The long-standing tradition of old-time music has been kept alive by those who pass on the love and the knowledge of the music, and in order to continue the culture and heritage, they say this must continue. With that in mind, youth involvement is the focus at this year's old-time fiddlers convention, which is set to take place on March 28 and March 29 at Surry Community College in Dobson.
“We want to make sure traditional music of this area is carried on through the generations and does not become an archaic, forgotten form,” said event organizer Buck Buckner. “Our goal is to host a community-engaged event tying all ages together so older residents share with the youth.”
Now in its fifth year, the Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention includes a Friday-night dance on March 28 with three bands, and on Saturday the day is full of jam sessions and music competitions, with multiple workshops led by expert artists renowned in the old-time music world.
The Friday-night dance replicates the atmosphere of evenings across the region where people gather in homes and community buildings for music, dancing, socializing, and fellowship. This year's Friday-night bands playing for the dance are Mountain Park Old Time Band, Slate Mountain Ramblers and Back-Step.
Day-long fiddle, banjo, guitar, twin fiddle, folk song, and dance competitions are the highlight of Saturday's activities. Band competitions begin at 6 p.m.
Prizes are awarded in youth and adult divisions for all competitions.
Saturday also features four tap workshops. Noted fiddler Eddie Bond of Virginia hosts the fiddle workshop, and award-winning NPR personality and Surry County native Paul Brown holds a banjo workshop. Guitar virtuoso Chester McMillian of Surry County oversees the guitar workshop. Well-known dancer Dr. Mark Handy presents the dance workshop.
Food is available all day on Saturday at the Knight's Grill dining hall on the Surry Community College campus. Luthiers will have their instruments on display in the dining hall as well.
The fiddlers convetion will also feature cake walks, a quilt raffle, and a 50/50 cash drawing.
The Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. on March 28 and from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on March 29. The fiddlers convention is open to the public on both days. Admission is $5 each day, with children age 12 and under admitted free. Competition contestants are admitted for free on Saturday.
The Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention is a partnership between Surry Community College, Surry Economic Development and Tourism, Surry County Tourism Development Authority, Dobson Tourism Development Authority, and the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce.
For more information about the fiddlers convention, call 877-999-8390 or to to www.surryoldtime.com.