GALAX, Va. — When the awards were given out after the recent Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention, musicians from Mount Airy and surrounding communities were well represented.
Local residents placed in a number of individual and band competitions during the 83rd-annual convention held in Felts Park, which concluded on Aug. 11.
The event drew local and regional competitors along with musicians from a number of U.S. states and foreign countries. Total attendance was estimated at 40,000.
Top-10 winners in individual categories for adult events were recognized along with top-15 winners among bands, and the top five for youth categories. There were 23 different competitions in all.
• Eric Marshall of Mount Airy captured second-place honors in the folk song category, with Tommy Nichols of Mount Airy third. Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro, Tennessee, was the winner of that competition.
• Marsha Todd of Mount Airy was another top-five local competitor, taking fourth place in the clawhammer banjo event. Adam Beshears of Elkin was 10th. The winner was Jared Boyd of Fries, Virginia.
• Donnie Scott of Mount Airy was fifth in the dobro contest, won by N.R. Taylor of Wytheville, Virginia.
• Greg Jones of Mount Airy took home fifth-place honors for the mandolin, and Todd Hiatt of State Road, sixth place. Eli Wildman of Floyd, Virginia, was judged the best mandolin player overall.
• Barbara Bowman of Mount Airy won 10th in dance competition, with Brett Martin of Elk Creek, Virginia, taking first.
• Shohei Tsutsumi of Elkin took first place in dulcimer competition, which also included players from Norway and Australia among the top 10.
This area had no entries among the top 15 in the bluegrass band category, but three Mount Airy-based groups were eighth, ninth and 10th in old-time band competition, The Slate Mountain Ramblers, The South Carolina Broadcasters and The New Smokey Valley Boys, respectively.
The Beaver Creek Boys of Hillsville. Virginia, won the bluegrass band contest, with top honors in the old-time category going to The Music Hollow String Band of Galax.
• Molly Widner of Fancy Gap, Virginia, took home second-place honors in the youth folk song event, won by Karlie Keepfer of Sparta.
• Brody York of Mount Airy was fourth in the youth guitar category, with the winner Ethan Handy of Christiansburg, Virginia.
• Kamron Nunn of Westfield won fourth place in youth bluegrass fiddle competition, with first-place honors captured by Ruth Shumway of West Jefferson.
The best-all-around performer for this year’s Galax fiddlers convention was Aila Wildman of Floyd, Virginia.
Prizes of $20,000 in cash, trophies and ribbons were offered at what is billed as the world’s oldest and largest convention.