ASU Fiddlers Convention Feb. 7-8
The Appalachian State University Old-Time Fiddlers Convention
has expanded to two days this year.
Hosted by the student-run Appalachian Heritage Council, the 2014 event will begin this Friday evening, Feb. 7, with a performance by the Green Grass Cloggers and a square dance at Legends.
Saturday, Feb. 8, features a full day of activities, all taking place in the Plemmons Student Union on campus. Events include the fiddle competition, as well as other contests for guitar, mandolin, banjo, flatfoot dancing, folk song and string band. Simultaneous with the contests will be a luthiers gathering, a handmade arts and crafts market, music and dance workshops and plenty of room for open jamming for all who wish to bring their instruments and participate.
Later on Saturday night, there will be a concert by the Sons of Bluegrass and The Crazy Water Crystals at Legends.
All of the daytime events on Saturday are free to the public.
For those who wish to participate in the musical instrument contests, registration will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, depending on the instrument category, in the foyer outside the Summit Trail Solarium in Plemmons. Registration costs $5. In the guitar, banjo and fiddle groupings, there will be a separate youth category for those 16 and younger. For a competition schedule and more details, visit http://fiddle.apps.appstate.edu.
The luthiers gathering, featuring instrument makers from all over the Southeast, will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Blue Ridge Ballroom on the second floor, and the handmade arts and crafts market will happen from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the International Hallway. The free flatfoot dancing, fiddle and banjo workshops will take place in the Grandfather Ballroom from noon to 2:30 p.m.
Tickets for Friday night’s Green Grass Cloggers performance and the following square dance, which will be open to the public, cost $3 in advance and $5 the night of the show.
Tickets for Saturday night’s concert by the Sons of Bluegrass and The Crazy Water Crystals cost $10 for students in advance, $12 for students on the day of the show, $12 for the public in advance and $15 for the public on the day of the show.
The president of the Appalachian Heritage Council this year is ASU sophomore Tyler Peterson, and the convention is sponsored by the Appalachian Popular Programming Society.
“It’s a lot of work, let me tell you,” Peterson said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun, and you get to work with a lot of cool people.”
The addition of the Friday performance by the Green Grass Cloggers was meant to widen the scope of the convention.
“That should be a lot of fun,” Peterson said. “This is the first year that we are doing something on a Friday, because we got a lot of suggestions from people that visit the convention who said if there was an event on Friday, a lot more people would come, because there is a reason to arrive early and stay the whole weekend.”
Peterson, a native of Charlotte, has loved his time in Boone and his subsequent introduction to High Country roots music.
“The first time I sat down and listened to a full CD or a track by a bluegrass or old-time artist was last year,” Peterson said. “I’ve picked up a few things. I’m still getting there, but I’m definitely not a newbie with the music. I’ve learned about the vastness of how deep the roots of the culture go. (Living in Boone) is absolutely incredible. I wouldn’t trade ASU for any other college. There are not many colleges where you can say, ‘I live in the mountains.’”
For more information on the ASU Old-Time Fiddlers Convention, visit http://fiddle.apps.appstate.edu.