Old-Time Fiddlers Convention at ASU
When it comes to fiddlers conventions and music instrument
contests in general, the get-togethers usually happen during the warm weather months.
The upcoming Appalachian Heritage Old-Time Fiddlers Convention and Luthiers Gathering, however, will take place at Appalachian State University this Saturday, Feb. 9. It is the only event of its kind held exclusively on a college campus.
This will be the fourth year for the Old-Time Fiddlers Convention. It will be hosted by the Appalachian Heritage Council, a student-run organization associated with ASU’s Appalachian Popular Programming Society. The convention will take place at the Plemmons Student Union on the ASU campus.
The event is free to the public, except for a small fee asked for those who want to participate in the music competitions.
The day will feature numerous contests, music and dance workshops, hand-made arts and crafts, open jams and the luthiers gathering, where instrument makers will display their wares.
Later in the evening at 7:30 p.m., there will be a concert by roots musician extraordinaire Dirk Powell in the brand new Parkway Ballroom, located on the top floor of the student union. Tickets for the Powell show are $10 in advance and $12 the day of the show for students, and $12 in advance and $15 the day of the show for the general public.
If you are a roots musician, consider this a call to come to Boone to compete in the instrument contests. The fee to enter the competitions is only $5, and the categories include guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, band, folk song, dance and mountain dulcimer.
In the guitar, banjo and fiddle groupings, there will be a separate youth category for those 16 and younger. Registration for the contests will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the foyer outside the Summit Trail Solarium in the Plemmons Student Union.
Even if you do not want to compete, bring your instruments anyway, as jamming in the hallways is encouraged. And, if you are a budding musician or dancer, there will be free workshops offered for flatfoot dancing (noon to 1 p.m.) and banjo (1to 2 p.m.). A slow jam will take place at 2:30 p.m., where beginner and intermediate level musicians can learn how to play better with others.
“We’ve had people come (to the convention) from West Virginia, Tennessee and all over the place,” said Annie Baldwin, a graduate assistant for Student Programs and Appalachian Heritage Council advisor. “This is actually the only fiddlers convention that takes place on a college campus in the world, so we’re pretty proud of that.
“The Appalachian Heritage Council was started in 1996, and a big part of the Appalachian music world is the fiddlers conventions that usually take place in non-college atmospheres. It was decided that it would be a really cool thing for our council to bring one here. We have such a spacious student union, we thought we’d utilize that space for an event like this. We have an Appalachian Studies master’s program and undergraduate program, so a lot of App State students compete, as well – and we have a lot of musicians in this area.”
For more information, ticket sales and a detailed schedule, visit http://fiddle.apps.appstate.edu.