Contest host Tim Timberlake with the winners of the 2017 Scott Street Five String Finals – photo by Samson Trinh
Saturday, October 14, was the date for the Scott Street Five String Finals, held as a part of the Richmond Folk Festival in Richmond, VA. The annual competition is held to honor of memory of Scott Street, a noted attorney in Richmond, who was also a banjo player and enthusiast, plus a strong supporter of youth in bluegrass.
The competition selects three finalists in both bluegrass and clawhammer banjo via video tape submissions, and they come to Richmond to go head-to-head live before a panel of judges. This year’s judges were classical banjoist John Bullard, clawhammer wizard Victor Furtado, and Steve Martin Prize winner Sammy Shelor.
When the scores were tallied up, G Rockwell from Bridgeport, CT had taken first in bluegrass and Christiana Joneikis from Shreve, OH came out on top in clawhammer. Rockell is 15 years of age and Joneikis 16. Well done, both of you!
A tip of the cap to the other finalists as well. Johnny White (15) from Glen Allen, VA was 2nd runner up in bluegrass, and Taylor Parks (13) from Bloxom, VA was 1st runner up. On the clawhammer side, 2nd runner up was Henry Coatney (13) from Boone, NC, and 1st runner up went to Alanna Brewer (17) from Mountain View AK.
The first place winners receive a handsome crystal trophy, plus a demo recording session at In Your Ear Studios in Richmond, and a $1000 cash prize. First runners up receive $600, with $400 for the 2nd runner up.
The competition is open each year to banjo players under the age of 18. Full details can be found online.