2019 Mt. Airy Bluegrass & Old Time Fiddlers Convention

Dowdy Brothers take first place at the 2019 Mt Airy Fiddlers Convention

A weekend full of rainy weather may have kept crowds away from the popular Mt. Airy Bluegrass & Old Time Fiddlers Convention in Mt. Airy, NC this past weekend, but there were still plenty of good times to be had for pickers who braved the torrential downpours. 

Mt. Airy is one of several long-running fiddlers conventions held each year in the western North Carolina and southwest Virginia region, and many of the same musicians and fans flock to the convention year after year for the friendly competition and campground picking. While any regular convention-goer will tell you they’re not afraid of a little rain, the bad weather this year actually forced a few changes to the music contests. The majority of the instrumental and band competitions are typically held on an outdoor stage at Veterans Memorial Park, but were moved inside a multi-purpose building in the park.

The change of venue didn’t deter contestants, however, as two days of great music ended with the announcement of both repeat winners and some musicians new to the convention. A full list of content winners, as reported by radio station WPAQ, can be found below.

First place in the prestigious bluegrass band competition went to The Dowdy Brothers (performing as the Brothers of Bluegrass), an up-and-coming, heavily traditional group from Rocky Mount, VA. Their never-let-up drive and high harmonies on such traditional favorites as Can’t You Hear Me Calling and Cryin’ Holy to the Lord won over both the crowd and the judges.

Vocalist and upright bass player Steven Dowdy was quick to share the band’s excitement and appreciation after the win. “The band would like to thank the organizers, volunteers, and judges of the Mt. Airy Fiddlers Convention for their hard work toward this awesome event. Thanks to the crowed for braving the weather and coming out to listen and support everyone,” he said. “Congratulations to all of the participants and winners. We had fun picking with and talking to many of you! We all had a wonderful weekend at Mt. Airy as a band – always one of our favorite fiddlers conventions!”

In addition to Steven Dowdy, the other band members are Donald Dowdy (mandolin), Mason Fisher (banjo), Thomas Conner (guitar), and Sam Weiss (fiddle). They also came near to sweeping the instrumental competitions, as well. Steve won the bass competition, Mason received first in bluegrass banjo, and Donald was second in the mandolin contest.

The 48th Annual Mount Airy Fiddlers Convention Winners List as Reported by WPAQ AM 740 Radio Station.

Winners in the Youth category


  1. Henry Bachhuber


  1. Darius Flowers 
  2. Nora Shepard-Powell 

Bluegrass Fiddle

  1. Darius Flowers
  2. Harrison Majors
  3. Brook Haynes
  4. Joy Owenby

Old Time Banjo

  1. Wyatt Duvall
  2. Hannah Cantrell

Old Time Fiddle

  1. Ella Thomas
  2. Sarah Cantrell
  3. Hunter Hiatt
  4. Mauve McGrath
  5. Finton McGrath

Youth Folk Song 

  1. Elsa Howell Roanoke, VA
  2. Ella Thomas W. Columbia, SC
  3. Cora Bachhuber Efland,NC

Most Promising Talent – Darius Flowers

Adult Competition 

Bluegrass Fiddle

  1. John Hoffman Thomasville, NC
  2. Ruth Shumway West Jefferson, NC
  3. Crystal Shipley Wytheville, VA
  4. Sidney Watson Mount Airy,NC
  5. Kameron Nunn Westfield, NC

Old Time Fiddle 

  1. Erynn Marshall Galax ,VA
  2. Andrew Small Floyd, VA
  3. Richard Bowman Mount Airy
  4. Marci Shore King, NC
  5. Lucas Paisley Sparta, NC

Old Time Banjo

  1. Trish Fore Galax
  2. Jared Boyd Galax
  3. Nancy Sluys Westfield
  4. Victor Furtado Floyd,VA
  5. Chris Johnson Sparta, NC

Bluegrass Banjo

  1. Mason Fisher Rocky Mount, VA
  2. Ronnie Harrison Woodlawn, VA
  3. Marsha Todd Mount Airy 
  4. Casey McPherson 
  5. Jake Lowe Fairview, NC


  1. Dexter Ramey Abington, VA
  2. Ed Anderson Christiansburg, VA
  3. Glenda Anderson Christiansburg,VA


  1. Steven Dowdy Rocky Mount, VA
  2. Jason King Pleasant Garden, NC
  3. Tommy Nichols Toast, NC
  4. Barbara Bowman Mount Airy, NC
  5. Misty Danley Liberty, NC 


  1. Chad Harrison Claudville, VA
  2. Cody McGrady
  3. Tommy Chandler
  4. Mason Via Danbury, NC
  5. Sean Newman Bridgewater, VA


  1. Eli Wildman Floyd, VA
  2. Donald Dowdy, Rocky Mount, VA
  3. Vincent Bullins Lawsonville, NC
  4. Todd Hiatt State Road, NC
  5. Mike Breitenbach Fredericksburg, VA

Folk Song

  1. Lou Hodges Vilas, NC
  2. Eliza Meyer Raleigh, NC
  3. Emily Johnson/Erday Greensboro 
  4. Tommy Nichols Mount Airy 
  5. Ashlee Watkins Floyd, VA


  1. Billy Bourne
  2. Donnie Dobro Scott
  3. Ezra Williams Pleasant Garden, NC
  4. Charlie Milliron Rocky Mount, VA
  5. David Frank, Montvale, VA


  1. Lyle Richards
  2. Shohei Tsutsumi 
  3. Timothy Thornton Shawsville, Va
  4. John Renwick Charlotte, NC
  5. Alan Darveaux Morganton, NC

Old Time Band

  1. Slate Mountain Ramblers  Mount Airy 
  2. Virginia Carolina Boys  Mount Airy 
  3. High Ridge Pickers
  4. Gap Civil – Old Time Band
  5. Pilot Mtn Bobcats  Westfield, NC

Bluegrass Band 

  1. Brothers of Bluegrass Rocky Mount, VA
  2. Harrison Ridge
  3. Ragged Edge   Mount Airy
  4. Coyote Ugly Kingsport, TN
  5. Fox River

Adult Dance 

  1. Aaron Ratcliffe 
  2. Nathan Vargo 
  3. Marsha Todd
  4. Jane Henderson 
  5. Barbara Bowman

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About the Author

John Curtis Goad

John Goad is a graduate of the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program, with a Masters degree in both History and Appalachian Studies from ETSU.