2023 Galax Youth Competition winners

Youth band competition at the 2023 Old Fiddlers Convention – photo © G. Nicholas Hancock

One hundred thirty-eight contestants between the ages of eight and fifteen participated in the 87th Annual Galax Old Fiddlers Convention Youth Competition on Monday, August 7, at Felts Park in Galax, VA.

Youth Competition is for contestants 15 years or younger, with categories including old-time fiddle, bluegrass fiddle, mandolin, clawhammer banjo, bluegrass banjo, guitar, and band.

Winners were announced and awards were presented beginning shortly before 11:00 p.m. on Monday. In addition to the ribbon rosettes awarded, each first-place winner in each individual instrument category received a $250.00 scholarship provided by the Don Wilson Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Galax Moose Lodge #733. The scholarships must be used for music classes, workshops, or private lessons.

Winners announced Monday night were:

Old time fiddle

  1. Sam Wilkerson – Lowgap, NC
  2. Hunter Hiatt – State Road, NC
  3. Maxwell Brown – Wilmington, DE
  4. Silas Wilkerson – Lowgap, NC
  5. Ola Moeckel – Floyd, VA

Bluegrass fiddle

  1. Hollace Oakes – Snowville, VA
  2. Josephine Walker – Todd, NC
  3. Cheyenne Grantham – Boones Mill, VA
  4. Madalyn Jarrett – Falls Mills, VA
  5. Alice Goud – Savannah, GA


  1. Atti Dyer – North Wilkesboro, NC
  2. Sarah Rose Norris – North Wilkesboro, NC
  3. Blane Young – Roanoke, VA
  4. Charlie Tolbert – Purlear, NC
  5. Callie Hall – Powhatan, VA

Clawhammer banjo

  1. William Moeckel – Floyd, VA
  2. Bayla Davis – Leicester, NC
  3. Wyatt Grantham – Boones Mill, VA
  4. Margo MacSweeney – Floyd, VA
  5. Wren Hello – Floyd, VA

Bluegrass banjo

  1. Berkley Stewart – Saltville, VA
  2. Levi Lindblom – Bloomingdale, GA
  3. Luciya Sullivan – Evanston, IL
  4. Chet Rickman – Augusta, WV
  5. Elijah Ellenburg – Liberty, SC


  1. Graydon Shepherd – West Jefferson, NC
  2. Croft Wilson – Jacksonville, FL
  3. Judah Davis – Leicester, NC
  4. Gabe Mark – Belmont, NC
  5. JonPaul Sepulveda – Travelers Rest, SC


  1. The Brothers Five – Bloomingdale, GA
  2. Newfound Gap – Leicester, NC
  3. Old Time Rowdies – Floyd, VA
  4. The Biscuit Eaters – Lowgap, NC
  5. Carolina Detour – Pinnacle, NC

Best All Around Performer: Silas Wilkerson – Old-time Fiddle – Lowgap, NC

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About the Author

Nicholas Hancock

Nicholas Hancock is a former newspaper writer and editor who also played rhythm guitar in The Bluegrass Gentlemen from 1968 through mid-1974. Today, he is retired and enjoying his hobby of photographing bluegrass and other music events.