2023 Walnut Valley instrumental contest winners from Winfield

Anthony Howell, 2023 National Banjo Champion at Walnut Valley in Winfield, KS

The smoke has cleared from this past weekend’s many instrumental competitions at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS, and we have a list of this year’s winners. These include the National Flat Pick Guitar Championship, the National Mandolin Championship, and the National Banjo Championship, among others.

Each year players trek to Winfield from all over the US to participate, with prizes typically being new, professional-grade instruments from top builders.

And the winners are:

National Bluegrass Banjo Championship

  1. Anthony Howell – Kosiusko, MS; Prize selected: OME Megatone IKON Bluegrass Banjo
  2. Owen Brockman – Dayton, OH; Prize selected: Deering Calico 5-string Banjo
  3. Steven Moore – Saint Clairesville, OH; prize selected: Deering White Lotus 5-string Banjo

Runners up: Evan Reed, Fairview, MO, and Gregg Welty, Durham, NC

International Autoharp Championship

  • Cindy Harris – Pittsburgh, PA; prize selected: Schreiber Autoharp Diatonic Autoharp
  • Steve Luper – Andover, KS; prize selected: Whippoorwill Acoustics Luthier’s Choice Autoharp
  • George Haig – Dunfermline, Scotland; prize selected: N/A

Runners up: Loriann Clayton-Bethard, Kansas City, MO, and Michael Poole, Chapel Hill, NC  

International Fingerstyle Guitar Championship

  1. Momo Kimura – Amagasaki, Hyogo, Japan; prize selected: Bourgeois Finger Style Custom Guitar
  2. Adam Cantor – Houston, TX; prize selected: Taylor 814-ce Grand Concert
  3. Mikey Bilello – Bend, OR; prize selected: Huss & Dalton Winfield Competition Model FS Guitar

Runners up: Jimmy Dehenau, East China, MI, Roger Hudson, Jacksonville, FL, and Patrick Woods, Warsaw, IN. 

National Mandolin Championship

  1. Ethan Batan – Spencer, IN; prize selected: Bourgeois M5-F Mandolin
  2. Gordon Parker – Mountain View, AR; prize: $1,500
  3. Luke Lovejoy – Spencer, IN; prize: $750

Runners up: David Mayfield, Akron, OH and Scott Schmidt, Claremore, OK 

National Mountain Dulcimer Championship

  1. David Wilson – Springfield, MO; prize selected: McSpadden Mountain Dulcimers 4FHKK-E Custom
  2. Dana Hamilton – Arlington, TX; prize selected: McSpadden Mountain Dulcimer 6FTWWB-E Baritone
  3. Allison O’Shea – Nashville, TN; prize selected: McSpadden Mountain Dulcimer 4FSGCC-E

Runners up: Sarah Miner, Post, TX, and Keith Reynolds, Arkansas City, KS 

Old Time Fiddle Championship

  1. Monte Gaylord – Nowata, OK; prize selected: Gilga model Vasile Master Fiddle
  2. Edith Sigler – Wichita, KS; prize selected: Glasser Carbon Composite 5-String Fiddle
  3. Nathan Pedneault – Canyon, TX; prize selected: Andrzei Glodek Fiddle

Runners up: Mary Parker, Mountain View, AR, Nathan Pedneault, Canyon, TX,  Tricia Spencer, Lawrence, KS 

National Flat Pick Guitar Championship

  1. Ian Ly – San Francisco, CA; prize selected: Collings Winfield Model Mahogany/Adirondack Spruce Guitar
  2.  Mike Cramer – Minneapolis, MN; prize selected: PK Thompson D-MA Guitar
  3. Hayden Reidling – Dawsonville, GA; prize selected: Martin D-28 Guitar

Runners up: Danny Spires, Wilmington, OH, and Chapman Welch, Pearland, TX  

National Hammer Dulcimer Championship

  1. Mickey Sweeney – Lake St Louis, MO; prize selected: Rick Thum 17/17 Professional Chromatic Hammer Dulcimer
  2. Gage Milton – Lewisville, TX; prize selected: Master Works 16/15 CBWXR7 Bantam Weight Chromatic Extended Range Hammer Dulcimer CBWXR7
  3. Tim Simek – Maryville, TN; prize selected: Songbird Finch Chromatic – Hammer Dulcimer 

Runners up: Ken Shoemaker, Overland Park, KS, and Clifford White, Jefferson City, MO 

Congratulations and well done all!

Many thanks to Rex Flottman with the Walnut Valley Association for getting the results to us right away.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.