Contest winners at the 50th annual Walnut Valley festival

2022 National Guitar Flat Pick Championship winners: Justus Ross, Holten Doucette, and Ian Ly

There are a few festivals, contests, and conventions in the bluegrass and old time music world that are so thoroughly a part of the culture that you merely have to say the name of the town that hosts it and everyone knows exactly what you mean. Say Galax or Clifftop, Mt. Airy or Weiser, and pickers and fans alike will immediately nod in recognition.

Another in that category is Winfield, the city in Kansas where the Walnut Valley Festival has been held for 50 years, site of such eminent competitions as the National Flatpicking Championship, the National Mandolin Championship, and the National Bluegrass Banjo Championship, along with several others. These events are so well regarded that several other instrumental contests around the US serve as feeder competitions, with winners at these other festivals automatically qualifying at Winfield.

Walnut Valley also offers live entertainment on stage in addition to the contests, with this year’s show including BΓ©la Fleck’s My Bluegrass Heart, Rhonda Vincent, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, Tim O’Brien, and many others.

When the dust had cleared after the several days of competition, the winners were announced.

International Autoharp Championship Winners

  1. Betty Scott – Dallas, TX
  2. Loriann Clayton-Bethard – Kansas City, MO
  3. Steve Luper – Andover, KS

International Finger Style Guitar Championship Winners

  1. Tim Thompson – Hendersonville, TN
  2. Hiroya Tsukamoto – Woodside, NY
  3. Bill Russell – Washington, MI

National Mountain Dulcimer Championship Winners

  1. Kara Barnard – Nashville, IN
  2. Lloyd Wright – Kennard, TX
  3. Dana Hamilton – Arlington, TX

National Mandolin Championship

  1. Holten Doucette – Waller, TX
  2. Ethan Batan – Spencer, IN
  3. Ben Cockman – Sherrills Ford, NC

Walnut Valley Old Time Fiddle Championship

  1. Eavia Ryan – Rye, CO
  2. Amanda Grapes Dellinger – South Salt Lake, UT
  3. Nathan Pedneault – Crowley, TX

National Guitar Flat Pick Championship

  1. Holten Doucette – Waller, TX
  2. Justus Ross – Poplar Bluff, MO
  3. Ian Ly – Aptos, CA

National Hammered Dulcimer Championship

  1. John Lionarons – Lansdowne, PA
  2. Robert Miller – Pittsburgh, PA
  3. Mickey Sweeney – Lake St. Louis, MO

National Bluegrass Banjo Championship

  1. Jesse Meador – Glasgow, KY
  2. Steven Moore – Saint Clairsville, OH
  3. Anthony Howell – Kosciusko, MS

Congratulations one and all, and to everyone who qualified to participate in this prestigious event!

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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.