Late bluegrass artists to be honored at NC fiddlers conventions

It is said that good things come in threes. For three consecutive Saturdays in March, long running annual fiddlers’ conventions will be held in North Carolina.

On March 7, Star Fiddlers’ Convention kicks off the musical season at East Montgomery High School in Biscoe, NC. The following Saturday, March 14, Highfalls Fiddlers’ Convention continues with the acoustic competition at North Moore High School in Robbins, NC. Seagrove Fiddlers’ Convention is last, but never least, at the Elementary School in Seagrove, NC on March 21.

In Biscoe, at the Star Fiddlers’ Convention, all music is bluegrass or old-time and no electrical instruments are allowed. Over $2,000 in cash prizes will be  awarded to the first, second, third, and fourth place winners in band, individual instruments, vocals, dance, and miscellaneous. There is a $100 prize for the best young bluegrass talent (age 15 and under). Registration runs from 5:00 until 7:00 with competition starting at 6:00 p.m. Admission is: $8; children ages 6 through 12, $3; 5 and under are free. Musicians will be reimbursed upon exiting the stage. Food will be available for purchase in the cafeteria, starting at 5:00 pm. For more information, call (910) 894-0321 or (910) 428-9218.

Mary Callicutt of the Halcyon Women’s Club which sponsors the talent contest, stressed, “This is the 95th year of the Star Fiddlers’ Convention! We’re hoping to make it to 100 years.”

The following weekend, the 85th Highfalls Fiddlers’ Convention will be held in the North Moore High School auditorium in Robbins. The second annual Theron Caviness Best Banjo Player of the Night Award ($100 and plaque) will be given again by his family. Caviness attended every fiddlers’ Convention at Highfalls through 2017, even winning the first bass prize that year at age 92.  

Judges selected for this year’s competition have an abundance of knowledge in bluegrass music, and have been part of bluegrass bands across the state and regional areas. There is also an increase the amount of prize money to be awarded to the winners.

The competition begins at 6:00 p.m. with registration from 4:30-7:00. Admission is $7.00 and concessions will be available for purchase. For more information, call (910) 464-3600.

Dyan Pope, Highfalls principal, shared, “We are proud of our community’s grassroots and look forward to continuing to support an 85 year tradition! Bill Monroe, Father of Bluegrass, hit the nail on the head when he said, ‘Bluegrass has brought more people together and made more friends than any music in the world. You meet people at festivals and renew acquaintances year after year.’ We are so excited and cannot wait to see everyone!”

The third Saturday, March 21, will be the Seagrove Fiddlers’ Convention held in Seagrove School’s gymtorium with $1200 in cash prizes. The second annual Alan Perdue Memorial Award will be presented to someone who has made significant contributions to the promotion of bluegrass music in our region. Admission is $8.00. Registration will be held 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. with competition beginning at 7:00. All proceeds go to community projects. For more information, call (336) 381-3183 or (336) 963-3694.

 “We look forward to seeing everyone for a fun night of wonderful music.” Coordinator of Seagrove Fiddlers’ Convention, Linda Loggains, stated.

So rosin up your bow and get ready to tap your toes in central North Carolina during the first three Saturdays in March.

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.