Long running Highfalls Fiddlers’ Convention returns under new management

Established in 1921, the Highfalls Fiddlers’ Convention, held in North Moore High School’s auditorium in Robbins, NC, returns this Saturday, April 6. Following the local talent contest’s three-year pause due to the global pandemic, Highfalls School decided to no longer sponsor the annual event in 2023.

Just when it looked like the popular bluegrass event was about to face extinction, a young NC State student and Robbins resident, Miranda Smith, stepped up to the plate and took on the task. Gathering the support from family, friends, and local musicians, Smith brought new life to the convention.

Recently, the Musically Sound named Highfalls as one of the Top 12 Fiddlers’ Conventions in the Southeast.

Cash prizes include $500 for first place adult band, $150 for first place youth band, and $50 for each first place individual category in both youth and adult divisions. 

Now an NC State graduate, Smith is aware of her almamater’s competition in March madness on Saturday. “We’re going to make sure to set up a TV for the NCSU game so no one skips to stay home and watch.”

The acoustic talent competition boasts qualified judges.

Smith shared…

“Our judges for the Highfalls Annual Fiddlers’ Convention are Caroline Owens, and Danny and Eva Casstevens. We are honored to have such skillful performers listening to our talented musicians!

Caroline Owens is a two-time IBMA Momentum Vocalist nominee, and a current 2024 SPBGMA nominee for Female Vocalist of the Year. She is a recording artist for Skyline Records of Nashville, TN, and has received critical acclaim from the Bluegrass industry’s top professionals.

Danny and Eva both are multi-instrumentalists, with Danny playing practically all stringed instruments. He is an award-winning guitarist, and he teaches guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and Scruggs-style banjo at The Guitar Center in Winston-Salem, NC. Eva is an avid mandolin player who is currently into collecting short-scale guitars.”

Highfalls Fiddlers’ Convention will be held in the auditorium at North Moore High School in Robbins, NC. Doors open at 4:00 p.m. with band and individual registrations from 4:30-6:00 p.m. Youth Competition begins at 6:00 p.m. with Adult Competition following. Admission is $10 and anyone 18 and under gets in for free. Concessions, including BBQ, will be available.

For more information visit Highfalls Annual Fiddler’s Convention Facebook page.

Here’s a link to a video on last year’s event:

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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.