Registrations open for the Scott Street Five String Finals

Registrations are now open for the 2019 Scott Street Five String Finals, held each year as part of the Richmond Folk Festival in Richmond, VA. Designed to identify the best bluegrass and clawhammer banjo players 18 and under, the competition also honors the memory of Scott Street, a talented Virginia banjoist and philanthropist whose name is given to the contest.

So far, the Finals have proven adept in picking up-and-comers, with a 2017 winner, G Rockwell, also receiving a merit-based scholarship from the IBMA to attend Béla Fleck’s Blue Ridge Banjo Camp, and a 2018 winner, Austin Hefflefinger, just having joined Nu-Blu as a member of the band.

An invitational event, contestants are encouraged to send in a video of them playing to be considered, along with the official entry form which can be completed online. A parent or guardian must also consent, as all entrants will be minors.

Three finalists will be chosen in each category from among the registered competitors, and they will be invited to Richmond to perform before the judges on October 12, 2019. The bluegrass and clawhammer competitions are separate, with different judges. All registrations must be received by September 28.

Lead judges for this year will be Sammy Shelor for bluegrass and Riley Baugus for clawhammer.

First place in each category will receive a $1,000 cash prize, a fee demo recording from In Your Ear studio, and a handsome crystal trophy. First and second runners up get $600 and $400 respectively. These prizes are endowed by Scott Street’s estate.

Complete details and the entry form can be found online.

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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.