For the first time in their 46 year history, the Deer Creek Fiddler’s Convention in Westminster, MD has added a songwriting competition to their offerings for 2017.
In addition to contests for bands and individual instrumentalists, in categories for bluegrass, old time, and Celtic musicians, the festival will offer prizes for songwriters competing Saturday, June 3. Songs will be performed on stage with an accompanist by the writer, with no more than three in total in the case of multiple writers.
The writers must bring four printed copies of the lyrics for distribution to the judges on site. Prizes for writers include a consultation with award-winning songwriter and Bluegrass Today contributor, David Morris.
Walt Michael, founder of Common Ground On The Hill who manage the festival, says that the contests do have winners and losers, but that the overall effect is one of community.
“It’s a competition, but that’s not at the heart of the thing; the competition sort of serves to bring people together to do this. There’s as much good music out under the trees as there is on stage. It’s a chance for musicians in the area to meet each other. I’ve seen bands form as a result of people seeing each other. It’s a pretty cool thing.
The Deer Creek Fiddlers’ Convention, now in its 46th year, is Maryland’s premier traditional music gathering for both musicians and listeners. Friendly competitions on fiddles, guitars, banjos, mandolins, string bass, mountain dulcimers, hammered dulcimers and autoharps are complemented by singing, songwriting and clogging categories. Fine instrument and cash prizes are awarded to the winners, but the real prize is being able to roam the Carroll County Farm Museum and listen to and take part in the many musical sessions that take place informally. This is an event for everyone.”
Registration takes place on June 3 from 9:00-10:30 a.m. The order of competition will then be determined by draw, with the contests beginning at 10:30 a.m. All events will be held on the grounds of the Carroll County Farm Museum.
There is no registration fee for any of the competitions, but all contestants must purchase a ticket to attend the festival.
Full details can be found online.