Texas Banjo Champion for 2017 Hudsen Doucette accepts his trophy – photo by Tina Boatwright
With the conclusion of this past weekend’s Texas State Banjo Championships in Pearl, the 2017 Texas Bluegrass Champions have all been announced.
In prior years, the banjo, guitar, and mandolin competitions were held the same weekend, at the Fire On The Strings Festival put on by the Bay Area Bluegrass Association (BABA) in League City. But since that festival closed down, a new home for the popular instrument contests had to be found.
Enter Fred and Sue Knorre in Pearl, who offered to host the Championships after they contacted BABA and were told that the 2017 competitions had been cancelled. Sue was worried that losing this resource would be discouraging to young Texas grassers, and when she offered to find sponsors and host the event over three months at the Pearl Community Center where they have held jam sessions and concerts for the past 20 years, everyone agreed, and 19 Texas-based bluegrass associations collaborated in seeing them continue, including the BABA who are still the official sponsors of the Championships.
So the Texas Mandolin Championship was held in June, the guitar in July, and the banjo this past weekend. And here are the winners:
- 2017 Texas State BANJO Champion – Hudsen Doucette
- 2017 Texas State GUITAR Champion – Adam Greer
- 2017 Texas State MANDOLIN Champion – Sam Armstrong
All three receive a cash prize of $500, plus a trophy and automatic, cost-free entry into the Walnut Valley contests next month in Winfield, KS.
Well done and congratulations to all the winners, and hats off to Sue and Fred and all the folks who worked to restore the Texas Instrument Championships for 2017. It is not established that these events will continue indefinitely in Pearl, but it is a more central location in the state.
For more information about bluegrass in Pearl, check them out online.