Winners announced for 2019 Scott Street 5 String finals

Stewart Werner and Claire Childress at the 2019 Scott Street 5 String Finals – photo by Skip Rowland Photography

This past weekend in Richmond, VA, the championship round was held in the 2019 Scott Street 5 String Finals, to find the best 18 and under banjo picker in the state. The competition is hosted each year during the Richmond Folk Festival in honor of the late Scott Street, a popular banjo player, attorney, and philanthropist who passed away in 2015.

In the opening round, young pickers submit videos to be considered for the finals, and the top three in each of two divisions, bluegrass and clawhammer, are invited to Richmond for the finals. There they perform before the judges, who rank them in 1, 2, 3 order.

When the dust had cleared on Saturday, the winners were…

Bluegrass division:

  1. Stewart Werner, 16 – Rocky Mount, VA
  2. Taylor Parks, 15 – Bloxom, VA
  3. Jacob Moretz, 14 – Boone, NC

Clawhammer division:

  1. Claire Childress, 16 – Big Stone Gap, VA
  2. Hannah Cantrell, 15 – Floyd, VA
  3. Nicholas Wingo, 16 – Rural Retreat, VA

As the division winners, Claire and Stewart each received a handsome crystal trophy, a demo recording session at In Your Ear Studios in Richmond, and a $1,000 cash prize. Runners up received $600 with $400 for third place.

Judges for 2019 were Malcolm Pulley, Sammy Shelor, Riley Baugus, and Brett Martin.

Congratulations to Stewart and Claire!

If you are a young banjoist within an easy drive to Richmond who might like to enter, information about the 2020 competition will be posted soon 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.