By Marianne Minton
Feb. 2, 2015. On Saturday, Feb. 7, the seventh annual Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention and Luthier’s Gathering returns to Appalachian State University. Held by the Appalachian Heritage Council, part of the Appalachian Popular Programming Society (A.P.P.S.) at ASU, the event will include concerts, dances, workshops and competitions.
This convention not only recognizes fiddling, but also showcases varieties of string musicians and artists whose inspiration springs from Appalachian heritage and tradition.
“We include other categories in the competition schedule to reflect the diversity of the musical culture we strive to promote, as well as throw out the stereotypes that newcomers to the region believe to be true of Appalachia music,” said Appalachian Heritage Council Chairperson Virginia Reed.
The Convention will take place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in rooms throughout the Plemmons Student Union at ASU. Different competitions will be held throughout the day with topics ranging from guitar to fiddle to string band. Registration for the competitions will be from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the foyer outside the Summit Trail Solarim, and competitors may only register for one competition each, excluding Folk Song, Dance or String Band. The registration fee for competitors is $5.
The event will also feature the annual Luthier’s Gathering, where a group of master instrument craftsmen will have work on display. In addition, a Handmade Market will showcase artists from Boone and the surrounding areas.
The schedule of events is as follows:
- Guitar – 11-11:30 a.m.
- Mandolin – 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
- Fiddle – 12-1:15 p.m.
- Banjo – 1:15-2:30 p.m.
- String Band – 2:30-4 p.m.
- Dance – 4-5 p.m.
- Youth Guitar – 11-11:30 a.m.
- Youth Fiddle – 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
- Youth Banjo – 12:15-1 p.m.
- Youth Dance – 1-1:30 p.m.
- Folk Song – 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Blue Ridge Ballroom
- Luthier’s Gathering – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Handmade Crafts Market – 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Following the competitions, an evening concert will be held at Legends featuring a performance by string band Old Buck with guest openers, The Buck Stops Here. Doors for the show will open at 7:30 and the show will begin at 8 p.m.
For those who simply can’t wait until Saturday for the convention to begin, you’re in luck. The convention will really kick off on Thursday, Feb. 5, with a screening of “Throw Down Your Heart,” a documentary that portrays musician Bela Fleck on his journey to record an album, while simultaneously exploring the history of banjo music in Africa. The film will be shown in Greenbriar Theatre in the student union and is free and open to the public. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the screening will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Then, on Friday, Feb. 6, the Green Grass Cloggers, a Greenville native dancing team, will hold a performance at Legends. After the performance, there will be an open dance for anyone who wants to show off their moves or learn how to dance in a style rooted in Appalachia heritage. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., the show begins at 8 p.m. and the open dance begins at 9 p.m.
“Our sole purpose as a council is to keep the rich traditions of our community and culture alive and thriving,” Reed said.
“By getting involved, each member of the Appalachian Heritage Council, as well as our hardworking volunteers, plays an important role in educating and entertaining our community.”
For more information, click here.