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Appalachian State Old-Time Fiddlers Convention Happening Friday and Saturday

Chatham Rabbits

The 12th annual Appalachian State Old-Time Fiddlers Convention will be firing up on Friday night, February 7 and continuing Saturday with a fun slate of events scheduled. 

The Appalachian State Old-Time Fiddlers Convention is held on the campus of Appalachian State University and is 100 percent student-operated and student-funded. This unique event draws hundreds of attendees from across the region and celebrates the rich music, history, arts, and culture of the Appalachia region. Friday events Include the Fiddler’s Convention Kick-Off Concert. Saturday events include instructional workshops, music competitions, a gathering of luthiers, as well as a handmade market featuring crafters from across the region. All events are family-friendly.

The fiddler’s convention kick-off will feature the band Chatham Rabbits with Kate Rhudy and Libby Rodenbough on Friday night at Legends. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for students and tickets will be available at the door.

To put a bow on the 12th Annual Fiddler’s Convention, the weekend ends with a FREE Square Dance at Legends from 7-9 pm. Beginner lessons start at 6:30. The Pick Britches Valley Boys Band and caller Rodney Sutton will be heading the fun for the last event of the night.

Competition Info

Competitions will take place on Saturday, February 8th starting at 11 a.m.

Registrations close 15 minutes prior to the respective competition. For example, guitar registration closes at 11:45 and the competition begins at noon. Be mindful of the competition schedule in order to not miss your competitions time slot.

A registration table will be located in the foyer outside the Summit Trail Solarium in the Plemmons Student Union.

The order of registration will determine the order of play. Registered competitors who fail to appear when their name is called will be disqualified from that competition. Competitors may only register for one instrument competition (this does not include Folk Song, Dance or Stringband).

Winners in each youth competition from the 2019 Fiddlers Convention must compete in the adult categories at the 2020 Fiddlers Convention. ALL prize winners must bring a valid form of ID and the ribbon they received to claim their prize.

Competition Schedule (event, time, stage location)

Dance 11:00 – 12:00 Solarium Stage
Folk Song 11:00 – 12:00 Linville Falls
Guitar 12:00 – 12:30 Solarium Stage
Youth Dance 12:00 – 12:30 Linville Falls
Mandolin 12:30 – 1:00 Solarium Stage
Youth Guitar 12:30 – 1:00 Linville Falls
Youth Banjo 1:00 – 1:30 Linville Falls
Banjo 1:00 – 2:15 Solarium Stage
Youth Fiddle 2:00 – 2:45 Linville Falls
String Band 2:15 – 3:45 Solarium Stage
Fiddle 3:45 – 5:00 Solarium Stage

Workshops and Presentations

Beginners Jam Session
Crossroads Coffee 

Come jam out in a friendly and welcoming environment. All skill levels and bluegrass instruments are welcome. Award-winning mandolin player Jonathan Boerger will be leading the session and offering instructions to help any new players who want to learn how to jam out with others! This is a drop in drop out style event so feel free to show up for any amount of time!

Songwriting Workshop
Lead by Chatham Rabbits!

Known for old-time style lyrics and nodding to traditions Chatham Rabbits will be joining us on Saturday to lead a workshop on how to write old-time lyrical tunes and the thought process behind some of their lyrics. This workshop will be free but a ticket will be required to attend. Information on how to obtain the ticket will be given at the convention. 

Calling and Dancing Square Dance Workshop

Want to work on your calling vocabulary? Want to learn how to call a square dance? Want to brush up on your dancing moves before that night’s square dance? Come on over to the Blueridge Room where Rodney Sutton will be leading the fun for all who want to learn!

An Afternoon With the Mountain Dulcimer
Whitewater Cafe

Known as the “Appalachian Dulcimer” this stringed instrument claims its origins from the Appalachian mountains, the only instrument to do so. Over the years this instrument has played an important role in Appalachian history and has evolved and changed due to region and availability. Bill and Jewel from “High Country Dulcimers” will be leading a presentation and play a few tunes on this instrument.

Meet and Greet with Chatham Rabbits!

Chatham Rabbits are gonna stick around after the songwriting workshop and have a meet and greet with a question panel! Bring your questions and your favorite Chatham Rabbits t-shirt for our friends! This event is free but requires a ticket, tickets will be passed out at the Friday Concert and the remaining tickets will be passed out Saturday at the merchandise table.

Clogging Workshop

Bring your clogging shoes and come learn how to clog or work on your clogging skills! All skill levels are welcome and Dr. Julie Shepherd-Powell will be leading this workshop! Clogging shoes are not required, if you elect to wear clogging please note that they cannot be used on the vinyl flooring. 

Mandolin Workshop

Want to learn some easy mandolin chords or improve your mandolin skills? Award-winning player Jonathan Boerger will be leading this workshop, all skill levels are welcome and please bring your own mandolin.

Deciphering Doc Watson
Whitewater Cafe

In association with the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, Willard Watson III will be presenting on the life, legacy, and styles of legendary Doc Watson. Doc Watson earned 8 Grammy’s and is one of the greatest guitarists the world has ever seen. Willard Watson holds a master’s degree in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University.

Whitewater Cafe

Faculty and students from Appalachian State University will be presenting ordinal works on the Appalachian region. These works will vary from poetry to tales of Appalachian’s past.

For more information on the events, workshops, parking and ticket info, visit the fiddlers convention website here