The Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention is known as
the "Granddaddy of Midsouth Fiddlers Conventions" for its role in reviving
the tradition of competition in old time music. Approximately, 15,000 people
are expected to attend the convention this year from more than 30 states.
The convention brings some 200 contestants to compete for top prize money.
There are 18 different categories, including several fiddle and guitar categories, harmonica,
mandolin, bluegrass banjo, dulcimer, old time singing, banjo, and buck
dancing. The Convention culminates in a "fiddle-off," between the
top two fiddlers. The winning fiddler is declared "Tennessee Valley Old
Time Fiddle Champion," and takes home a trophy and $1000. A total
of $11,850 will be awarded to contestants.
In addition to the musical competition, hundreds of musicians will participate
in the numerous jam sessions conducted across the Athens State campus
during the weekend. Many people camp in travel trailers and even tents during
the event on the University property.
The convention also includes 150 traditional arts and crafts booths. These
feature many handmade and traditional items. Convention proceeds support
student scholarships and University projects. To date more than
$500,000 has been contributed to the University.
Fiddlers Convention to offer free workshop
Athens News Courier
At this year's Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention at Athens
State University, a free Fiddle and Guitar Workshop will be offered by
Buddy Spicher and David Grier from 3-4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 4 in McCandless Auditorium.
Ace fiddler Buddy Spicher is one of the latest musicians honored by the
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museumís on-gong Nashville Cats series. Born
in Pennsylvania, Spicher toured in the bands of Patsy Cline,
Faron Young, and Ray Price. As a session player, Spicher performed with
nearly every country star of the 1960s and 1970s, including Country
Music Hall of Fame members Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Loretta Lynn,
Roger Miller, Charley Pride, Marty Robbins, Statler Brothers,
Hank Thompson, and Bob Wills.
For the past several years, David Grier has been voted Best Guitar
Player of the Year by the members of the International Bluegrass Music
Association. He has also appeared on two Grammy- winning recordings:
"True Life Blues-A Tribute to Bill Monroe" and "The Great Dobro
Sessions." David is also included in the book, "1,000 Great Guitarists."
His inspiration to learn guitar came from exposure to Bill
Monroe while his father, Lamar Grier, played banjo for the
Blue Grass Boys in the middle 1960s.
This workshop is offered free of charge and a reservation is not needed to participate - although seating is limited and participants are chosen on a first come basis