DOBSON, N.C. – Whether young or old, all it takes is a love of heritage music to enjoy the sixth annual Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention, March 27-28 in Dobson. The event is held at Surry Community College and celebrates Surry County’s stature as a center of the old time musical genre. Convention highlights include a Friday night dance with three bands, a Saturday full of jam sessions, individual competitions on stringed instruments (youth and adult), and band competitions (youth and adults), plus multiple workshops Saturday led by expert artists renowned in the world of old time music. One of the most interesting aspects is the amount of youngsters who excel at this time-honored way of playing music. “When we began the Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention, the desire was to make sure we were documenting and sharing this style of music,” says Buck Buckner of the convention committee. “What’s great is how many young people have embraced it. They’re coming out and showing an interest so that it will continue in the future.” Buckner is fond of Friday night’s dance because it replicates the traditional way in which folks in the region gather for music, dancing and fellowship. This year’s Friday bands are: Round Peak Ramblers, Slate Mountain Ramblers and the New Ballard’s Branch Bogtrotters. Cake walks are a popular aspect of Friday’s festivities. Entry fee is $1 and participants walk around a circle of numbers. When the music stops, a number is drawn and the person standing on the winning number receives a home-made cake. Youth and adult competitions fill the day Saturday, along with the workshops. This year’s workshops will be led by the following experts: Steve Kilby of Independence, Va. (guitar workshop); Debbie Gitlin of Winston-Salem (fiddle workshop); Mac Traynham of Willis, Va. (banjo workshop); and Samantha Wilhelmi of Mount Airy (traditional dance workshop). Saturday’s activities also include a youth dance competition and luthier displays. Admission is $5 daily, with children 12 and under admitted at no charge. Saturday’s contestants also get in free. Hours are 7-11 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. Saturday. For info on the Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention, call 877- 999-8390 or visit: www.surryoldtime.com. For lodging info, go to: www.YadkinValleyNC.com.
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