The seventh annual Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention brings together some of the area’s best musicians in the old time music genre on April 1-2 in Dobson.
The event is scheduled at Surry Community College and kicks-off with a square dance Friday night featuring two well-known bands from the area, while Saturday’s lineup includes youth and adult competitions in multiple categories, workshops led by renowned musicians, jam sessions and more.
The Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention works to preserve the region’s traditional stringed-instrument music that has been passed down for generations. The event is featured in the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.
Mountain Park Old Time Band and New Ballard’s Branch Bogtrotters headline Friday evening’s festivities. Cakewalks are also a favorite Friday activity, where winners receive homemade confections.
“Friday night’s dance has a certain kind of energy and community feeling,” says Buck Buckner of the convention committee. “That’s what we’re trying to achieve – that old time community feeling.”
Saturday’s lineup includes daylong competitions – youth and adult – in instrument, band and dance, while four old time music experts will lead free one-hour workshops.
Paul Brown will give instructions on fiddle. Brown is known as both a musician and host of the popular Across the Blue Ridge radio show on WFDD (88.5 FM) in Winston-Salem.
Steve Lewis, a native of Todd and award-winning musician, will offer insight on guitar. Banjo virtuoso Adam Hurt will share his picking talent, and Rodney Sutton, known for his expertise in traditional mountain dance, will help attendees with their footwork.
“Every year we have a stellar lineup of people,” Buckner says. “They appreciate what we’re doing to foster the area’s musical heritage, and they’re willing to support it and share in it.”
Workshops, luthier displays and jam sessions take place throughout the day Saturday. Mount Airy radio station WPAQ (740 AM) broadcasts live from the convention.
Admission is $5 daily, with children 12 and younger admitted at no charge. Contestants get in free Saturday. Hours for Friday night’s dance are 7-10 p.m. On Saturday, registration for contest participants begins at 10 a.m., and activities continue throughout the day and evening.