Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Vandalia - day 1

The annual Vandalia Gathering is a FREE celebration of the traditional arts, music, dance, stories, crafts and foods of West Virginia.    The Cultural Center and State Capitol Complex grounds play host to this expanding family-style gathering each year on Memorial Day weekend where all events take place beneath the golden dome of the State Capitol in Charleston, West Virginia.    I would usually have some film of the contests but I didn't spend so much time watching them this year.    I spent a good deal of my time in the jam tent playing so I don't even have any good film or photos there.    You'll just have to take my word for the fact that there was something going on for everyone.

I did get a photo of Senator Byrd's fiddle in the lobby of the Virginia State Theater where a free concert was offered each evening.
And I did film some of those acts.    This first one is Johnny Staats and Robert Shafer, both finger picking champions, showing some of their stuff -

And this one is my friends Ruthy Randall and John Morris, a Clay County fiddler, playing Elsick's Farewell -

Additional 'official' photos may be seen here.

Only West Virginia residents are allowed to enter the Vandalia Gathering contests and for those who might be interested, here are the first day's contest winners:

Youth Fiddle (age 15 and under)

1st place ($75) - Ray Cossin, Mt. Alto
2nd place ($50) - Jerrica Hilbert, St. Albans
3rd place ($25) - Arianna Macy, Charleston

Fiddle (under age 60)

1st place ($400) - Chance McCoy, Martinsburg
2nd place ($250) - Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
3rd place ($150) - Zack Fanok, Morgantown
4th place ($75) - Ray Cossin, Mt. Alto
5th place ($50) - Jerrica Hilbert, St. Albans

Senior Fiddle (age 60 and over)

1st place ($400) - Lester McCumbers, Nicut
2nd place ($250) - Gerry Milnes, Elkins
3rd place ($150) - Boyd Phillips, Elkins
4th place ($75) - Don Jones, Scott Depot
5th place ($50) - Elmer Rich, Morgantown

Mandolin (all ages)

1st place ($400) - Chris Davis, Ona
2nd place ($250) - Steve Acord, Fairdale
3rd place ($150) - Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
4th place ($75) - Robin Kessinger, St. Albans
5th place ($50) - John Putnam, Looneyville

Bluegrass Banjo (all ages)

1st place ($400) - Brandon Green, Sophia
2nd place ($250) - Ben Harrington, Artie
3rd place ($150) - Doug Cossin, Mt. Alto
4th place ($75) - Andrew Kidd, Hurricane
5th place ($50) - Zack Life, Murraysville


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