Young Old-Time musicians compete


2018 Tommy Jarrell Youth Competition Saturday

By Bill Colvard - bcolvard@MtAiryNews.com



Hunter Hiatt (7), gets in one last practice before tying for second place in fiddle, age 5-12.


Bill Colvard | The News

Mia Francis, age 9, (center) was the first performer up. Emcee Lew Bode is to her left, and backup was provided by Lucas Pasley to her right.


Bill Colvard | The News

Eliza Meyer (15) and Lake Carver (8) get in some last-minute practice outside the Andy Griffith Museum Theater on Saturday before the Tommy Jarrell Youth Competition began. Both girls took home trophies.


Bill Colvard | The News

Music is a family affair for the Blakley family of Tobaccoville: from left are Desiree’, Gabrielle, Christina, Richard and Victoria.


Bill Colvard | The News

Janie Fender (11) and Sierra Strickland Nezzamo (11) practice their fiddles before performing.


Bill Colvard | The News

Brody York (10) and Mallie York (7) were ready to go. This was Brody’s fifth year competing and Mallie’s third.


Bill Colvard | The News

Cyndy Vipperman and Vickie Boyd judged the Tommy Jarrell Youth Competition Saturday.


Bill Colvard | The News

Trophies waiting to be distributed to their young winners.


Bill Colvard | The News

The next generation of Old-Time musicians competed Saturday at the Andy Griffith Museum theater.

The young musicians were divided into two age groups: 5 to 12 years old and 13 to 18 years old, and competed for honors in fiddle, guitar, banjo, dance and vocal with an “other” category that included winners in mandolin, duets, autoharp and twin fiddle.

“We have a record number of youth competitors,” said Tanya Jones, executive director of Surry Arts Council, which sponsors the event. A group of young musicians came this year from Alleghany JAM, an after-school program that teaches traditional music in Alleghany County.

“A lot of these kids come from the TAPS (Traditional Arts Programs for Students) program,” said Jones. That program provides free weekly lessons at the Earle Theater for interested students. “A lot of them, but not all,” amended Jones.

The Blakley family traveled from Tobaccoville for the competition, and all three daughters took a prize playing their fiddles, one of whom borrowed a fiddle from her mother.

“We started with Jim Vipperman with the violin,” said the girls’ dad, Richard Blakley.

“We’ve been doing the campground ministry at Pilot Mountain State Park for 23 years,” said mom, Desireé Blakley.

“We enjoy doing the old time hymns,” said Richard Blakley.

Brody York (age 10) and Mallie York (age 7) have been competing for five and three years, respectively. In talking about his competition experience, Brody confessed that he usually wins. He was hopeful of winning again this year.

“It’s really about giving them a chance to perform in public, and gain experience in front of an audience,” said Jones, positioned at the exit handing out vouchers to the children who performed, granting them free admission to the highlight of the festival, a Saturday night concert by The Becky Bullin Band at The Earle Theatre.

Winners, Ages 5-12

In the fiddle competition, first place went to Lake Carver (8), Mocksville; second was a tie between Hunter Hiatt (7), State Road, and Mallie York (7), Mount Airy; third place went to Brooke Haynes (10), Mount Airy.

First place for clawhammer banjo went to Ethan Pardue (12), Sparta.

In the guitar competition, first place went to Brody York (10), Mount Airy; second to Ethan Pardue (12), Sparta; and third to Morgan Mezzomo (11), Ennice.

Dance awards went to: first place, Olivia Blevins (11), Sparta; second was a tie between Janie Fender (11), Sparta, and Joshua Novotny (11), Sparta; third place, Camdon Fain (6), Ararat, Virginia.

Awards for vocal performance were given to Lake Carver (8), Mocksville, first place; Mallie York (7), Mount Airy, second place; and Brody York (10), Mount Airy, third place.

Other awards went to first place, Madison Fain (9), Ararat, Virginia, for Mandolin; second place to Layla Royal-Witt (11) and Sierra Strickland-Mezzomo (11), both of Ennice, for a duet; and third place to Mia Francis (9) and Amber Brannock (9), both of Ennice, for a duet.

Winners, Ages 13-18

In the fiddle competition, first place went to Victoria Blakley (13), Pfafftown; second place went to Darrius Flowers (14), Pilot Mountain; and third place went to Christina Blakley (16), Pfafftown.

Jay Mitchell (13), Pilot Mountain, placed first in guitar.

Darrius Flowers (14), Pilot Mountain, won first place in dance.

Eliza Meyer (15), Raleigh, was the vocal winner.

In the Other category, first place went to Eliza Meyer (15), Raleigh, for Autoharp, Raleigh; and second went to Gabrielle Blakley and Victoria Blakley (13), Pfafftown, for Twin Fiddle.

Hunter Hiatt (7), gets in one last practice before tying for second place in fiddle, age 5-12.
https://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_IMG_7157.jpgHunter Hiatt (7), gets in one last practice before tying for second place in fiddle, age 5-12. Bill Colvard | The News

Mia Francis, age 9, (center) was the first performer up. Emcee Lew Bode is to her left, and backup was provided by Lucas Pasley to her right.
https://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_IMG_7178.jpgMia Francis, age 9, (center) was the first performer up. Emcee Lew Bode is to her left, and backup was provided by Lucas Pasley to her right. Bill Colvard | The News

Eliza Meyer (15) and Lake Carver (8) get in some last-minute practice outside the Andy Griffith Museum Theater on Saturday before the Tommy Jarrell Youth Competition began. Both girls took home trophies.
https://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_IMG_7147.jpgEliza Meyer (15) and Lake Carver (8) get in some last-minute practice outside the Andy Griffith Museum Theater on Saturday before the Tommy Jarrell Youth Competition began. Both girls took home trophies. Bill Colvard | The News

Music is a family affair for the Blakley family of Tobaccoville: from left are Desiree’, Gabrielle, Christina, Richard and Victoria.
https://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_IMG_7152.jpgMusic is a family affair for the Blakley family of Tobaccoville: from left are Desiree’, Gabrielle, Christina, Richard and Victoria. Bill Colvard | The News

Janie Fender (11) and Sierra Strickland Nezzamo (11) practice their fiddles before performing.
https://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_IMG_7162.jpgJanie Fender (11) and Sierra Strickland Nezzamo (11) practice their fiddles before performing. Bill Colvard | The News

Brody York (10) and Mallie York (7) were ready to go. This was Brody’s fifth year competing and Mallie’s third.
https://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_IMG_7168.jpgBrody York (10) and Mallie York (7) were ready to go. This was Brody’s fifth year competing and Mallie’s third. Bill Colvard | The News

Cyndy Vipperman and Vickie Boyd judged the Tommy Jarrell Youth Competition Saturday.
https://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_IMG_7180.jpgCyndy Vipperman and Vickie Boyd judged the Tommy Jarrell Youth Competition Saturday. Bill Colvard | The News

Trophies waiting to be distributed to their young winners.
https://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_IMG_7166.jpgTrophies waiting to be distributed to their young winners. Bill Colvard | The News
2018 Tommy Jarrell Youth Competition Saturday

By Bill Colvard

bcolvard@MtAiryNews.com

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

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