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51st annual Granite Quarry Civitan Fiddlers Convention is Saturday

Granite Quarry Civitan will honor Alexander for his promotion and preservation of Bluegrass and Old Time Traditional Music.

Submitted photo
Glen Alexander

GRANITE QUARRY — The Granite Quarry Civitan will honor Glen Alexander for his accomplishments in the promotion and preservation of Bluegrass and Old Time Traditional Music at this, the 51st annual Fiddler’s convention. The convention is held each year on the second Saturday in October (Oct. 14 this year) at East Rowan High School.

Youth competition begins at 4:30 p.m. followed by adult individual and adult band competition.

Registration is 4-6 p.m. for all musicians.

Admission is $8; children under 12 free with paying adult.  The Civitan Club will serve BBQ plates, hot dogs, hamburgers (sponsored by the Hot Dog Shack in Granite Quarry) and desserts from 11 a.m. until.

And who is Glen Alexander? He just may be the most influential fiddler in North Carolina that you have never heard of. Glen grew up in Pfafftown, a region of Winston-Salem dominated by Gospel and Bluegrass music. Growing up surrounded by a family of musicians he thought it a practical question to ask his classmates “What does your dad play?”

He started playing fiddle when he turned eleven and learned to play through school orchestra. He had many local inspirations and taught himself to improvise by sitting in with his fathers band, Muddy Creek. He snuck away from home when he was fourteen to play his first competition in Yadkinville, where he won his first ribbon, 2nd place. A year after, he won his first Blue ribbon at Mt. Airy, and competed and won almost everywhere he entered. In 1998 he won Galax, the most coveted prize for a fiddler on the East Coast. Now he has four Galax Blue ribbons. You can also see his name on over 300 CD’s he’s recorded fiddle on, and he has shared the stage with many of today’s top Bluegrass artists.
You might not know him by name for the previous reasons, but you’ll soon find out the depth of his contribution to the preservation of Bluegrass in NC. He’s been teaching his fiddling technique now for over twenty years. His students include Samantha Snyder, Jacob Moore, Faye Petree, Marci Shore, Ruth Shumway, Nellie Smith, Mary Lynn Edwards, Marshall Feis, Tori Jones and Madison Elmore to name a few. Research any one of these names and you can see that the future of Bluegrass in NC is in good hands. All of the students have become head turners on the music scene today, winning ribbons, making their own albums, and even being teachers themselves!
If you want to hear Glen there are plenty of opportunities, you can catch him with The Little Big String Band, or with The Fiddler and The Flutist with Sharon Fogarty, or look at the videos from theviolinshoppe.net. And if you need a fiddle or lessons you can visit him in Charlotte at The Violin Shoppe.
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