Granite Quarry Fiddlers Convention returns to East Rowan High on Saturday

Published 12:05 am Thursday, October 7, 2021

GRANITE QUARRY — Bluegrass music will fill the halls of East Rowan High School on Saturday as the Granite Quarry Civitan Fiddlers Convention makes a comeback.

The annual event, which took a year off in 2020 because of COVID-19, will start at 11 a.m. with hotdogs, hamburgers, barbecue plates and desserts sold to raise money for the Civitan Club. Registration starts at 4 p.m. The youth competition will start 30 minutes later. The adult competition is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Admission is $10 for adults and free for those 12 and younger who attend with a paid adult. East Rowan High School is located at 175 St. Lukes Church Road.

“There’s great music, a family atmosphere and it passes on the age-old tradition of bluegrass,” said Vivian Hopkins, an event organizer.

Contestants are allowed to compete in two categories, including as part of a band and as an individual. People younger than 16 can compete in the adult categories if they are proficient. There are $2,400 in total cash prizes in addition to trophies and ribbons. The Don and Margaret Livengood Memorial Award is presented to the most outstanding youth performer. The Ralph Pennington Memorial Master Fiddler Award and miniature fiddle is presented to the first-place fiddler.

Because COVID-19 forced the cancellation of 2020’s fiddler’s convention, this year’s event will honor the late David Anderson Murph Jr., who was born in Iredell County, lived in Cleveland and formed the bluegrass gospel band the Gospel Plowboys. The band’s attire set them apart from other ensembles — denim bib overalls, white shirts and red ties. A live a cappella version of the classic gospel song “What a Day That Will Be” received more than 6 million views on YouTube.

There will be a special performance by the Gospel Plowboys at 6:30 p.m.

This year’s honorees are Steve and Penny Kilby, who married in 1999 and live in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. They’ve taught music camps, private workshops and hosted house concerts. In recent years, they’ve been judges for fiddlers conventions, including the Granite Quarry convention. They also created the Alleghany Music Company. They’ll perform at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Awards will be presented around 8:30 p.m.

For more information, call 704-633-2995 or 704-267-9439. Information is also available on the Granite Quarry Civitan Fiddlers Convention Facebook page.