39th Banjo and Fiddle Contest September 7, 2019

B & F Contest
The bears are back.

***Registration Kit is in, download here***

Well folks, it is time to plan for an exciting day of traditional music and family fun at Boarding House Park. The Banjo & Fiddle Contest celebrates its 39th event on September 7, 2019, from 10:00AM to 6:00PM.

The event is free for contestants, as well as all traditional music fans who would like to come and listen. Never been to a banjo and fiddle contest before? Bring your lawn chairs and settle in to watch the friendly competition and get in touch with our country's musical roots.

The fun starts at 10am! We'll have music workshops and jam sessions from 10AM-noon and then a whole afternoon full of a music contest and community. Parents arriving early should consider taking a free trolley ride at 10AM from the visitor center, visiting the family corner at the visitor center, and the Boott Cotton Mills Museum where kids can pick up a Jr. Ranger activity book. There will also be a kid's craft activity organized by the park rangers at the contest during the day.

Jon Gersh of WUMB Folk Radio will be the Emcee for the contest and other exciting events of the day.

We are pleased to announce this year's contest judges will be fiddle and banjo duet recording artists Jon Anderson and Tom Collins. Each of them will also teach a workshop before the contest.

Cash prizes will be awarded in 9 categories:
Old Time Fiddle
Old Time Banjo
Bluegrass Fiddle
Bluegrass Banjo
Ethnic Fiddle
Banjo (Other Styles)
Twin Fiddle
Banjo and Fiddle Duet
Youth (14 and under)

Schedule below:

Day Schedule

10AM-11AM - Free Workshops
11AM-12PM - Organized Jam Sessions
11AM-1PM - Registration
12PM-5:30* - Banjo & Fiddle Contest
1PM - 3PM - Kids' Activities
5:30*PM-6PM - Judges Tally Final Scores & Prizes Awarded

*Contest will end and judge tally begin when the final contestant has performed.

Workshops (10-11 AM): So far we have workshops planned for Clawhammer Style Banjo (Tom Collins) and Old Time Fiddle (Jon Anderson), with more in the works.

Check back during the summer for details regarding additional workshops and jams, rules and registration, and prize money.

Organized Jams (11AM - Noon): We will have an organized Old Time Jam, plus one or two others TBD. Check back in August for more details.

Throughout the day, while the contest progresses, informal jam sessions often happen in areas adjacent to the park.

At Lowell National Historical Park, we honor the connections between past and present. At the Banjo & Fiddle Contest, we invite you to come celebrate musical heritage. The repertoire of tunes played during the Contest is what Folklorists refer to as traditional music-music practiced by groups of people who share a common ethnic heritage, geographic region, or way of life. Tunes are shared within families and communities and are passed on over generations.

Rain Location: Lowell High School Auditorium, 50 Fr. Morrissette Blvd., across the street from Boarding House Park.

Last updated: August 23, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

67 Kirk Street
Lowell, MA 01852

Phone:

(978) 970-5000

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