West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History

2019 Vandalia Gathering Contest Winners Announced


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s champion old-time fiddle, bluegrass banjo, mandolin players and classic cookie bakers competed for top honors on Saturday, May 25, during the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History’s 43rd annual Vandalia Gathering. On Sunday, May 26, old-time banjo, lap dulcimer, flatpick guitar musicians and liars vied for awards.

The winners were:

Youth Old-Time Fiddle (age 15 and under)
1st place – Liam Farley, Chapmanville
2nd place – Sydnee Stricklin, Hurricane
3rd place – Mallory Hindman, Reader

Old-Time Fiddle (age 59 and under)
1st place – Tessa Dillon, Morgantown
2nd place – Jesse Milnes, Valley Bend
3rd place – Andy Fitzgibbon, Montrose
4th place – Jesse Pearson, Huntington
5th place – Ben Davis, Marlinton

Senior Old-Time Fiddle (age 60 and over)
1st place – Gerry Milnes, Elkins
2nd place – Jenny Allinder, St. Albans
3rd place – David Bing, Gandeeville
4th place – Bob Smakula, Elkins
5th place – Jim Mullins, St. Albans

Mandolin (all ages)
1st place – Sawyer Chapman, Charleston
2nd place – Seth Marstiller, Mill Creek
3rd place – Robin Kessinger, St. Albans
4th place – Luke Shamblin, Elkiew
5th place – Isaac Putnam, Kenna

Bluegrass Banjo (all ages)
1st place – Nick Freeman, Charleston
2nd place – Jake Eddy, Parkersburg
3rd place – Jake Stover, Red House
4th place – Seth Marstiller, Mill Creek
5th place – Jared Long, Frametown

Lap Dulcimer (all ages)
1st place – Nick Freeman, Charleston
2nd place – Ezra Drumheller, Prosperity
3rd place – Tish Westman, Beckley
4th place – Martha Turley, Ona

Old-Time Banjo (59 and under)
1st place – Hunter Walker, Beckley
2nd place – Pete Kosky, Charleston
3rd place – Cody Jordan, Charleston
4th place – Jarrod Saul, Sumerco
5th place – Trevor Hammons, Marlinton

Senior Old-Time Banjo (age 60 and over)
1st place – Paul Gartner, Yawkey
2nd place – Gerry Milnes, Elkins
3rd place – Jim Mullins, St. Albans
4th place – David Bing, Gandeeville
5th place – John Morris, Ivydale
Youth Flatpick Guitar (age 15 and under)
1st place – Hazel Riley, Hillsboro

Flatpick Guitar (all ages)
1st place – Robin Kessinger, St. Albans
2nd place – Matt Lindsey, Culloden
3rd place – Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
4th place – Isaac Putnam, Kenna
5th place – Jarrod Saul, Sumerco

Liars (all ages)
Biggest Liar (1st place and Goldenseal magazine’s Golden Shovel award) James Froemel, Maidesville
Bigger Liar (2nd place) Gary Buchanan, Creston
Big Liar (3rd place) Suzy McGinley, Ripley
Youth (age 15 and under, and Goldenseal magazine’s Golden Shovel award) Zane Wilkinson, Ovapa

Classic Cookies (all ages)
1st place – Hannah Potter, Sissonville
2nd place – Maureen Cremeans, St. Albans
3rd place – Ashley Susan Hale, Charleston
Youth (age 15 and under) Kendall Atkins, Scott Depot

The annual Vandalia Gathering is a free celebration of the traditional arts, music, dance, stories, crafts and foods of West Virginia. The Culture Center and State Capitol Complex grounds host this expanding family-style gathering each year on Memorial Day weekend. The unique blending of ethnic and cultural heritage combines an atmosphere as comfortable as a family reunion with the excitement of a state fair. The statewide folk festival, named for the proposed 14th colony, pays tribute to the state’s ethnic heritage through a variety of exhibitions and programs.

Vandalia Gathering is a program of the West Virginia Department Arts, of Culture and History. For more information, contact Andrea Nelson, public information specialist for the department, at (304) 558-0220 or Andrea.E.Nelson@wv.gov.



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