CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s champion old-time fiddle and banjo, bluegrass banjo, lap dulcimer, flatpick guitar and mandolin players competed for top honors on Saturday, May 25, 2013,  during the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s 37th annual Vandalia Gathering.

The winners were:

Youth Old-Time Fiddle (age 15 and under)          
            1st place – Walter King, Elkins
            2nd place – Lydia Hager, Kenna
            3rd place – Chloe Sergent, Milton

Old-Time Fiddle (age 59 and under)
            1st place – Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
            2nd place – Jason Chewning, Beverly
            3rd place – Walter King, Elkins
            4th place – Cody Jordan, Point Pleasant
            5th place – Robbie Mann, Glenville

Senior Old-Time Fiddle (age 60 and over)
            1st place – Elmer Rich, Morgantown
            2nd place – Jim Mullins, St. Albans
            3rd place – Terry Vaughan, Cross Lanes
            4th place – John Morris, Ivydale
            5th place – Richard Eddy, Maidsville

Mandolin (all ages)
            1st place – David Watson Jr., West Union
            2nd place – Dan Kessinger, St. Marys
            3rd place – Karl Smakula, Montrose
            4th place – Robin Kessinger, St. Albans
            5th place – Ben Perdue, Morgantown

Bluegrass Banjo (all ages)
             1st place – Logan Browning, St. Albans
             2nd place – Marteka Lake, Hacker Valley
             3rd place – Karl Smakula, Montrose
             4th place – Robert Russell, Tallmansville
             5th place – Blaine Johnson, Beaver

Lap Dulcimer (all ages)
             1st place – Martha Turley, Ona
             2nd place – Will Manahan, Elkview
             3rd place – Ezra Drumheller, Prosperity
             4th place – Ryan Davis, Beckley
             5th place – Morgan Spradling, Beckley

Old-Time Banjo (59 and under)
            1st place – Tim Bing, Huntington
            2nd place – Logan Hoy, Belle
            3rd place – Dennis Ott, Ronceverte
             4th place – Chad Ashworth, St. Albans
            5th place – James Blankenship, Sand Fork

Senior Old-Time Banjo (age 60 and over)
            1st place – Jim Mullins, St. Albans
            2nd place – Paul Gartner, Yawkey
            3rd place – Ken Sheller, Elkins
            4th place – John Morris, Ivydale
            5th place – NA

Youth Flatpick Guitar (age 15 and under)
            1st place – Bryant Underwood, Charleston
            2nd place – Isaac Putnam, Looneyville
            3rd place – Claire Walker, Charleston

Flatpick Guitar (all ages)
            1st place – Adam Hager, Kenna
            2nd place – Jamie Rhodes, Culloden
            3rd place – Matt Lindsey, Dunbar
            4th place – Doug Workman, St. Albans
            5th place – Jarrod Saul, Sumerco

The Vandalia Gathering will be featured on Saturday, June 22, during the 150th birthday celebration at the state Capitol. Food and craft vendors will be plentiful on the capitol grounds. Concerts featuring some of the  winners in mandolin, bluegrass and old-time banjo, flatpick guitar, lap dulcimer and old-time fiddle contests and gospel singing will take place throughout the day. Competitions will be held for the best pound cake, cupcake and maple cookie, as well as the annual Liars Contest. An outdoor dance stage will present heritage and ethnic dancing,  traditional square dancing and  flatfoot and clogging opportunities, with bands and callers on hand. The Old-Time-for-Young-’Uns area will provide a 4-H campfire experience for youth of all ages.

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 play host to 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 Division of Culture and History. For more information, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner and communications manager for the Division, at (304) 558-0220.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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