Great Southern Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention To Take Place March 9

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

In the fourth year of its successful revival, the Great Southern Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention will take place at Lindsay Street Hall, 901 Lindsay St., at noon on March 9. The event will conclude after the fiddle competition in the evening.  

Admission is $5 per person, children under 12 are admitted free. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Uniquely focused on old time music, which aims to recreate as authentically as possible traditional American string music, the convention will feature both contests and a variety of performances throughout the day. 

Musicians will compete in four categories, with the top three contestants winning cash prizes in fiddle, banjo, string band, and dance. A panel of distinguished judges will decide the winners. There is no registration fee for the contests with paid admission.

The Chattanooga Fiddlers’ Convention was first held in 1925. Drawing crowds 5,000 strong, the event was held biannually by 1927. Rationing during World War II forced a lull in the contest that lasted over 60 years, until its revival in 2010. The event is a proven success, routinely drawing crowds of 500 people throughout the day. 

Matt Downer, the local fiddler and music historian who revived the Great Southern, strives to make it the most authentic fiddlers’ convention in the nation. The old time style of music is virtually unchanged and no microphones or electric amplification is used whatsoever. “You won’t find this anywhere in the work but Chattanooga,” said Clark Williams, a fiddler in last year’s contest. “The microphone robs the fiddle of the glory of its natural sound. It cannot be added to – only subtracted from.”

Sponsors of the event include Tennessee Aquarium, Fletcher Bright, Rock City, Lone Mountain Music, Moon Pie, Terra Mae and Dust to Digital.

For more information contact Matt Downer, Chattanooga Old Fiddlers’ Association, PO Box 4282, Chattanooga, TN  37405;; or

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