Music & Arts

  • 2019 Fiddlers' Convention Winners

    Winners of the 84th Annual Galax Old Fiddlers' Convention, held Aug. 5-10, 2019 in Felts Park.


    Mattias Thedens — Oslo, Norway


    1. Mattias Thedens - Oslo, Norway

    2. Anissa Burnett - Boone, N.C.

    3. Asa Nelson - Zionville, N.C.

    4. Maxwell Brown - Wilmington, Del.

    5. Richard Bowman - Mount Airy, N.C.

    6. Jesse Maw - Mount Airy, N.C.

    7. Kirk Sutphin - Walkertown, N.C.

  • Fiddlin' film earns awards

    Good news for Twin County natives who missed it last year: the “Fiddlin’” documentary about the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention is coming to Twin County Cinema III in September.

    Last year, the film by sisters Julie Simone and Vicki Vlasic made headlines for its portrayal of the convention and has continued to garner awards on the film festival circuit.

  • Whitetop's musical summit

    WHITETOP — A group of old-time musicians, some from as far away as Pennsylvania, converged on Whitetop Mountain in western Grayson County on July 14 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the last White Top Folk Festival.

    The festival ran from 1931 to 1939 (except 1937) on the second-highest peak in Virginia. The 1940 event was cancelled because of severe flooding and it never resumed. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt famously attended the 1933 festival.

    The 2019 anniversary observance was organized by Rita Scott and Greg Troxell.

  • Thousands in Galax this week for 84th annual convention

    Staff Report

    Over the course of this week, about 40,000 musicians and fans will attend the 84th Annual Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention.

    Fans of old-time and bluegrass from the Twin Counties to California, from the British Isles to Australia and Japan, will be in Galax playing string music into the wee hours under ball field lights, seeing old friends and camping no matter the weather.

  • Mountains of Music Homecoming begins this weekend

    Staff Report

    Tributes to icons of Appalachian music, concerts on floating stages, and dancers equipped with motion sensors are all part of The Crooked Road’s 5th Annual Mountains of Music Homecoming, June 7-15.

  • HoustonFest returning to Felts Park June 7-8

    HoustonFest’s 2019 lineup includes Shenandoah, Dailey & Vincent and EmiSunshine, as well as many returning favorites, new faces and the popular Youth Stage.

    HoustonFest will be held in Galax’s Felts Park on June 7-8.

    Dailey & Vincent (Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent, backed by their band) are five-time Grammy award winners individually, three-time Grammy nominees collectively, four-time DOVE Award winners and winners of 35 IBMA awards altogether, including three-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year and three-time Vocal Group of the Year awards.

  • Clark’s first book arrives after lifetime of writing

    TROUTDALE — Local author Deborah T. Clark will hold a reading for her new book, “Friend, Foe, or Family,” at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts on Friday at 4 p.m., followed by a signing at Chapters Book Shop at 5 p.m.

    Clark has won numerous literary honors, including first place prizes for fiction at Wytheville’s Chautauqua Writing Contest and the Sherwood Anderson Prize for Creative Writing.

    The Grayson County resident is a part-time reporter for The Gazette and The Declaration and a former teacher.

  • 'Thunder' rolls again in Carroll

    Staff Report

    HILLSVILLE — For the fourth season, the live production of “Thunder in the Hills,” a dramatization of the sensational events that rocked the nation in March 1912 — the Carroll County Courthouse shootout in Hillsville and its aftermath — returns to the stage.

  • Local potters are wizards with clay

    Staff Report

    Jessie Benson brings her unique beeswax and oil paintings to City Gallery in downtown Galax in her new show, “Love Takes Flight.”

    An open house and reception will he held Thursday from 5-8 p.m. for Benson, and to showcase the work of other artists: Ann Childress, Emily Whitworth, Peach Bottom Pottery and HeartMoss Pottery.

  • 'Mr. Country Gold' signs off

    On WBRF 98.1’s, July 28 “Mr. Country Gold” show, DJs Derrick Davis and J.D. Higgins — Mr. Country Gold himself — played many songs about saying goodbye.

    That’s no great surprise; lots of classic country songs, like the old-time mountain music they spring from, are about sadness, loss and regret.

    But there was a special poignancy to this episode: it was Higgins’ last one.