Friday, May 17, 2013

2013 Weiser Banjo Contest

Competition for this first (hopefully annual) banjo contest at Weiser begins at 5:30pm, Sunday June 16, outside Beardsley Hall under the trees at the Institute.  The Institute Gymnasium will be used if weather is inclement. The goal is to create a fun, nurturing, enduring opportunity for banjo players of all types to have a good time while exhibiting their banjo prowess.


Registration will begin at the Old Time Fiddle Contest office at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, and will run through the beginning of the contest on Sunday evening.  There is no entry fee. The first ten signups in each category will compete.

Competition Categories

  • Clawhammer/frailing (old time)
  • Bluegrass (three finger)
  • Other (Irish plectrum, popular plectrum, classical…..)

Awards in each category

  • First place:  Trophy and meal at a Weiser restaurant
  • Second place:  Trophy and homemade pie
  • Third place:  Trophy and homemade cookies

Contest Rules

  • Rules are adapted from the annual Vandalia Gathering contest in Charleston, W. Va., sponsored by the W. Va. Division of Culture and History.
  1. The order of competition in each category will be determined by random drawing.
  2. Each contestant must play two tunes of their choice appropriate for the category entered.
  3. Each contestant may have a maximum of two (2) accompanists.
  4. Contestants will have four minutes to complete their two selections.
  5. Scores do not credit popular crowd-pleasing tunes.
  6. Medley tunes are not acceptable.
  7. Electric instruments are not allowed.
  8. A single condenser microphone will be provided for the contest.
  9. In case of a broken string or major tuning problem, the contestant may replay.
  10. In case of a tie or extremely close score, the judges may request a playoff.
  11. Blind judging will apply.  Judges will not see the contestants or know their identities until judging has been completed.


Three experts selected by the contest organizers will judge all categories. Decisions of the judges will be final. Final scores with notes will be given to contestants.

Scoring (equal weight)

1. Intonation – Tuning and tonal qualities
2. Timing – Accurate and consistent rhythm
3. Difficulty – Complexity of selections
4. Technique – Dexterity in performance
5. Selection – Choice of tunes appropriate to category

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