The Morehead News

Local News

August 10, 2012

Morehead Old Time Music Festival a success

Aug. 10, 2012 —     The seventh annual Morehead Old Time Music Festival had its largest crowd yet at the Jaycee Farm this time around.

    The contest-oriented event included cash prizes for each category, as well as concerts.

    “It was a successful year,” said Co-Director Carmen Rogers. “I would say we grew by about a quarter in size this year from previous years.”

    The Poppy Mountain Summertime Family Bluegrass Festival was held the same weekend but didn’t hurt ticket sales, Rogers added.  

    Patrons came from Massachusetts, Colorado, Oregon Vermont, Delaware and Michigan, as well as England and Australia.  

    Rogers said people typically hear about the Old Time Music Festival through an old time network of persons who attend bigger conventions.

    “A third of our attendees were on their way to Clifftop, W.Va., for the Appalachian String Band Festival,” Rogers said. “If we moved our date we would lose a lot of tourism that our festival brings to Morehead.”

    Old time music duo Jimmy and Ada McCown paid tribute Friday evening to Art Stamper, who is in the Bluegrass Hall of Fame. Stamper died at age 71 in 2005 after a four-year battle with throat cancer.  

    Rogers said musical groups will pay tribute to Stamper at the festival for years to come.

    “And we always have square dancing each night of the festival as well, so that will be the same every year,” she said.

    The Freight Hoppers gave a workshop and concert Friday night.

Contest categories were dulcimer, string band, banjo, singing and flat floor dancing.  

    Winners include:

    Youth Banjo: 1st-Emily Bryant, Martin; 2nd-Christina Saliga, Sligo, (no 3rd place)

    Youth Fiddle: 1st-Meghan Bryant, Martin; 2nd-Joseph Collum, Waddy; Emmaly Saliga, Sligo

    Singing: 1st-Sarah Wood, Maysville; 2nd-Karly Dawn Higgins, Morehead; 3rd-Matt Kinman, Vilas, N.C.

    Dulcimer: 1st-Karly Dawn Higgins, Morehead; 2nd-Sarah Wood, Maysville; 3rd-Betty Jacobs, Grayson

    Banjo: 1st-Jack Helton, Hazel Green; 2nd- Dan Gellert, Dayton, Ohio; 3rd-Matt Kinman, Vilas, N.C.

    Dance: 1st-Julie Shepherd-Powell, Big Stone Gap, Va.; 2nd-Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Blacksburg, Va.; 3rd-Becky Hill, Elkins, W.Va.

    Youth Dance: 1st-Eliot Reynolds, Morehead

    Art Stamper Fiddle Contest: 1st-Nikos Pappas, Lexington; 2nd-Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Blacksburg, Va.; 3rd-Adrian Powell, Big Stone Gap, Va.

    String Band: 1st: The Sharkey Farmers: Nikos Pappas, Scott Rucker, and Seth Folsom; 2nd: The Rail Splitters: Adrian Powell, Julie Shepherd-Powell, Rich Kirby, Brett Ratliff and Nate Polly; 3rd: Hail Fire: Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Karly Dawn Higgins, Sarah Wood, and T-Claw

    The event was sponsored by the Morehead Tourism Commission, MSU Center for Regional Engagement, Kentucky Center for Traditional Music, Morehead State Public Radio and South Arts.

    Nicole Sturgill can be reached at or by telephone at 784-4116.

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