Community, The Braxton Democrat

2024 Vandalia Gathering Contest Winners Include County Musician

West Virginia’s champion old-time fiddle, bluegrass banjo and mandolin players competed for top honors on Saturday, May 25, during the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History’s 47th annual Vandalia Gathering. On Sunday, May 26, old-time banjo, lap dulcimer, flat-pick guitar musicians and liars vied for awards. One of the winners was from Frametown. Melissa Dennison captured 4th place in the Lap Dulcimer (all ages) category.
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 host 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 Department of Arts, Culture and History. For more information, contact Andrea Nelson, public information specialist for the department, at (304) 558-0220 or [email protected].
A complete list of winners includes Youth Old-Time Fiddle (age 15 and under) 1st place – Liam Farley, Chapmanville, 2nd place – Nate Atkinson, Hurricane, 3rd place – Jo Butterworth, Hurricane; Old-Time Fiddle (age 59 and under) 1st place – Tessa McCoy, Greenville, 2nd place – Jake Krack, Marlinton, 3rd place – Jesse Milnes, Elkins, 4th place – Chance McCoy, Greenville, 5th place – Emily Miller, Elkins; Senior Old-Time Fiddle (age 60 and over) 1st place – Jenny Allinder, Point Pleasant, 2nd place – Dan Kessinger, St. Marys, 3rd place – Gerry Milnes, Elkins, 4th place – Bob Smakula, Montrose, 5th place – John Longwell, Gandeeville; Mandolin (all ages) 1st place – Sawyer Chapman, Charleston, 2nd place – Tristan Dennis, Morgantown, 3rd place – Ezekiel Green, Beckley, 4th place – Dan Kessinger, St. Marys, 5th place – Robin Kessinger, St. Albans; Bluegrass Banjo (all ages)1st place – Brandon Green, Beckley, 2nd place – Logan Hoy, Belle, 3rd place – Brian “Buck” Minor, Bridgeport, 4th place – Carter Eddy, Parkersburg, 5th place – Emmett Carper, West Union; Lap Dulcimer (all ages) 1st place – Helena Lee, Cross Lanes, 2nd place – Janie Miles, Pliny, 3rd place – Jim Probst, Hamlin, 4th place – Melissa Dennison, Frametown; Old-Time Banjo (59 and under) 1st place – Trevor Hammons, Marlinton, 2nd place – Chance McCoy, Greenville, 3rd place – Ryan Brandenburg, Oak Hill, 4th place – Pete Kosky, Charleston, 5th place – Tessa McCoy, Greenville; Senior Old-Time Banjo (age 60 and over) 1st place – Gerry Milnes, Elkins, 2nd place – Jim Mullins, St. Albans, 3rd place – Jay Lockman, Green Bank, 4th place – Paul Gartner, Yawkey, 5th place – John Morris, Ivydale; Flat-pick Guitar (all ages) 1st place – Robin Kessinger, St. Albans, 2nd place – Jakob Thomas, South Charleston, 3rd place – Dan Kessinger, St. Marys, 4th place – DJ Kessinger, Charles Town, 5th place – Lucas Nichols, Charleston; Liars (all ages) Biggest Liar (1st place and Goldenseal magazine’s Golden Shovel award) – April Ritter, Charleston, Bigger Liar (2nd place) – Susan McCauley, Ashford, Big Liar (3rd place) – John Mullins, Dunbar