Cumberland Times-News

July 8, 2014

Headliner announced for Grand Mid-Atlantic Fiddle, Banjo and Mandolin Championship

For the Cumberland Times-News
Cumberland Times-News

— FROSTBURG — The award-winning bluegrass band the Steep Canyon Rangers will be the headline performers at the 21st anniversary Grand Mid-Atlantic Fiddle, Banjo and Mandolin Championship, presented by the Cumberland Lions Club, in cooperation with Del’s Army and WFWM Public Radio, on Oct. 25 at the Lyric and Palace theaters.

The championship will take place in the Lyric Theatre, 20 E. Main St.,  from 11 a m. to 4 p.m., and features contestants in youth (ages 18 and under), adult (19 to 54 years old) and senior (55 and older) categories for each instrument.

Trophies and cash are awarded to winners of each category. Again this year, in lieu of cash, youth winners will receive new instruments as prizes. The instruments are being provided by WFWM Public Radio and the Appalachian Bluegrass Music Shoppe in Catonsville.

Bluegrass fiddler Bobby Hicks, who has performed with Bill Monroe, Jim & Jesse, Masters Of Bluegrass and more, will present the youth winners with their instruments.

There is no entry charge for contestants or for those attending the championship, although donations to the Cumberland Lions Club will be accepted.

Following the competition, the Steep Canyon Rangers and Grand Ole’ Ditch will perform at an evening concert at the Palace Theatre, 31 E. Main St., beginning at 6 pm.

The Steep Canyon Rangers are now in their 15th year together and are one of the most prominent bluegrass bands in the country. In 2013, their album “Nobody Knows You” won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album. In recent years, they have done some high profile touring with comedian Steve Martin. In 2011, they, along with Martin, won the Entertainer of the Year award from the International Bluegrass Music Association.

Grand Ole’ Ditch is a contemporary bluegrass band from Western Maryland who recently competed in the Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition and last year won the bluegrass band competition at the Watermelon Park Bluegrass Fest in Berryville, Va.

Tickets are required for the evening concert. Advance tickets will go on sale July 7 and may be purchased from the Allegany Arts Council in Cumberland or by calling 301-777-2787 or online at www.alleganyartscouncil.org.

The Grand Mid-Atlantic Fiddle, Banjo and Mandolin Championship got its start in 1992 as part of Cumberland’s Rail Fest. The late Wayne A. White wanted to establish a premier contest in Allegany County for players and fans of “old-time” music. The Cumberland Lions Club became involved the following year.

Since White’s passing, his wife Jean and family have continued to hold the event in his memory. At their request, Del’s Army and WFWM Public Radio came onboard in 2013 to help with organization and promotion of the event. Proceeds from the contest will go to the Cumberland Lions Club. In addition, donations of canned goods will be collected for the Western Maryland Food Bank.

Entry materials for contestants may be obtained by calling 301-724-7976 or by email at Info@midatlanticfiddle.com. For more information, visit midatlanticfiddle.com.