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Rotary Club tuning up for fiddlers

By By BRIAN BLACKLEY
Advance Publisher
The 22nd Annual Atmore Rotary Club Fiddler's Convention is coming to town and Rotarians are hoping past years of success will bring another promising group of musicians to perform.
Scheduled for July 21 at the Escambia County High School gym, the Fiddler's Convention offers promising musicians who play in the Kentucky Bluegrass style a chance to showcase their talents on a variety of instruments and in vocal competition.
This year is a milestone for the Atmore Rotary Club, marking 22 consecutive successful years of top-notch performances from amateur and professional entertainers from all over the South.
Initially started to help the Atmore Rotary Club fund Rotary Village, the event has become a regional attraction for musicians and music lovers and now has the state of Alabama's seal as the official competition for selecting top musicians.
In between, a number of instruments are showcased n seven in all including voice harmonies. Among them are the string band, banjo, dobro, guitar, mandolin and the celebrated fiddle.
Music is judged in each of five categories by a three-member panel of judges who have a bluegrass background.
As in past years, Gehman and Rotarians are hoping for a good crop of performers, young and old.
Gehman feels that the event offers good family entertainment in the spirit of bluegrass music that was largely performed by family bands traditionally.
Country music performer Hank Locklin is said to be one of the event's primary reasons for developing. Locklin, a professional fiddle player with a Nashville reputation, has roots in Escambia County and helped foster the idea of bringing a fiddle playing contest to local folks.
Locklin and other special guests have taken the stage at the convention in the past to the audience's delight.
Ticket prices are $5 and $3 for adults and kids and are available from Atmore Rotary Club members or may be purchased at the Escambia County High School Gym the day of the Convention.