Bows deliver top prize

Published 8:46 am Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fiddlers of all ages and skill levels performed for a chance at winning the top prize during the annal Rotary Club Fiddler’s Convention Saturday. Above, members of Family Affair from Stockton perform during the event.|Photo by Chandler Myers

Fiddlers and musicians turned out tuned and on key last Saturday night as the Atmore Rotary Club held its 32nd annual Fiddler’s Convention in the auditiorium at Escambia County High School.

Hundreds gathered at the high school to witness the event with it being one of the better crowds to attend the event, according to Fiddler’s Covention chairman Keith Castleberry.

“Smooth is the word I would use to describe this year’s event,” he said. “One of our better shows. We had a good group of experienced Rotarians who knew what their jobs were along with the most musicians and largest crowd that we have had.”

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The event featured seven categories with awards going to first through third place.

Musicians and judges were on top of their game as the musicians put forth their best performances and the judges did their best to sort the award worthy.

At the end of the event, the top fiddler and Southeast Fiddler’s Championship went to four-time winner Adam Purvis. Purvis also won the competition in 2009, 2008, 2005 and 2004. He finished second to Caleb Dennis in last year’s competition.

Several of the events featured races to close to call with playoffs taking place.

“We’ve never had so many ties,” Castleberry said. “We even had a tie on top of a tie this year. It showed the judges were on top of judging the competition, while the musicians made it a tough competition to judge.”

With a year to plan for next year’s event, the Rotary Club looks to continue the Fiddler’s Convention with hard work in 2012. The event has already been scheduled for July 21, 2012.

A Facebook page has also been set up to add interest and get more information out to the public, Castleberry said.

“There is not much we can do to improve on this,” he said. “We had a great show with great food from the Wild Butt Bunch Burners and desserts from Rotarians. I hope next year’s show has just as many musicians and people in the audience. If we can do anything, we could advertise more and get the word out to more people.”

The winners of the categories are as follows:

Vocal Band

1st – The Rail

2nd – The Dennis’

3rd – Seminole String Band

String Band

1st – The Rail

2nd – Seminole String Band

3rd – Frontier Bluegrass


1st – Steve Crain

2nd – Tracy Slay

3rd – Robert Bell


1st – Winky Hicks

2nd – Caleb Dennis

3rd – Tracy Slay


1st – James Adkins

2nd – Winky Hicks

3rd – Scott Slay


1st – Scott Slay

2nd – Sidney Abston

3rd – Amanda Kolb


1st – Adam Purvis

2nd – Calep “Sparky” Lewis

3rd – Garrett Youngblood

Plans for next year’s event are already being made. The tentative date will be July 21, 2012. The group has created a Facebook page for those who wish to follow the organizers as they plan the next event. Find them on Facebook at Fiddler’s Convention – Atmore, Alabama.