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Appalachian String Band Music Festival

Contest Rules

1. Registration: All contestants must report to the registration booth during the registration time for their contest. Contestants must be backstage and ready to perform when their number is called. If not present, they will be disqualified.

2. Contest Categories: Contestants are invited to enter all individual categories, but are NOT allowed to play in more than one band. Bands may enter one category only -- either traditional or Neo-traditional.

3. Tunes: Contestants and bands need to be prepared to play one tune/song in the preliminaries and two additional pieces should they be selected as a finalist. Medley-style selections will not be judged.

4. Accompanists: Contestants entering old-time fiddle and old-time banjo categories may have no more than two accompanists.

5. Instrumentation: To be judged, contestants in the band contests must consist of at least three but not more than seven members. Bands competing in the traditional band contest should use instruments normally found in old-time bands. Bands competing in the Neo-traditionalband contest may use instruments not usually associated with old-time music.

6. Judging Criteria: Contestants in all traditional categories will be judged on rhythm/timing, tonal qualities, expression/soul, difficulty, and old-time style (equal weighting), with highest scores going to traditional old-time tunes/songs played in a traditional old-time style. Contestants in the Neo-traditionalband contest will be judged on intonation (20%), timing (20%), difficulty (20%), and creativity and versatility (40%), with highest scores going to bands that creatively and skillfully combine fundamental elements of traditional old-time music (e.g., repertoire, style/spirit, instrumentation) with alternative techniques and various musical styles in their presentation. Ribbons for best original compositions (tune and song) played during the preliminary round of the Neo-traditionalBand contest will not be based on quality of performance, but will rather be based on the composition’s demonstration of mastery of the old-time aesthetic (40%), artistic merit (40%), and originality and innovation (20%). The composer (or co-composer) of the tune or song must play an instrument or sing in the band.

7. Winners: Any contestant winning first place in fiddle or banjo cannot compete in the following year in that particular category.

8. Lyrics: Contestants must keep lyrics appropriate for family audiences.

9. Accidents: accidents beyond the control of the contestant (e.g. broken strings) may result in a replay if the judges so merit.

10. Finality: Decisions by the judges will be final and score sheets will not be shared with contestants or made public.

Click here to view Contest Prizes

See Neo-Traditional Band Contest