| Aug 14, 2008

Feature Article - August 14, 2008

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Feature Article - August 14, 2008 First Ever Music ChampionshipsBy Julie Druker

Competitors Mitchel Barker-Gibson & Guy Gibson.The first ever Frontenac Old Time Music Championships took place this past Saturday at the Piccadilly Hall near Godfrey and a number of musicians came out to give it their all.

As the flyer says, the event is “dedicated to the preservation, participation and performance of Old Time Country Music“.

Organized by Joan and Roy Shepherd, Joan explained how the event came about. “It grew out of the Jam Sessions that we were having [at Piccadilly Hall]. They kept getting larger and larger and I thought the audience might enjoy an actual contest.”

The hall was full to capacity this past Saturday for the event, which included competitions for all ages in fiddle, guitar, mandolin and violin.

The fiddle competitions drew the majority of contestants and Joan adds, ”What we did have was quality. Including the quality of the judges as well”

Roy Clow, the guitar judge from the Verona area and a professional musician who plays with “The Old Hims” was impressed by the talent and was enthusiastic about the event. “It brings musicians out of the woodwork who don’t really have a place to go and play.” He added, “It’s a great opportunity for people to be heard, and to keep going.”

Competitor Mitchell Barker-Gibson, a resident of Kingston who is originally from Parham, competed in two events and won first place in both, though winning is not his real motivation. “It’s nice. But really, I do it just for the fun.”

An avid player, he reminisced about meeting one of his great inspirations, Kitty Wells, at the Grand Theatre in Kingston. “She was playing and I met her and told her about how I was playing and singing and stuff and I shook her hand asked her to sign a record - it was actually her first record, and she looked at it and asked ‘Where did you get this?’”

After the competition, avid players hung around the hall and jammed until 11:00pm.

Joan Shepherd has definite plans to keep the completion going. Based on the feedback that she has received she’s already thinking of some specific changes.

“For every phone call we received from people, there were five that said “I want to sing.’ So next year we‘re planning to include singing as a category in the competition.”

So for all you singers out there…here’s plenty of notice to hone up your chops.

Kudos to Joan and Roy and all of the volunteers who helped to organize the competition and the regular Sunday jams.

Obviously Old Time Country Music is alive and well in South Frontenac.

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