fbpx

Walnut Valley Festival 48.5

September 12 - 20, 2020

National Flat-Picking Championships
Winfield, KS

"Fesity" playing a guitar and wearing a face covering for the Walnut Valley Festival Festival 48.5

49th Walnut Valley Festival

National Flat-Picking Championships
Winfield, KS

Sept. 12 - 20, 2020

49th Walnut Valley Festival has been postponed
to September 2021 due to COVID-19 Concerns

All tickets sold for WVF 49 will be valid for entry in September 2021
A virtual WVF 48.5 will take place September 12-20, 2020

Be Kind, Stay Safe!

Walnut Valley Virtual Festival 48.5 Nears Conclusion

Winfield, Kansas—The performance portion of the Walnut Valley virtual Festival, officially dubbed WVF 48.5, reached its conclusion last Sunday, Sept. 20. However, the virtual festival web page, https://www.wvfest.com/wvf-48-5/, continues to be active, and the videos will remain up for viewing till the end of September, as planned. Funds raised during the campaign will help performers and the festival, and donations are still being accepted. 

Festival officials say that the individual videos of the performances, totaling more than 40 hours of content, were loaded over 24,000 times, and played by at least 11,865 unique visitors to the site. Those who donated received a range of goodies, from guitar picks to facemasks, t-shirts and mugs, to a specially designed game tailored to festival fans. So far, donations have reached $38,551 of a target of $150,000, with 6 days left in the fundraising campaign. 

WVF 48.5 officially began Sept. 12, with a series of instrument workshops conducted by Zoom. More than 130 people took advantage of the chance to learn from the masters, and the workshops featured sessions on a variety of instruments, taught by a who’s who of bluegrass musicians–Stephen Bennett, Dan Crary, Bill Evans, Juni Fisher, Bing Futch, Grace Van’t Hof, Chris Jones, Adam Miller, Mark Sganga, Mark Stoffel, Missy Raines, and Mark Alan Wade. 

From Monday, Sept. 14 through Friday, Sept. 18, a series of concert events were broadcast, including a collection of memorable performances on Stage 5, one of the festival’s best-known camp stages, and a virtual Winfield Music Crawl with sets from several local bands. This was followed by a special showing of a video produced for the festival’s 25th anniversary, giving an inside look at some of the main features of the Walnut Valley Festival, including camping, concerts, contests and crafts.  

Wednesday saw the airing of an evening concert with John McCutcheon, devoted to “Community in COVID-19,” which featured guest appearances from Muriel Anderson, Michael Mark, Tom Chapin and his daughters, Abigail and Lily, The Steel Wheels, Socks in the Frying Pan, and several others. This was followed by a video devoted to Andy May’s Acoustic Kids, a long-running program which focuses on mentoring talented young bluegrass players. Thursday, September 17, a special Champions Showcase concert was shown, with performances by 7 of the winners of last year’s 8 instrument contests—the International Autoharp Championship—Doug Pratt, International Finger Style Guitar Championship—Adam Gardino, the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship—Grant Olson, National Mandolin Championship—R. Wesley Carr,  National Flat Pick Guitar Championship—Allen Shadd, National Hammer Dulcimer Championship—Nate Pultorak and National Bluegrass Banjo—Eric Welty. Information on those winners can be found at www.wvfest.com/contest-winners/ 

On Friday, September 18, a special edition of the festival’s NewSong Showcase was shown. The NewSong Showcase offers a chance for aspiring songwriters to submit their work for review by a professional songwriter/artist, with the opportunity to appear on stage during the festival. This year the top participants recorded videos of their performances, which were streamed on Friday evening. Immediately following this another campground stage, Stage 11, continued on with other talented songwriters offsite on social media. 

Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20, were devoted to streaming concerts by artists who were scheduled to perform in Winfield this year. Most of the performances were recorded specifically for this event, but there were a few videos that featured performances captured elsewhere, at-home performances with missing band members or surrogates, or footage taken at the 2019 Walnut Valley Festival. Performers who contributed videos included 3 TRAILS WEST, Appalachian Road Show, Helen Avakian & David Irwin, Stephen Bennett, Byron Berline Band, Roz Brown & Jim Ratts, Tom Chapin & Michael Mark, The Cowboy Way, Crary, Evans & Barnick, Damn Tall Buildings, Juni Fisher, Bing Futch, Beppe Gambetta, JigJam, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, John McCutcheon, Marley’s Ghost, Mile Twelve, Andy May, Adam Miller, Barry Patton, Missy Raines, Mark Sganga, Socks in the Frying Pan, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, The Steel Wheels, Steelwind, Linda Tilton, and Mark Alan Wade. The staff of Feisty’s Music Camp for Kids also offered sing-a-longs and guest performances via Zoom, aimed at a younger audience, on Saturday morning.  

Winfield’s Legacy Foundation and Winfield Arts and Humanities Council are facilitating the fundraising aspect of the event. Sixty percent of the funds raised will be split equally between all of the artists in the lineup taking part. The remaining forty percent will be used by WVA to pay for production costs of WVF 48.5 as well as to get ready for its 49th Walnut Valley Festival in 2021. To aid in fundraising, Elk Falls Pottery and Art Farm Screen Printing & Design produced special mugs and t-shirts to reward donors. Theurer Auction/Realty also provided a platform for an online auction of festival memorabilia.

Walnut Valley Virtual Festival 48.5 – September 12-20

Winfield, Kansas—The public portion of the Walnut Valley Virtual Festival, officially dubbed WVF 48.5, begins today. The past weekend was spent in online instrument workshops, taught by artists who will appear in streaming concerts this weekend. Funds raised during this week of events and activities will go to help performers and the festival. 

A complete schedule of the online festival’s events can be found on the firm’s website, at wvfest.com/wvf-48-5/, and the onsite portal to view the streaming concerts is www.wvfest.com/wvf-48-5-livestream/.  From Monday, September 14 through Friday, Sept. 18, a series of concert events will be held in the evenings, all beginning at 5:30pm. On Monday a special edition of Vintage Stage 5 will showcase some memorable concerts over the years at one of the festival’s best-known camp stages. On Tuesday, September 15, the broadcast will feature a Winfield tradition brought to the screen—a virtual music crawl, with sets of several local bands. This will be followed by a showing of a video produced for the festival’s 25th anniversary, giving an inside look at some of the main features of the Walnut Valley Festival, including camping, concerts, contests and crafts.  

On Wednesday, September 16, there will be an evening concert with John McCutcheon, devoted to “Community in COVID-19,” which will feature guest appearances from several fellow musicians. This will be followed by a video featuring Andy May’s Acoustic Kids, a long-running program which focuses on mentoring talented young bluegrass players. Thursday, September 17, a special Champions Showcase concert will be shown, with performances by the winners of last year’s instrument contests—the International Autoharp Championship, International Finger-Style Guitar Championship, the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship, National Mandolin Championship, Walnut Valley Old-Time Fiddle Championship, National Flat Pick Guitar Championship, National Hammer Dulcimer Championship and National Bluegrass Banjo. Information on those winners can be found at www.wvfest.com/contest-winners/ 

On Friday, September 18, a special edition of the festival’s NewSong Showcase will be offered online in the evening. The NewSong Showcase offers a chance for aspiring songwriters to submit their work for review by a professional songwriter/artist, with the opportunity to appear on stage at the festival. This year the top participants have recorded videos of their performances, which will be streamed on Friday evening. Immediately following this another campground stage, Stage 11, will continue on with other talented songwriters offsite on social media. 

Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20, will be devoted to streaming concerts by artists who were scheduled to perform in Winfield this year. Most of the performances have been recorded specifically for this event. Performers who have contributed videos include 3 Trails West, Appalachian Road Show, Helen Avakian & David Irwin, Byron Berline Band, Roz Brown & Jim Ratts, Tom Chapin & Michael Mark, The Cowboy Way, Crary, Evans & Barnick, Damn Tall Buildings, Juni Fisher, Bing Futch, Beppe Gambetta, JigJam, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, John McCutcheon, Marley’s Ghost, Mile Twelve, Andy May, Adam Miller, Barry Patton, Missy Raines, Mark Sganga, Socks in the Frying Pan, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, The Steel Wheels, Steelwind, Linda Tilton, and Mark Alan Wade & Kyle Baker. The staff of Feisty’s Music Camp for Kids will also be offering sing-a-longs and online mural projects on Saturday morning, and that event requires prior registration, at www.wvfest.com/2020-feisty-music-camp-for-kids-on-zoom/

Winfield’s Legacy Foundation and Winfield Arts and Humanities Council have agreed to facilitate the fundraising aspect of the event. Sixty percent of the funds raised will be split equally between all of the artists in the lineup taking part. The remaining forty percent will be used by WVA to pay for production costs of WVF 48.5 as well as to get ready for its 49th Walnut Valley Festival in 2021. To aid in fundraising, Elk Falls Pottery and Art Farm Screen Printing & Design have agreed to produce special mugs and t-shirts to reward donors. Theurer Auction/Realty is also providing a platform for an online auction of festival memorabilia, as well as the #1 spots at Winfield’s annual Land Rush, where long-time camps claim their camping spots, at https://www.theurer.net/project/details/53857

WVA Announces Winners for 2020 NewSong Showcase

Winfield, Kansas–Organizers of the 2020 virtual Walnut Valley Festival, or WVF 48.5, have announced the winners of the 2020 NewSong Showcase. The NewSong Showcase gives aspiring songwriters a chance to submit their work for review by a professional songwriter/artist, and features ten categories, including songs about Winfield, Children, Religion/Spirit, Feelin’ Blue, Instrumental, Sweet Memories, Love Songs, Better World, Humor and None of the Above. Usually, the top songs in each category are given the opportunity to play their song onstage at the Walnut Valley Festival. Two winners and two alternates are selected for each of the ten categories of songs.

This year the winners are being asked to videotape themselves playing the winning songs, so that they can be streamed during a special online edition of the NewSong Showcase, set to air at 7 pm CDT on Friday, September 18. A special Zoom edition of Stage 11, Songwriters Stage, will then give the alternates a chance to show their stuff.

This is also the first year that the review of the entries was curated by Chris Jones, writer, broadcaster, and front man for Chris Jones and the Night Drivers. Chris Jones: “I was impressed by the quality and range of the songs that were entered. I love the process of discovering new songs, so I really appreciate the Walnut Valley Festival entrusting me with this job. I’m also grateful to the outstanding judges who lent their ears and their hearts to the often difficult task of determining winners, and who gave really valuable feedback to all the writers. I’m especially thankful to the songwriters who opened themselves up and let us hear their work and their art.”

Songs about Winfield:

Winners:
The Old Walnut River – J.D. Benning
Weekend at Winfield – Mike Ichniowski 

Alternates:
Pick Your Paradise – Ron Walker
Pickin’ in the Road – Evan Ogborn

Songs for a Better World:

Winners:
Land of the Great Osage – Annie Wilson
Maria’s Dusty Shoes – Beth Lee

Alternates:
Better Angels – James L. Hermann
Let Us Not Close Our Hearts – Joy Zimmerman 

Sweet Memories:

Winners:
Enjoy the Ride – Mackie Redd/Kenny Cornell 
No Time Son – Jim McCarter  

Alternates:
That Old Front Porch – Kenny Cornell 
Hard Wheat Harvest of ’84 – James L. Hermann  

Religion/Spirit:

Winners:
Restless Wanderer – Ralph Wesley Carr 
Druid Hymn – Emily K. Johnson-Erday 

Alternates:
Loaves and Fishes – Patrice Webb  
Just Passing’ Through – Beth Lee   

None of the Above:

Winners:
Hell Bender – Beth Lee 
Coyote Serenade – Annie Wilson 

Alternates:
On the Connecticut – Stan Sullivan 
Put My Mind at Ease – Ken Weddington, Felix Rodriguez, Jose Antonio Ponce, Dan Johnson 

Suitable for Children:

Winners:
Lost Shoe Blues – Mike Yoder 
Just a Buzzin’ – Mark Noble  

Alternates:
Daisy the Bottle Calf – Annie Wilson  
Dogs and Cats Are People Too – Mark Noble

Humorous Songs:

Winners:
The Old Clunker – Bruce Allinder 
In Love with Your Phone – Kelly Champlin, Adam Gardino 

Alternates:
Stealing Jesus – Jim McCarter 
Car Parts Party – Kenny Cornell, Elliot Rogers 

Instrumental:

Winners:
Ghost Town – Robert Olaf Siegers, Cricket Tombs 
Meadowlark Rag – Greg Bryant 

Alternates:
Re-entry – Alice Boyle
Nocturn for Lily – – Steve Taylor 

Love Songs:

Winners:
I Could Never Write Our Love Song – Jim Carrington  
Good Night for a Change – Jim Joyce, Leah Watts

Alternates:
His Coal Mining Days are Through – Kevin T. Hale  
How ‘Bout You – Mark Noble  

Feelin’ Blue:

Winners:
A Letter and a Hope – Beth Nelson 
What’s a Poor Girl to Do? – Beth Lee

Alternates:
Evangeline – Fred Baue 
Living in Heartbreak and Pain – Kevin T. Hale  

Virtual Walnut Valley Festival to Offer Online Workshops from Top Performers

Winfield, Kansas—Officials at Walnut Valley Association (WVA) announce that registration is now open for online workshops offered as part of a virtual Walnut Valley Festival, dubbed WVF 48.5. The workshops will be taught via Zoom over the weekend of September 12-13, and will offer hands-on instruction to beginning, intermediate and advanced students on a variety of instruments and topics. This virtual instruction replaces the workshops that are usually held on the Wednesday marking the official beginning of the Walnut Valley Festival. They are open to anyone with internet access who wishes to take part, but spots are limited so participants should sign up early. A full listing of the workshops and instructors, along with details on registration, can be found at wvfest.com/2020-hands-on-workshops/. Workshops are $30 per session, with registration available online and by phone, and last day to sign up is September 4.

The list of workshop instructors is a veritable Who’s Who of top performers in folk and bluegrass music today, and includes Stephen Bennett (Advanced & Intermediate Finger Style Guitar), Dan Crary (Intermediate Flat Pick Guitar), Bill Evans (“Putting it all Together,” and “Bluegrass Banjo Jam Survival Skills,” both for all skill levels of banjo players), Juni Fisher (Songwriting), Bing Futch (Beginner & Intermediate Mountain Dulcimer), Chris Jones (Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar), Adam Miller (Melodic Autoharp), Barry Patton (Bones), Missy Raines (Upright Bass), Mark Sganga (Finger Style Guitar, one session for Intermediate / Advanced, and one for all skill levels), Mark Stoffel (Intermediate Mandolin), Grace Van Hof (Beginning & Backup Ukulele), and Mark Alan Wade (Intermediate / Advanced Hammer Dulcimer).  

WVA Workshop Coordinator Karen Deal: “Here’s your chance to study with a National Champion guitarist, an award-winning recording musician, or one of several IBMA award recognized performers. Get one of your jamming buddies and make it a day of online fun, and learn some new licks at one of WVF 48.5’s Hands-On Zoom Workshops!

WVA Workshop Coordinator Karen Deal: “We are so thankful to the performers taking part in our inaugural foray into online instruction. Many of the artists who have volunteered to take part in these workshops are old hands at this by now, having switched to online instruction months ago, while a few have had to get up to speed rather quickly. For our part, we have reached out to other organizations who have led the way in online workshops, such as the QuaranTUNE Dulcimer Festival (www.virtualdulcimerfest.com), and we are so thankful for their advice and assistance. On the technical side, we have a number of staff who will be on hand over the workshop weekend in order to ensure that the technical side of things is taken care of, and to take that burden off of the performers who are teaching the workshops.

The Workshops begin a week-long series of online events and activities included in WVF 48.5, which runs September 12-20. Other events include a virtual Battle of the Bands, a special evening with John McCutcheon, a Concert of Champions, a NewSong Showcase, an online version of Feisty’s Music Camp for Kids, and a solid weekend of streaming concerts produced specifically for this event. Most of the fees charged for the Workshops go directly to the instructors, with the remainder covering administrative costs. Other events offered as part of WVF 48.5 will provide the opportunity to donate to a fund supporting performers and Walnut Valley Festival.

Virtual Walnut Valley Festival Revives Battle of the Bands

Winfield, Kansas—Officials at Walnut Valley Association (WVA) announced that registration is now open to bands wishing to take part in its inaugural virtual Battle of the Bands, part of the virtual Walnut Valley Festival, dubbed WVF 48.5. The contest will be included in the weeklong event, which will include instrument workshops, a special evening with John McCutcheon, a Concert of Champions, a NewSong Showcase, and concerts produced specifically for this event, which runs September 12-20.

Every year, talented local and regional bands attend the festival, putting in a full week of appearances at campground stages and picking sessions on grounds. In recognition of this important tradition, WVA is bringing back a contest that was held in the festival’s early years: a Battle of the Bands. WVA’s website is accepting entries for the online contest, open to any band that has never performed as part of Winfield’s official lineup. Bands should submit videos of their performances, which will be shared on a page of the festival website dedicated to the contest. Fans will then have a chance to vote for favorite bands, at the same time donating to support WVF 48.5. The winning band will be invited to play at the 49th Walnut Valley Festival, in 2021. Full contest details, rules and online registration are available at wvfest.com/band-registration/

Winfield’s Legacy Foundation and Winfield Arts and Humanities Council have will facilitate the fundraising aspect of the event. To aid in fundraising, Elk Falls Pottery and Art Farm Screen Printing & Design are producing special mugs and t-shirts to reward donors.

Virtual Walnut Valley Festival 48.5 – September 12-20

Winfield, Kansas—Officials at Walnut Valley Association (WVA) have announced that a virtual Walnut Valley Festival in September, dubbed WVF 48.5, will include a week’s worth of activities to be held in conjunction with an online fundraising campaign. Funds raised will go to the lineup of entertainers taking part in the online event, and will also help pay for production costs for both the virtual festival and for the 49th Festival in 2021. The online events included in the fundraiser will take place September 12-20.

Over the weekend of September 12-13, a series of workshops will be held via Zoom for those wishing to learn from the masters. These workshops will be hands-on sessions intended to help patrons improve their skills on instruments of their choice. This virtual instruction will replace the workshops that are usually held on the Wednesday before festival officially gets underway on grounds, where artists engage patrons in a day’s worth of efforts to improve their mastery of everything from vocals to instrument playing to songwriting skills.

On Wednesday, September 16, there will be a special evening concert with John McCutcheon, devoted to “Maintaining a Sense of Community in COVID-19.”

On Thursday, September 17, a special Champions Showcase concert will stream in the evening, with performances by the winners of last year’s instrument contests—the International Autoharp Championship, International Finger-Style Guitar Championship, the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship, National Mandolin Championship, Walnut Valley Old-Time Fiddle Championship, National Flat Pick Guitar Championship, National Hammer Dulcimer Championship and National Bluegrass Banjo. Information on those winners can be found at www.wvfest.com/contest-winners/.

On Friday, September 18, a special edition of the NewSong Showcase will be offered online in the evening. The NewSong Showcase offers a chance for aspiring songwriters to submit their work for review by a professional songwriter/artist, with the opportunity to appear on stage at one of two sets during the festival. This year the top participants will be asked to record videos of their performance, which will then be streamed on Friday evening. The Showcase features ten categories, including songs about Winfield, Children, Religion/Spirit, Feelin’ Blue, Instrumental, Sweet Memories, Love Songs, Better World, Humor and None of the Above. This year entries may be made entirely online, allowing participants to upload their song and accompanying lyrics, rather than sending in CDs by mail. For additional info, check https://www.wvfest.com/newsong-showcase/. Deadline for entries is August 1.

In a nod to the talented local and regional bands who annually attend the festival, putting in a full week of appearances at campground stages and picking sessions on grounds, WVF 48.5 will include a virtual Battle of the Bands. Beginning in August, WVA’s website will begin accepting entries in an online contest open to any band that has never performed as part of Winfield’s official lineup. Bands will be able to submit videos of their performances, which will be posted to the festival website. Fans will then have a chance to vote for favorite bands, using vote buttons that also contribute funds to support the cause. One of the prizes for band winners will the opportunity to play at the 49th Walnut Valley Festival, in 2021.

Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20, will be devoted to streaming concerts by artists who were scheduled to perform in Winfield. The performances are being recorded specifically for this event. Throughout the week, the staff of Feisty’s Music Camp for Kids will also be offering sing-a-longs and online mural projects, and Andy May’s legacy of Acoustic Kids will be featured as well.

Winfield’s Legacy Foundation and Winfield Arts and Humanities Council have agreed to facilitate the fundraising aspect of the event. Sixty percent of the funds raised will be split equally between all of the artists in the lineup taking part. The remaining forty percent will be used by WVA to pay for production costs of WVF 48.5 as well as to get ready for its 49th Walnut Valley Festival in 2021. To aid in fundraising, Elk Falls Pottery and Art Farm Screen Printing & Design have agreed to produce special mugs and t-shirts to reward donors.

WVA Executive Director Bart Redford: “One of the things that impressed us so much as we reached out to this year’s performers about our decision to postpone the festival, was how many of them expressed their support and asked how they might help. These were people, artists and agents, who had been getting these cancellation calls for months on end, telling us what a special place Winfield held in their hearts and asking us what they could do. So we decided that by taking WVF 48.5 virtual we could help one another get through this global pandemic together—artists, festival-goers, WVA–until we can all meet in person once again.
Fans should watch the Walnut Valley Festival official website and Facebook page for details and links for WVF 48.5.

49th Walnut Valley Festival will Happen…in 2021

Winfield, Kansas—Officials at Walnut Valley Association (WVA) have announced that the 49th Walnut Valley Festival will be postponed until September 2021. WVA has been closely monitoring CDC and WHO recommendations related to mass gatherings, and took this decision after communicating with local public health and city officials. For those who have purchased tickets for the 49th Walnut Valley Festival, these tickets will be valid for entry in 2021 and patrons can expect a direct mailing with details. Contractors, vendors and workers will be contacted as soon as possible.

Plans call for a series of virtual concerts and events to take place in September 2020, with donations going to support performers and others suffering from the effects of the pandemic. WVA will continue to take NewSong Showcase entries, and plans to incorporate this into an online showcase in September 2020. Further details will be announced when available.

WVA Executive Director Bart Redford: “On behalf of WVA, I want to thank those of you who have sent letters and e-mails, called our office, or posted online in support of the festival and shared how much we mean to you. I can assure you, the feeling is mutual. It is in fact that concern for our patrons that is driving this decision. Some may deem the risk of having this event acceptable; however, long ago my high school debate coach taught me that, when the outcome of doing something is particularly dire, even if it is only a potential risk, it outweighs more certain but less lethal outcomes incurred in not taking that action. In considering the wisdom of bringing so many people together from all over the world to a small Kansas community, mixing them well, and then returning them home, we find it difficult to imagine how we might do that in a responsible way that sees everyone safely returning to their homes with the prospect of attending the NEXT Walnut Valley Festival.”

“I know that most of our patrons have a passion for attending WVF, and people have been clamoring for clarification on whether Winfield will happen this year. I want to thank you all for letting us know your thoughts over the last few months. If you have taken part in online debates on social media, we have taken note of your comments. If you wrote an e-mail to us on this topic, we have read it. We have also reached out to some patrons by phone, and we thank those of you who took a few minutes to talk with us about your feelings on this matter.”

“We have also had conversations with local public health officials, city administrators, local and regional leaders, and peers in the festival and outdoor event industry. We have reached out to artists, because they have been most affected by this pandemic, and have arguably the least amount of access to government aid. But I am hopeful that the plans we are making for providing a virtual festival, which we have tentatively dubbed WVF 48.5, will provide some much-needed relief to our performers and others.”

WVA Owner Kendra Redford: “On behalf of WVA and the Redford family, I want to express how sorry we all are to have to postpone our annual gathering on the banks of the Walnut River–the first time this has happened in the Festival’s 48-year history. We do so with heavy hearts, but we are convinced that it is the responsible thing to do. For many people, our event is something like a family reunion, and you don’t risk spreading contagion at a gathering of your clan.”

Walnut Valley Festival’s NewSong Showcase Under New Management

Winfield, Kansas–Organizers of the Walnut Valley Festival have announced that Chris Jones, front man for Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, is the new curator of the festival’s NewSong Showcase.

Chris Jones, who has several times appeared at Winfield with the Night Drivers, is known as one of the hardest-working musicians in the business, maintaining a busy touring schedule as well as a writing and broadcasting schedule. He is a broadcaster for Sirius XM’s Bluegrass Junction and writes a weekly column for the website Bluegrass Today. Chris Jones and the Night Drivers have had eleven #1 songs on Bluegrass Today’s weekly chart in recent years, including #1 song for the year in 2013. They have won nine International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards, including an award for Song of the Year that Jones received for “Fork in the Road” in 2007.

Last year fans at Winfield learned that Kelly and Donna Mulhollan, known musically as the duo Still on the Hill, would no longer be overseeing the songwriting showcase. For the duo hosted the showcase for 25 years, after inheriting the job from the event’s founder, Crow Johnson. Over that time, the Showcase has built up a solid following of supporters, and at the 2019 festival the Mulhollans were honored by festival organizers and fans alike.

The NewSong Showcase is a chance for aspiring songwriters to submit their work for review by a professional songwriter/artist, with a chance to appear on stage at one of two sets during the festival. It features ten categories, including songs about Winfield, Children, Religion/Spirit, Feelin’ Blue, Instrumental, Sweet Memories, Love Songs, Better World, Humor and None of the Above. This year entries may be made entirely online, allowing participants to upload their song and accompanying lyrics, rather than sending in CDs by mail. For additional info, check https://www.wvfest.com/newsong-showcase/

WVA Executive Director Bart Redford: “On behalf of Walnut Valley Association, I want to express our gratitude to Kelly and Donna Mulhollan, who did such a fantastic job for so many years with the NewSong Showcase. We are also incredibly pleased that Chris has now agreed to take on this project. They say that, “if you want to see that something gets done, find someone who is busy doing a lot of things.” I think that definitely applies to Chris, who excels in so many different areas, as a talented songwriter and musician, as well as a broadcaster and writer. We are thrilled to have him on board.”   

2019 Instrument Championship Winners From the 48th Annual Walnut Valley Festival, Winfield, Kansas

2019 International Autoharp Contest
1st Place Winner: Doug Pratt
Cary, NC
2nd Place Winner: Steve Luper
Andover, KS 
3rd Place Winner: Ivan Stiles
Phoenixville, PA

Runners Up 
Loriann Clayton-Bethard, 
Ken Shoemaker

2019 International Finger Style Guitar Championships
1st Place Winner: Adam Gardino
Colorado Springs, CO
2nd Place Winner: Jesse Smith
Wadsworth, OH
3rd Place Winner: Gints Smukais
Riga, Latvia

Finalists:
RD King of Brighton, MA
Hiroya Tsukamoto of Woodside, NY

2019 National Mountain Dulcimer Championships
1st Place Winner: Grant Olson
Andover, MN
2nd Place Winner: Jeff Hames
Madison, MS
3rd Place Winner: Michele Star
Durham, NC

Runners Up:
Katie Moritz of Yorkville, IL
Jim Curley of Ironton, OH

2019 National Mandolin Championships
1st Place Winner: R. Wesley Carr
Rochelle, IL
2nd Place Winner: Luke Lovejoy
Cloverdale, IN
3rd Place Winner: Holten Doucette
Waller, TX

Finalists: 
Ethan Batan of Spencer, IN
Marina Pendleton of Houston, TX

2019 Walnut Valley Old Time Fiddle Championships
1st Place Winner: Celeste Johnson
Arvada, CO
2nd Place Winner: Monte Gaylord
Vinita, OK
3rd Place Winner: Marina Pendleton
Houston, TX

Finalists: 
Hannah Farnum of Galena, MO
Emma Jane Pendleton of Tulsa, OK

2019 National Guitar Flat Pick Championships
1st Place Winner: Allen Shadd
Lake Wylie, SC
2nd Place Winner: Sullivan Tuttle
Palo Alto, CA
3rd Place Winner: Jason Shaw
Lincoln, NE

Runners Up: 
Matthew Lindsey from Culloden, WV
Chapman Welch from Pearland, TX

2019 National Hammer Dulcimer Championships
1st Place Winner: Nate Pultorak
Saranac, NY
2nd Place Winner: Ben Haguewood
Mineral Point, MO
3rd Place Winner: Fran Mayfield
Spring, TX

Runners Up:
Cal Sweeten from Overland Park, KS
John Lion from Landsdowne, PA

2019 National Bluegrass Banjo Championships
9 contestants from 7 states
1st Place Winner: Eric Welty 
Argyle, TX
2nd Place Winner: Weston Stewart
Anderson, AL
3rd Place Winner: Trevor Smith
Austin, TX

Runners Up: 
Charles Butler of Nashville, TN
G. Rockwell of Bridgeport, CT

Walnut Valley Festival Releases List of 2019 Music Workshops

Winfield, Kansas…Preparations for the 48th Walnut Valley Festival are underway and that includes the Wednesday Workshops for musicians. Each year the festival offers attendees the opportunity to study with top musicians in bluegrass and acoustic music. The 2019 menu will include classes for finger style and flat pick guitar, old time fiddle, mandolin, clawhammer style banjo, hammer and mountain dulcimer and even bluegrass vocals.

This year’s instructors include the first lady to win the National Finger Style Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival, guitarist Muriel Anderson, and the 2017 International Finger Style Champion Christie Lenée. Tim May returns to handle flat pick guitar style. Ruth Smith will instruct the hammer dulcimer players while Bing Futch is scheduled to share his knowledge of mountain dulcimer technics. Betse Ellis welcomes fiddlers to her class, “Fiddle Phraseology”. Chris Jones will assist singers in a multitude of topics in the “Bluegrass Vocals” class. Mandolin musician Steve Smith will be exploring vocal and jam tunes in numerus music styles from bluegrass to roots / Americana. Clawhammer banjo players can expand their skill by spending the day with Steve Smith.

Karen Deal, WVA Workshop Coordinator “I am really excited about this year’s workshops. We’ll have some of the best instructors in their field right here in Winfield. This year’s instructors plan to cover everything from technique to practice habits as well as new songs to teach participants.”

The Wednesday Workshops are held on September 18, 2019. For complete descriptions of the workshops and cost or to register, please go to the Walnut Valley Festival website at https://www.wvfest.com/workshops/ , call the Festival office at (620)221-3250 or stop by 918 Main Street in Winfield, Kansas.
.   .   .   .   .

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00

Office Hours

Post-Festival through May

Monday-Friday
9am-Noon; 1pm to 5pm

June through August 2nd

Monday-Friday
9am-5pm

August 3rd through September 7th

Monday-Friday
9am-5pm

Saturday
9am-1pm