The Scott Street Five String Finals

Pictured above: (l to r) Jim Hurst-judge, Henry Coatney-finalist/clawhammer, Caleb Coatney-1st place/clawhammer, Austin Hefflefinger-1st place/bluegrass, Claire Childress-finalist/clawhammer, Steve Lewis-accompanist, Taylor Parks-finalist/bluegrass, Victor Furtado-judge, Jacob Moretz-finalist/bluegrass (Photo by David Parrish)

Pictured above: (l to r) Jim Hurst-judge, Henry Coatney-finalist/clawhammer, Caleb Coatney-1st place/clawhammer, Austin Hefflefinger-1st place/bluegrass, Claire Childress-finalist/clawhammer, Steve Lewis-accompanist, Taylor Parks-finalist/bluegrass, Victor Furtado-judge, Jacob Moretz-finalist/bluegrass (Photo by David Parrish)

banjo contest Logo@3x.png

presented by JAMinc and the Virginia Folklife Program

Entries for the 5th edition of the Scott Street Five String Finals are due Saturday, September 28th at 5pm! Please complete the form at the bottom of this page.

To honor the memory of beloved JAMinc board member, distinguished attorney and dedicated banjo player Scott Street who we lost in February of 2015 to cancer, we’re excited to announce the 5th annual edition of our banjo competition for young players 18 and under. Again this year, there will be two divisions and two sets of finalists…for bluegrass/Scruggs-style players and for clawhammer/old time players.

After a preliminary round of YouTube video entries, three finalists will be selected in each division by a distinguished panel of judges. This year we welcome back 5- time IBMA banjo player of the year Sammy Shelor as lead bluegrass judge for the third time. He'll be joined by Richmond veteran and past IBMA song of the year winner Malcolm Pulley.

On the clawhammer side, we welcome North Carolina old-time torch bearer Riley Baugus, along with Brett Martin, the executive director of Virginia's important non-profit Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM). Finalists will compete live on the Virginia Folklife Stage at the Richmond Folk Festival on Saturday, October 12th, 2019.

Winners in each division will receive a handsome crystal trophy, a demo recording session at In Your Ear Studios, and a $1,000 cash prize. Runners up receive $600 with $400 for third place.

Congratulations to our 2018 Finalists and Winners!

2018 Winners

Congratulations to all and thanks to judges James  Bailey, Jim Hurst, Victor Furtado and Richard Ward. 

Bluegrass

  • 1st place – Austin Hefflefinger (age 13), Rimersburg, PA

  • 1st runner up – Taylor Parks (age 14), Bloxom, VA

  • 2nd runner up – Jacob Moretz (age 13), Boone, NC

Clawhammer

  • 1st place – Caleb Coatney (age 16), Boone, NC

  • 1st runner up – Claire Childress (age 15), Big Stone Gap, VA

  • 2nd runner up – Henry Coatney (age 14), Boone, NC

 

The Details

Preliminary entries will be by means of single video submitted to show the contestant actually playing, making sure that his or her face is visible. More than one tune may be submitted but the total length of entry can be no longer than four (4) minutes. Videos may be simple phone quality, professionally done, or anything in between, but the quality of the videos themselves will not impact the judging as long as the player’s level of proficiency is clear. Entrants may include accompanists at their discretion but the focus should be on the player’s banjo ability. All videos must be uploaded to YouTube so that a link can by copied and pasted to the contestant’s entry form. Entrants should only submit public domain tunes, original compositions, or songs to which she or he has permission from the song owner to record on video and post to YouTube. Entrants grant JAMinc, its agents, and affiliate the right to use any video posted by Guardian (defined below) for purposes of administering this contest and promotion thereof. All contest submissions must be received by Saturday, September 28th at 5pm Eastern time.

Contest submissions must be posted by a parent or guardian of the entrant (a “Guardian”), under such Guardian’s consent for JAMinc, its agents, and affiliates to use entrant’s name, likeness, image, voice, and video, in order to be considered as a valid contest entry. Players are limited to ONE submission, any submissions beyond that will not be taken into consideration.  The video must be in the horizontal (landscape) format and at least part of it must be wide enough to show the contestant’s face.  First place winners of our past Scott Street Five String Finals are ineligible to enter. 

JAMinc/Richmond Folk Festival reserve the right to take down any inappropriate content and or additional entries.


Entry Submission Form

Entrant's Name *
Entrant's Name
Mailing Address
Mailing Address
Entrant's Date of Birth *
Entrant's Date of Birth
Parent Info
Parent/Guardian's Name
Parent/Guardian's Name
Parent/Guardian's Phone *
Parent/Guardian's Phone
Consent *
I am the parent or legal guardian of the entrant (the "Entrant") in the Scott Street Five String Finals, who is featured in the contest video. I hereby agree and consent to, on behalf of myself, the Entrant, and our successors, to the rules posted at www.richmondfolkfestival.org/banjo.
Banjo Style *