BERLIN – The 17th Annual Berlin Fiddlers Convention gets underway this evening and runs through the weekend.
The annual event, sponsored by the Berlin Chamber of Commerce and a number of local businesses, is annually the biggest special event Berlin hosts.
Kicking off on Friday evening at 7 p.m. will be Berlin’s own Sarah Beth and Company, winner of the 2008 Berlin Fiddlers Convention Best Bluegrass Band competition. She will open the event with an impressive display of her vocal and instrumental talents. She just released a self-titled CD featuring five of her original songs and one traditional favorite, Muleskinner Blues.
Sarah Beth and Company’s performance Friday night will be followed by a concert from the Fitzmaurice Band from Bowie. The group performs the full spectrum of bluegrass, from the traditional high and lonesome sounds of Bill Monroe to contemporary acoustic music.
The Fitzmaurice Band performs again Saturday at 10 a.m. during registration.
The Fitzmaurice Band out of Bowie features identical twin sisters, Maria and Sarah Fitzmaurice, Brandon Snellings, Mike Simms and Aaron Malone. This young quintet has performed throughout Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia with their superior vocals, instrumental work, and high-energy performances. With an emphasis on original music that the band classifies as alternative bluegrass, its repertoire includes the traditional sound combined with their own take on classic rock and country.
The competition begins at 11 a.m. and goes until 5 p.m. Adults and children will be competing for over $3,400 in cash prizes. Categories include best fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar and bluegrass band.
Sunday features a bluegrass gospel jam from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Taylor House museum.
Contestants are asked to pre-register with your name, address, phone number, email and competition category by emailing the chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please specify adult or youth.
Schedule of Events
Friday, Sept. 25
7-8 p.m.: Sarah Beth and Company
8-10 p.m.: The Fitzmaurice Band
Saturday, Sept. 26
10 a.m.: Registration
10 a.m.: The Fitzmaurice Band
11 a.m.-5 p.m.: Bluegrass Competition
11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Bluegrass gospel music at the Taylor House Museum