Terry Baucom Banjo Championship Honors Bluegrass Legend

by David Bandrowski

We are proud to announce that we have partnered with Cyndi Baucom and the Doc & Rosa Lee Watson MusicFest in Sugar Grove, North Carolina to support the first-ever Terry Baucom Banjo Championship, a tribute to the late bluegrass banjo legend.  Terry was a longtime Deering Banjo artist known for his incredible rhythmic drive in his playing, earning him the nickname "The Duke Of Drive" and for the inaugural event, Deering has donated a Terry Baucom Signature banjo as the grand prize!

The banjo in question is a little different from the standard model. For a year or two prior to Terry's untimely passing, we had been talking with Terry about revamping his signature model to a mahogany wood, instead of his walnut, and had been sampling powder finishes with him. The banjo was held and played by Terry for his approval and we had it back at the shop for some finishing touches. Sadly, he was never able to appreciate the finished banjo.

We were able to deliver this banjo to Cindy Baucom earlier this year. Cindy states "All I can say is that somebody is going to win an awesome instrument." "With just 24 competitors needed for this first-ever championship, I feel like banjo players are going to sign up for this quickly. And with the judges being Jens Kruger, who is also a winner of the Steve Martin Prize for Bluegrass and Banjo, Steve Moore, and Jason Burleson, just to play in front of them and get a critique from them is worth a lot." 


Open to Players of All Levels

The competition is open to any three-finger style banjo player who isn't performing at the festival. The hope is to expand to other styles in the future. A small registration fee of $15 is required. Pre-registration is recommended, but not mandatory. The first 24 applicants to sign in on July 20 will compete. Each contestant can bring one person for accompaniment.

Two rounds of competition will determine the winner. Contestants will play one song or tune per round, with a three-minute time limit each. A panel of esteemed judges will select the champion.

First Place Takes Home a Piece of History

The grand prize is an incredible honor: the Terry Baucom Prototype Deering Banjo #112, the very instrument last played by the master himself. The winner will also receive a Paige Pro Capo.

Additional prizes for second through eighth place will be announced soon. All finalists will receive recognition for their talent and musicianship. For full competition rules, details, and an online registration form, visit the official website. This is a chance to be part of bluegrass history and honor the memory of Terry Baucom.

The contest is limited to 24 contestants. To be considered, all entries must include a submitted entry form and entry fee. Contestants must also have a valid wristband for festival entry on the day of the competition.



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