The Walnut Valley Association has let us know the winners of the 2019 International Autoharp Championship. This year’s contest hosted 10 contestants from 7 states. Each of the top 3 winners received a trophy along with a custom made autoharp.
The International Autoharp Championship is held annually on the 3rd weekend in September during the Walnut Valley Festival, which is the home of the International Autoharp Championship, the International Fingerstyle Guitar, the National Mountain Dulcimer, the National Flatpick Guitar Championship, the National Hammered Dulcimer Championship and the National Bluegrass Banjo Championship. Other contests held at the Walnut Valley Festival are the National Mandolin Championship and the Walnut Valley Old Time Fiddle.
|1st Place Winner: Doug Pratt, Cary, NC||Prize: Whippoorwill Acoustics A18 Autoharp provided by Whippoorwill Acoustics of Columbia City, IN|
|2nd Place Winner: Steve Luper, Andover, KS||Prize: d’Aigle Cascade SP G-D Diatonic Autoharp provided by Peter d’Aigle of Sea Tac, WA|
|3rd Place Winner:Ivan Stiles, Phoenixville, PA||Prize: An Oscar Schmidt OS11021AE Autoharp provided by Oscar Schmidt Autoharps/US Music Corp., div. of JAM Industries of Buffalo Grove, IL|
The Walnut Valley Festival, held Sept. 18-22, 2019, draws a crowd of 10,000-12,000 people to Winfield, KS, to celebrate a blend of all kinds of acoustic music, including bluegrass, folk, Americana, a little bit of cowboy, some Celtic, blues, jazz, swing and more. This will be the 48th annual festival organized by the Walnut Valley Association (WVA). WVA also organizes eight national and international instrument contests, ranging from the flagship National Flat Pick Guitar Championship, to the International Finger Style Guitar, International Autoharp, National Mountain Dulcimer, National Mandolin, National Hammer Dulcimer, National Bluegrass Banjo and Walnut Valley Old Time Fiddle Championships. Winfield also hosts a series of workshops on the Wednesday of festival, where patrons can learn from some of the best musicians in the business on instruments ranging from guitar, fiddle, banjo and mandolin, to the hammer and mountain dulcimer.
Photo Caption: Pictured L-R: Steve Luper of Andover, KS (2nd Place), Doug Pratt of Cary, NC (1st Place), and Ivan Stiles of Phoenixville, PA (3rd Place)