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Guests of Honor

Gerry Milnes

Gerry Milnes, Elkins, West Virginia

Gerry Milnes is an award winning old time fiddle and banjo player. Among his musical honors are first place awards at the West Virginia State Folk Festival, the Vandalia Gathering, and the Appalachian Stringband Festival at Clifftop, West Virginia.

At age 14, he learned banjo from Pennsylvania banjo players Phillip Cressman and Bill Major - the latter an elderly black man who played several old time styles. After moving to West Virginia in the '70 s, his influences included the Hammonds family, Jenes Cottrell, and Phoebe Parsons.

He has a thirty year history of researching, documenting, writing, teaching and performing traditional music and the folk arts and folk life of West Virginia. His performances include The National Folk Festival, Friends of Old Time Music of Great Britain, The Banjo Institute, the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, the Chicago Folk Festival, and the Florida Folk Festival.

Gerry is presently the Folk Arts Coordinator at the Augusta Heritage Center at Davis and Elkins College. His published works include two books, many articles, numerous audio recordings, and film and video documentaries. He provided music for the soundtrack of the 1988 feature film "Matewan". His latest book is Play of a Fiddle: Traditional Music, Dance, and Folklore in West Virginia, published by University Press of Kentucky.

Gerry is a renowned teacher of old time fiddle and banjo. He and another past FOTMC Guest Of Honor, Dave Bing, are members of the traditional stringband GANDYDANCER.

Partial Discography:

Hell Up Coal Holler
Gerry Milnes and Lorraine Lee Hammond
Schanachie Records
Wonderful fiddle and Appalachian Dulcimer duets

Jim Martin Productions
Old time stringband

Banjo Legacy - Traditional Music of West Virginia
Augusta Heritage Recordings
Anthology traces influence of older generation on younger players


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