Union County Bluegrass Festival

Reported by: Wayne Hereford
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Updated: 5/18/2013 10:55 pm
NEW ALBANY,Miss(WTVA)--Musician after amazing musician came to the stage performing bluegrass music as good as you'll ever hear.

It was all part of the Fourth Annual Mississippi Bluegrass Instrumental Championship held in New Albany.

It was somewhat surprising to see how young some of them were.

One 15-year-old musician we talked with, who said she had placed in the competition before, said she had been playing an instrument for eight years.

We are told that bluegrass music is a part of the Southern culture that dates back for as long as there has been a nation.

But the tradition is going forward thanks to those who teach it to the young like Rob Pearcy, a music teacher at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University.

"I think its a connection to our past, that's what it is," said Pearcy.  "Its part of the culture.  Its music my grandparents listened to and always made them happy whenever I played a little tune that they could relate to when I was a kid you know."

Now the musicians at the Union County Arena were playing for the love of their craft for sure.

But there's also another motive.

There is $9,000 in award money that is split into several categories.

"You know they're from Mississippi, they're from Alabama, they're from Arkansas, we've even got people here from Illinois," said one of the event's organizers Stanley Wise.  "When they drive in as far as Dekalb, Illinois and Little Rock, Arkansas, we think we have something going here."

It's something that looks like it will go on for generations to come.

There were 71 competitors and 7 bands taking part in today's competition.
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