The Albert Hash Memorial Festival is held in the honor of Albert L. Hash, beloved fiddler and luthier.
A collection of Albert's fiddles will be on display at the festival this year.
Along with performances and instrument making displays, there will be local crafts, concessions, a farmers' market, cake walks and plenty of dancing.
WHEN: Saturday, September 3rd, 2016. (every Labor Day weekend) 10am-6pm
WHERE: Grayson Highlands State Park,, Mouth of Wilson, VA on US 58 (rain or shine)
ADMISSION: $10 children 12 and under free ($5 parking per car)
About Albert: Born in 1917 in Rugby Virginia, Albert Hash was a well-known and beloved fiddler and instrument maker. He learned to play fiddle from Corbit Stamper, Jim Reedy, his uncle George Finley, and was influenced by G.B. Grayson. After Grayson was killed, Albert played with Henry Whitter. Albert also played with many other musicians through the years, including the Virginia Carolina Boys with Wayne and Max Henderson, and of course the Whitetop Mountain Band with Flurry Dowe, Emily and Thornton Spencer, and Tom and Becky Barr. Albert Hash made his first fiddle at age ten, at the height of the Depression. He enrolled in the U.S. Navy and learned to be a machinist, something that would be an integral part of his later fiddle making. He worked in the naval shipyard and torpedo facility in northern Virginia. While in the Navy, he married Ethel Ruth Spencer in 1944, and the two of them had two daughters: Joyce Mae and Audrey Marie. After being in the Navy, he moved to back to Fees Branch area and then to neighboring Lansing, NC. During the folklife revival of the 1960s and 70s, many musicians sought his expertise, seeking history, an impromptu jam session, one of his handcrafted instruments or instructions on how to craft an instrument. In 1967, Hash and his wife moved back to Whitetop, Virginia. He continued to visit local craft fairs, music festivals and fiddler's conventions in Virginia and northwestern North Carolina and was a regular at the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival in Virginia and the Ashe County Fiddler's Convention. His talents have been the showcase for the 1982 World's Fair, the Smithsonian Institute and the Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. After his death in 1983, the Commonwealth of Virginia presented Ethel with a framed copy of House Resolution 18, proclaiming a moment of silence in his honor. Albert also helped start the old time music program at Mt. Rogers Combined School in Whitetop, VA. Albert, his daughter Audrey, Thornton Spencer and Emily Spencer started volunteering at the local fire department teaching old time music lessons to the community. Later, he began giving lessons at Mt. Rogers School to the students there. After he passed away, Audrey carried on the music program until she moved to Lansing, NC. Emily Spencer now carries on the old time music program and it has become an every day class that students get credit. It also has been featured on television, newspapers, radio and got nominated for a Grammy for schools. The school band is named the Albert Hash Memorial String Band.