Guitar Gods and Violin (Fiddle) Virtuosos: The Fretboard Festival Play-In Contest Submission Deadline is this Thursday, Dec. 10th.

Hand playing guitar chord with shallow depth of field and orange lighting.
ThinkStock; Zoonar RF

Stringed instrument players are invited to enter a contest for a chance to perform in the 2016 Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival which takes place on March 5, 2016 at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum and Anna Whitten Hall. The deadline to enter the Play-In Contest is December 10, 2015.

The top entries will be selected by a panel of judges to compete in the Play-In Contest on January 8, 2016. This year there are two categories, acoustic and electric. The winners from each category will be given an honorarium, a 60-minute slot during the 2016 Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival, and an opportunity to contract with Kalamazoo Valley Community College for the 2016-2017 Friday Night Highlights Series at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.

Entry Rules and Requirements:
• Music must include at least one stringed instrument.
• Bands or individuals who have previously contracted with Kalamazoo Valley Community College for the Friday Night Highlight Series are not eligible to enter under the same name for the current season.
• Bands that enter must include at least one person who is 21 years old or older.
• Contestants must be available to play for 10 minutes between 5 and 8 p.m. for the contest on January 8, 2016. Winners must be available to play a 60-minute slot between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the 2016 Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival on March 5, 2016.
• Entries must have family-friendly lyrics for an audience of all ages.
• Entrants must include a demo CD or active web link to the band’s music, bio, and photo.

The Fretboard Festival features performances by stringed instrument virtuosos, instructional workshops for those who want to learn to play, and family-oriented activities. This yearly event is a salute to all stringed instruments – especially those that are crafted in Michigan. The Festival, which takes its name from the portion of a stringed instrument that allows a variety of notes to be played, will spotlight guitars, banjos, hammered dulcimers, ukuleles, and mandolins, along with musicians who use them and the craftsmen who make them.

For more details about the Play-In Contest go to the Kalamazoo Valley Museum website.

The January 8 Play-In Contest and all Fretboard Festival events are free and open to the public.

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