By Daniel Brunty
The Choctaw Plaindealer
The Billy Joe Box Fiddle Contest will be held during this year’s Choctaw Co. Pine Tree Music Festival on June 7 at 1 p.m. For those that are not familiar with the name, here is some background on the man the contest is named after.
Billy Joe Box was born in Choctaw County on Sept. 21, 1937. He was a member of Chester Baptist Church and served 23 years as a member in the Army Nation Guard. Box was a self-taught musician and had a natural gift for fiddle. He started playing at a very young age.
To honor his memory, the first ever Billy Joe Box Fiddle Contest will be held at the Pine Tree Music Festival. It will give residents of Choctaw County and its surrounding areas an opportunity to present their fiddling talents on the bright stage of Main Street Ackerman.
Registration will begin at noon with a junior division (age 17 & under) and adult division (18+). There will be $400 in cash prizes. There will be no entry fee for contestants, and all musicians are to perform two songs (hoedown & waltz) not to exceed two minutes.
The contest will be judged by competent and qualified musicians from a southern gospel group based out of Choctaw County. Members include Stephen Flake (Louisville), Teresa Shumaker (Ackerman), Deanna Pearson (Ackerman), Beverly Rives (Sturgis), Bill Shumaker,(Ackerman), Nicole Coleman (Sturgis) & Mike Pearson (Ackerman).
For more information & recommended early registration, please call 662-285-8559.