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Earlysville brothers bring home awards from Old Time Fiddler’s Youth Competition

Earlysville Bluegrass Boys
Earlysville Bluegrass Boys(WVIR)
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 9:15 AM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - “This is a really big festival, kind of a really big deal, and to just win it is amazing,” John Heetderks said.

Music, specifically bluegrass, is a family affair for the Heetderks family.

“It’s a big part of my life. I mean, I’m always listening to music - bluegrass and country, especially - and playing music with my brothers,” Daniel Heetderks said.

Daniel and John joined the Brother’s Young and Friends Band and earned 1st place in the band category of this year’s Old Time Fiddler’s Youth Competition in Galax, Virginia.

“We had no idea what would happen. We just got on the stage, played better than we expected, and came out with first,” John said.

Not only did the band have success as a group, John placed 2nd in the mandolin category.

“I remember starting off by plucking single notes, flubbing strings a lot,” John said. “It just took a ton of practice.”

While Daniel and John played with a band based out of Roanoke for the competition, they have their own family band, the Earlysville Bluegrass Band featuring their oldest brother, David, on the banjo.

“We weren’t so great at first, but we practiced, and we all took lessons for the particular instruments we had, and eventually we started to sound pretty good, I think,” David said.

All three of the boys say their gift for music starts a few generations up the family tree.

“My dad has always been kind of interested in bluegrass, both my grandparents were into bluegrass, so we just kind of found it and realized we liked it and wanted to play it,” Daniel said.

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