If you would like to be considered for a judging position for the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival, please email your information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Five judges will score each music contestant. The high and low scores will be thrown out, and the remaining three scores will be averaged to determine the contestant’s final score.
Dance contestants will be scored by three judges, with no scores being thrown out. All three scores will be averaged to determine the contestant’s final score.
Music Judges for 2019
Head Judge – Tom Brantley of Wartrace, TN has been playing Bluegrass and Oldtime music for 40 years. After a very successful stint playing the contest circuit for many years, he stepped into the professional world of Bluegrass music playing fiddle and singing vocals for the likes of The Music City Bluegrass, Big Country Bluegrass, New Road, and finally a short stint with world famous group Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. More recently Tom has been at the helm of his band Missionary Ridge. His life’s calling has been in the ministry as a Southern Baptist Pastor, and he now serves as pastor of Hillview Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, TN. Tom has roots with the Smithville Jamboree where for many years he competed and won in the Jr. Fiddle, Oldtime Fiddle Band, Bluegrass Band, and Gospel Singing categories. Tom said he is honored to be serving as the 2017 Head Judge at the Smithville Jamboree, and wishes all the contestants good luck!
Jackson Carter lives in Livingston, TN, with his wife, MaryFaye. Jackson works as an Assistant District Attorney serving Clay and Overton Counties. He began playing bluegrass when he was thirteen years old, taking mandolin lessons for approximately one year. Jackson’s main focus is on Bill Monroe style mandolin playing. In additon, Jackson enjoys playing claw hammer banjo.
Jimmy Bilbrey is a Cookeville, Tn native. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University in 1990 with a B.S. in Music Education. (Emphasis in Classical Violin) Jimmy studied in the studios of Francis Elliott and Elizabeth Small. He has taught music in the public school system and has taught privately for about 33 years. A multi-instrumentalist, he teaches fiddle, violin, guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, banjo, ukulele, bass, songwriting and harmony singing at the School of Performing Arts in Cookeville. After graduation, he played acoustic guitar, fiddle, piano and sang in a country band for 20 years. An award-winning songwriter, Jimmy has had songs recorded both nationally and internationally. Most recently, "Wonderful Day", a song he co-wrote with his father, Ron Bilbrey, was recorded by Doyle Lawson on his latest gospel CD. Currently, Jimmy performs in his family’s bluegrass/bluegrass gospel band called, "The Bilbreys". He is minister of music at University Heights Baptist Church. He and his wife, Lisa, have four children and three grandchildren.
Chad Anderson Growing up in a musical family, Chad Anderson got his first instrument (dulcimer) around five. At age seven his dad brought home a mandolin for him and that became his primary instrument from then on in the family band. The Anderson Family played at various local gatherings, benefits, and bluegrass festivals all throughout his childhood and still plays an occasional show or two now. Chad obtained a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Recording Industry Management where he played acoustic instruments on numerous recording projects. He has given lessons throughout the years on mandolin, guitar, and fiddle. While primarily a self-taught musician, Chad had the opportunity during college to take advanced mandolin lessons from the legendary Roland White. Now living in the Upper Cumberland with his family, Chad plays bluegrass with several bands around the area. He still gives the occasional lesson and enjoys building the instruments he now plays.
Timmy Nixon is from Smithville, Tennessee. Timmy is no stranger to Bluegrass music and has years of experience playing the banjo. He began at age 14 and in no time was playing the contest circuit winning banjo competitions all over the South. He then went on to playing small gigs and shows with local bands such as The Center Hill Grass, The Billy Womack Band, Duck River Bluegrass Band, and Valley Grass Express. Most recently and still on occasions, Timmy plays with well known Fiddler/Preacher Tom Brantley in the band Missionary Ridge. Timmy has served as judge for Bluegrass Band and Individual Competitons in the mid-Tennessee area including The Wilson County Fair Bluegrass Competition. Beginning in 2017, Timmy joined Jerry Butler and The Blu-J’s (a long running Bluegrass Band from Knoxville, TN). Timmy also gives banjo lessons.
John Mayberry Has been teaching guitar(acoustic and electric), bass, mandolin, and banjo for the past 13 years. Playing professionally with Ronnie Reno & The Reno Tradition for 12 years. Playing on the road gigs and on "Reno’s Old Time Music" Television show on RFD-TV network reaching 1.2 million viewers monthly. He’s had the pleasure of recording two studio albums, "Front Porch Gospel" and "Lessons Learned", with Reno and sitting in on many projects with other great artists. Before working with Reno he participated in numerous contests in TN and KY garnering many trophies and ribbons. "I’ve always loved the contest scene, playing in them since I was young. Later I’ve had the opportunity to sit on the "other side" of the judging table and each time I’ve tried my best to give each contestant a fair shake because that’s what I wanted back in the day."
Dance Judges for 2019
Jeff Driggs grew up in West Virginia, the 3rd of 6 boys. He took up square dancing with his family as a youngster and began calling square dances as a teen in the early 70’s, where he had the opportunity to learn from many of Appalachia’s best western-style and old time callers.
Jeff began clogging in 1980, where he danced to the live bluegrass music every weekend at the clogging halls around his town. Soon after, he joined a local performing group. At an open-mic teaching session at Fontana in 1983 he caught the eye of Bobbie and Dewey Paul of Ohio, who offered him a staff teaching spot the following year. Jeff’s skill as a cuer and his humorous presentation style struck a chord with dancers, and offers for more workshops came in.
Since then, Jeff’s teaching schedule has grown to include dozens of workshop appearances a year. He has taught in all 50 United States, as well as Canada, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Australia.
As a performer, Jeff has made several appearances with the Opry Square Dancers on the Grand Ole Opry, performed on the Hee Haw Road Show, the Nashville network and in openers for shows with music artists Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs and many others. As a competitor in the 1980s he was a USA male champion and two time national duo champion.
His choreography is taught, danced, and appreciated worldwide. His routines have been performed in national parades, international festivals, Bowl Game Halftime Shows, theme parks and more.
Jeff, partnering with Lee Froehle, coordinate the performance of over 1,000 dancers in the USA Independence Day Parade in Washington, DC, plus cruises and trips to Hawaii that gave hundreds the chance to perform and compete in unique and exotic places.
He recorded several records for the Clog Cue Series which sold tens of thousands of copies. And he arranged and recorded his own cued music series which was also very successful.
Jeff was the owner and editor of the Double Toe Times clogging magazine, read by thousands of cloggers around the world for more than 30 years. He has served on the board of several national clogging organizations, taught judging at the highest levels and helped to develop software applications that help with competition registration and scoring.
He is a coordinator of the Cabin Fever Workshop each February in Ohio with the Buckeye Country Cloggers, the World of Clogging Workshop and Competition in May in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Fontana Clogging Jamboree each September at the legendary Fontana Village Resort in North Carolina and the Fall Classic Clogging Championships in Kentucky in November.
Jeff has been given much recognition for his achievements and many awards. He was honored with the Pioneer Award from the National Clogging Leaders Organization, the Legacy Award from the Clogging Champions of America, and in 2014 was inducted into America’s Clogging Hall of Fame for his many accomplishments as a teacher, mentor, promoter and ambassador of clogging.
Jeff lives in Winfield, West Virginia where he works for the West Virginia University School of Medicine and Health Sciences campus. He is also an accomplished singer, songwriter and author.
Sharon Finley is a retired National Board certified elementary school teacher who has always had a love for dance. As a child, she grew up watching the Grand Ole Opry Square Dancers and emulated their clogging and dance moves while wearing her patent leather church shoes on her family's living room hardwood floors. Since that time, she has realized her childhood dance dreams and combined that passion with her teaching profession.
She is the owner/director of the 2017 Clogging Champions of America national title traditional team. She was inducted to the 2007 America's Clogging Hall of Fame All American team and the recipient of the National Clogging and Hoedown Council's esteemed Betsy Farlow award for the preservation of Southern Appalachian Clogging.
Sharon also dances on the family studio’s clogging competition team HotFoot Cloggers - Mountain Pride.
Chip Summey has been clogging since 1982. He is a Certified Judge and Certified Clogging Instructor, with active participation in leading training sessions.
Chip has traveled throughout the world, including Mexico, Russia, Switzerland, France, Italy and 47 States, as a workshop instructor, judge, event promoter, and dancer. Chip has been a board member for the Clogging Champions of America as well as the National Clogging Hoedown Council.
His competition team, the Southern Connection cloggers of Asheville, North Carolina has been National Champions in 4 or More Couple Precision, 4 or More Couple Hoedown, Country Hoedown, Running Set Hoedown, and Open Smooth Mountain Square Dance.
Chip has taught and judged all over the US, including the past 18 CLOG National Conventions.
He has had teams to Dance in International and World Festivals with a recent trip to Moscow, Russia and the surrounding countryside with the Southern Connection Cloggers.
Professionally, Chip is a Travel Consultant & Coordinator with Wilcox Travel.