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Fiddle Me This!

We just finished up with our second annual Kids Got Talent video contest! What is that you ask? Well, that is a video Facebook contest that we hold, where awesome talented kids in the tri-state sumbit videos of them playing their favorite instrument. This year we got 6 entries and they were all great! Do you want to see them? Of course you do! Check them out!

Here is 11 year old Haley

Here is 12 year old Davis Johnson playing “Portraits in Rhythm.”

Here is 11 year old Donovan Johnson playing “The Entertainer.”

Here is 9 1/2 year old Logan playing “Seven Nation Army.”

Here is 9 year old Jack! Jack writes his own piano music.

Here is our winner 9 year old John Maupin playing Orange Blossom Special!

Let’s get to know our winner a little! First of all, here is John!I asked John’s mom to help us get to know him a little better. This is seriously one cool kid! Here is what his mom had to say about him. John began playing fiddle at the age of four. By the time he was eight he knew over 200 fiddle tunes. (Whoa!) He especially responds to Kentucky old-time fiddle and bluegrass music, but enjoys Cajun and jazz, too. He has played on the stage with Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys with Nathan Stanley, Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers, the Farm Hands Bluegrass Quartet, Michael Cleveland, Jeff Guernsey, and the New Coon Creek Girls. Recently he had the opportunity to perform at Mulate’s and the Mahogany Jazz Hall in New Orleans. He has also performed on Hilton Head Island at Ruby Lee’s and The Jazz Corner. John performs at many old-time and bluegrass festivals and loves to jam. He recently won both the Morehead Old-Time Fiddle and the Ed Haley Fiddle Competitions for the second year in a row. In 2014 he was awarded the JP Fraley Scholarship from the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School. John most recently won the KY Farm Bureau talent show for both the Madison County and district level. He will be competing at the state level later this month in Louisville, KY. You can find him performing every weekend on stage at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg, KY. Here he is the youngest member of the Kentucky Opry Junior Pros. John is also a member of the HASP orchestra in Danville, KY, which is under the direction of Jeremy Mulholland. He has performed on Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour where he was described as a “tsunami of personality and a future IBMA Fiddle Player of Year winner”. John’s only interest isn’t music! He is also an honor student, on the swim team, and competes in equestrian events. His other love is his family’s farm where he has his own herd of cattle. John sounds like one cool and talented kid doesn’t he? It’s unbelievable that he started playing at the ago of four. He already has an impressive musical resume. It’s awesome to see we have such talented young musicians in the tri-state like John! Keep up the awesome fiddlin’, John; we can’t wait to see what your future in music holds.

Thank you to all of our contestants and a special congrats to our winner Fiddlin’ John Maupin! We can’t wait until next year’s contest. Until then, keep practicing!

Kids Got Talent Contest 2015

Does your child have a musical talent that you brag about every chance you get? Great! Enter them into our Kids Got Talent Facebook contest!

Here are the contest guidelines (the boring stuff!):

  • How to enter: Take a video of your child showing their music skills and then submit it at facebook.com/WillisMusicCompany. Make sure to take the video sideways!
  • How to win: Now we get to the good stuff! The Video with the most “Likes” is the winner and that child will get a $50 Willis Music gift card!
  • Where: facebook.com/WillisMusicCompany
  • When: November 1, 2015 through November 30, 2015 at 8 AM
  • Who: Anyone between the ages 0-18!
  • In the event of a tie the $50 will be split between all winners.

    Here are some of the awesome entries from last years contest if you need some ideas!
    Here is one of our winners Cooper, age 7.

    This was our other winner Joseph, age 15.

    This is Hattie, age 7 1/2 playing cripple creek.

    As you can see we had some truly talented kids enter the contest last year. We can’t wait to see your kid’s musical talent. Get that phone out and start recording!

    Laura Barrowman

The Little Drummer Boy

How many of us can say at 8 years old we could keep a sick beat on the drums? This kid can!

Cooper At the Drums

This is Cooper (Aka: one of the coolest kids you will ever meet!). He is 8 years old and can drum like no one’s business. His awesome talents helped him become one of our winners for our Willis Music “Kid’s Got Talent” contest. This little guy can also read music, sing, and play drums at the same time!

I had the pleasure of sitting down and interviewing Cooper… Jealous? You should be! This kid seriously knows what he is doing! Before the interview started we put him at a drumset that is on display in our West Chester store… He knew how to set it up better than we did! He went right to work adjusting everything to fit him and happily let the master go to work!

It seems Cooper was destined to be a drummer from the day he was born. Cooper’s mom, Lisa, said that Cooper was born on December 21st so they were playing Christmas music in the O.R. as little Cooper was being delivered. The song that was playing ironically was “The Little Drummer Boy.” Lisa told me she turned to her husband Brian and said “well, here’s our drummer!” Little did she know at the time that would actually come true!

Cooper’s interest in drums came when he was only 9 months old! I asked him what sparked his interest to become a drummer and he said he was “…too young to remember…” hey, who can blame him he was only two! So I asked his mom, because who would know better than her? She said at 9 months old Cooper could “…keep the beat anytime he heard music and loved watching bands on television.” She said like most young kids do he would “…pull out all of the pots and pans, but he would try to set them up to resemble an actual drum set!” She said he loved to bang on whatever he could, but rather than it just sounding like a bunch of loud noise, he actually sounded good. When he was two years old they began talking about getting him his very own drum kit. So the morning of Cooper’s third birthday, that is exactly what he got! His mom said he was the happiest kid she has ever seen! There is a video of Cooper playing “White Room” with his dad, who is a bass player, only a few days after his birthday. Seriously, how cool is this story?

It is so great seeing a kid as young as Cooper taking such a great interest in music. It is also great for him to have a family who are proud of his musical talents and support him! Here is Cooper with his family! Don’t they look great!

Now that you know a little about Cooper check out this interview he did with me and him testing out some drums in our store!

Want to see more of Cooper… we know you do… I mean come on… he is awesome! Go check out his YouTube channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/brianonbass