‘Living legend’ in free concert at Harmon Field Saturday

Published 2:11 pm Friday, September 11, 2009

National Heritage Award recipient Wayne C. Henderson&bquo; a musician and instrument maker, will be teaching a guitar building workshop for Tryon Arts & Crafts September 8-18. &bsp;

He will also be performing in concert on Saturday, September 12 in the open-air gym at Harmon Field.

The concert will start at 7 p.m. with the Hickory Grove band and Henderson following at 8 p.m.

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Henderson, who lives in Rugby, Virginia and produces about 20 instruments a year, mostly guitars, is almost as well-known for the mandolins he has made.

Doc Watson, a good friend who sometimes stops at Wayne&39;s shop in Rugby, VA, to pick a few tunes, owns a Henderson mandolin. He said, &uot;That Henderson mandolin is as good as any I&39;ve had my hands on. And that&39;s saying a lot, because I&39;ve picked up some good ones.&uot;

Some of Henderson&39;s instruments are intricately decorated but are most respected for their volume, tone, and resonance. Blues guitarist John Cephas said that Wayne Henderson &uot;is probably the most masterful guitar maker in this whole United States.&uot; There is a waiting list for Henderson&39;s guitars made up of the famous (and not-so-famous).

Henderson&39;s top-notch finger-picking is a source of great pleasure and pride to his friends, family, and neighbors in Grayson County, Virginia.

His guitar playing has also been enjoyed at Carnegie Hall, in three national tours of &uot;Masters of the Steel-String Guitar,&uot; and in seven nations of Europe, Asia and Africa.

Above and beyond his great talents as a musician and luthier, Henderson is known as a &uot;friend to everyone&uot; and shares his talents and knowledge unselfishly.

The Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition was established in 1995 to express appreciation for this &uot;living legend.&uot;

The festival is held the 3rd weekend in June each year at Grayson Highlands State Park in Grayson County Virginia. Henderson and many of his musical friends are featured performers at the festival&bquo; with bluegrass and old-time music dominating the program.

A portion of the proceeds from the Festival are placed into a scholarship fund to aid local young musicians in continuing their education.

Everyone is invited to bring their blankets and chairs to enjoy this concert for the family on Saturday, September 12, which is free and open to the public thanks to the generous support of R. Anderson Haynes Law Office (Andy and Linda Haynes). Donations to Tryon Arts & Crafts will be accepted at the gate to help support programming costs.

For more information, contact Tryon Arts & Crafts at 859-8323.