Famed guitar artisan Gerald Anderson teaches at Tryon Arts and Crafts School

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, July 30, 2014



Gerald Anderson, a student of Wayne Henderson, is currently teaching a 10-day workshop at Tryon Arts and Crafts School. During this intensive workshop, Anderson takes both new and experienced students through the many steps of creating an exceptional instrument in the school’s woodworking studio.

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Gerald Anderson began making mandolins over 30 years ago in Wayne Henderson’s guitar shop. After he graduated from college, Anderson spent a considerable amount of time in the famous guitar maker’s busy workshop in Rugby, Va., observing and performing with Henderson.

Soon he developed an interest in making his own fine-quality instruments, and set out to reproduce the sounds of the classic Gibson Loar mandolins of the 1920s. He shared a workspace with Henderson until the spring of 2005, when Anderson moved his tools and instruments into the bottom level of his own home in Troutdale, Va. Over the past 30 years, Anderson has made over 110 guitars and over 160 mandolins.

In the many years he has been building instruments, he has also played old time and bluegrass music with much success. Anderson has made more than 25 recordings and has won over 200 ribbons from musical competitions, the most prestigious being the ribbon for first place guitar at the 2003 Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention in Galax, Va.

In 2006, Anderson participated in a “Crooked Road” musical tour of Scotland, and also performed at the 2005 and 2007 National Folk Festivals held in Richmond, Va. Anderson has also performed on more than one occasion in New York City, and the FloydFest festival held in Floyd, Va.

You will also hear Anderson and one of his apprentices, Spencer Strickland, performing their version of the popular fiddle tune “Cherokee Shuffle” as the theme song for the PBS television series “Song of the Mountains”, aired nationally every week. Anderson also recently completed a guitar for Dolly Parton, which he and his apprentice, Spencer Strickland, delivered to Ms. Parton.

Tryon Arts and Crafts School is honored to have Gerald Anderson teaching with them again this year. The school offers classes and workshops year-round in a variety of disciplines, as well as frequent specialty workshops with regionally or nationally recognized instructors such as Anderson. For more information about class and workshop offerings, go to TryonArtsandCrafts.org.


-article submitted by Susan Buser