Dunlap (Sequatchie County), Tennessee
Year of Award
Grant or Fellowship
Folk & Traditional Arts Master Artist Fellowship
Meredith Goins from Sequatchie County is an accomplished fiddler turned violin luthier. Her love of music was inspired at an early age by her father, who played with a bluegrass band. She has studied and performed throughout Tennessee for the past 27 years. Through her love of the violin, she was first introduced to master violin luthier Jim Humble from Ooltewah, Tennessee when the ¾ size violin her parents had purchased for her needed some restoration work. She was awed by his workshop then and was further inspired by Fred Carpenter’s Nashville luthier shop which she visited later on. It was then that she decided that she too would like to own a violin repair shop.
To realize that dream, Goins has apprenticed with Mr. Humble to learn violin building and repair for several years. In addition to building violins, she has become skilled at re-graduating violin tops, varnishing unfinished student model violins, and repairing violins for clients. Music is an essential component of the region’s cultural identity, but there are few violin luthiers left to support up-and-coming musicians.
Through this fellowship Goins will be able to continue working with Mr. Humble who is nearly 80 years old. Goins hopes to share her work with musicians in her community with the skills she learns. In this way she hopes to honor her father who passed away a few years ago. She says of his influence on her, “My dad was really supportive and introduced me to those who were knowledgeable in the violin luthier community. This is very important for me to continue because it’s something my dad was proud and supportive of. He was a very loving generous person who always tried to help anyone he could, and I’d like to do that in the future.”
Folk & Traditional Arts Master Artist Fellowships
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