In 2007, Dillon Hodges of Florence, AL had entered the flatpick contest four times but had never placed in the top five. Dillon is a 17-year old high school senior who enjoys chorus in high school. He is considering the University of North Alabama and Belmont College after high school. Dillon has been playing the guitar for the past six years and also plays the mandolin a little. Dillon is a talented young man as he does his own arranging. He got his first guitar from his uncle because he wanted to learn to play an instrument. He is fascinated with Tommy Emmanuel and probably tries to emulate him. He likes to run and is interested in graphic design as hobbies. He has a CD produced by non other that Nashville flat picker, Tim May who performs at the Festival. The CD is called “Stormy Weather.” He also plays in a band called “Against the Grain” which includes Brand and Amy Leiter. It was fun watching Dillon choose his first place guitar selection. You see Dillon plays left-handed and all the prize guitars were for right-handed players. Trying to finger backwards and to strum up instead of down was a feat that Dillon did quite well. For his efforts Dillon won $2,000, the 1st place trophy and he choose the Collings Winfield Model Mahogany/Andirondack Spruce Guitar by Collings Guitars Inc. of Austin, TX.