2016 - A former competitor who has placed in this competition before takes home the third place trophy. Eric Hardin, a former student of Steve Lewis hails from West Jefferson, NC. He placed third in this contest in 2009 and again this year. This was his sixth time to enter the competition. In addition to playing the guitar for the past 15-years, Eric also plays the banjo and mandolin. He has a CD available called “Ong Good Reason.” His hobbies are fishing and of course, music. He won the 3rd Place Trophy and a Gallagher G-70 Special Guitar by J.W. Gallagher and Son of Wartrace, TN.
2004 - A young 19-year-old man from Warrensville, NC by the name of Eric Hardin took the top prize in banjo for 2004. Last year he placed second, just behind in teacher, Steve Lewis. With Steve out of the competition, this opened the door for Eric and he prevailed. A little over 5 years ago his parents gave him his first banjo as a birthday present. Look out all you flat pickers, Eric plans on entering that contest next year. The young man has talent and in his notes he said, “I’m thankful that God gave me the talent to play.” Eric installs and finishes hardwood floors for a living and when he’s not working or playing the banjo or guitar, one can find him riding his ATV down to the old fishing hole baiting a hook. Eric chose a Deering Legacy Banjo by Deering Banjo Company of Spring Valley, CA as his prize in addition to the first place trophy.