Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Salyersville Independent

Local News


PRESTONSBURG, KY – The excitement is building in the Appalachian region as the finalists for the highly anticipated 2024 Appalachian Arts and Entertainment Awards, affectionately known as The Appys, were officially unveiled on Wednesday, January 17th, including several from Magoffin County.

The 2024 Appys, a celebration of exceptional talent and creativity across the Appalachian region, are set to be bigger and better than ever, promising a night filled with memorable moments and outstanding performances. The announcement of the finalists marks a significant milestone in this year’s awards season.

Jill Hamlin, Assistant Director of Fine Arts for Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) and founder of the Appys, shared her excitement about the nomination process. She stated that the journey began in the Fall when the official website opened its doors to nominations from talented individuals and groups throughout the Appalachian region.

“The response to the nomination and voting process has been overwhelming,” said Hamlin. “We’ve witnessed an incredible outpouring of talent from all 13 states that make up the Appalachian region.”
Many may not realize the vast extent of the Appalachian footprint, which stretches from New York to Mississippi, encompassing numerous locations within these 13 states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Hamlin emphasized, “Having submissions from each of these states is a testament to the incredible talent and diversity within the region. It also reflects the widespread enthusiasm for an awards ceremony that showcases the very best of what the entire Appalachian region has to offer.”

The finalists, carefully chosen through a rigorous process that involved over 639,000 votes cast by the public, now face the discerning judgment of a panel of esteemed industry professionals. The winners of each category will be revealed during the highly anticipated 2024 Appy Awards.

The 2024 Appy Awards ceremony promises to be an unforgettable event, set to take place at The Mountain Arts Center on Saturday, March 16th. The festivities will commence with a star-studded Red-Carpet Event at 6pm, followed by the award ceremony at 7pm.

Tickets for this glamorous evening can be purchased by visiting or by calling 1-888-MAC-ARTS. Accommodations for the event can also be found by visiting
The 2024 Appy Awards are not just an awards ceremony; they are a celebration of Appalachian talent, creativity, and the spirit of artistic innovation. Be part of this extraordinary event and witness the crowning of the Appalachian region’s brightest stars.


Top 2024 APPY Finalists:


Best Acting/Drama/Speech/ Educator 
Crockett Ward
Denise Watkins
Leah Turley
Best Art Educator 
Shawna Arnold
Tara Helser
Taylor Stacey
Best Dance Educator 
Ariane Blevins
KY  Dance Academy
Lora Rice




Best High School Band 
Dobyns Bennett High School
Estill County
Norwin High School
Best High School Choir 
Anderson High School Choir
Parkersburg High School Chamber Choir
Stewarts Creek High School
Best Music Educator 
Bobby Maynard
Jenean Michelle Freeman
Sarah Kate Morgan

Best Sculpture/Pottery 


Carvel and Ashley Norman: Dirty South Potter

Jarrid Scott

Mark Vance


Best Social Media Influencer

Jerry Andrews

Kisha Royse

TN Brando


EP of the Year

Hunter Flynn: Appalachian Soul

Zoe Howard: Peace N Whereabouts

Tiffaney Nesbeth: Beautiful Drug


Album of the Year 

Joe Clark: 10 Years too Late

The Goodwin Brothers: If You hadn’t Noticed

Josh Pantry: Smilin’ From Beer To Beer


Best Bassist:  

Ashton Brett Dunn

Oliver Sayani

Tom Mallory


Best Keyboardist:  

Alex Marcum

Cooter Daniel

Jeff Rehmet


Best Drummer Percussionist 

Chris Robbins

Eddie Joseph Baldwin

Rick Loyd


Best Painting 

Michelle Ward Ciancio

Tiffini Sherbing

Suzanne Barrett Justis



Best Music Festival 
Bristol Rhythm and Roots
Mountain Music Festival
North Fork Music Festival (City of Hazard)


Best Podcast

Appalachian Vibes Radio Show

Godly Woman Podcast

Steve Shell and Cam Collins for Old Gods of Appalachia


Best Radio Personality 

Brittany Rowe
Tyler Wolfe
Loretta Friend


Best Small Live Music Venue (500 seats or fewer) 
Manchester Music Hall
The Purple Fiddle
The Jettie Baker Center


Best Recording Studio/Engineer/Producer 

Fat Cave Studios

Mill Springs Studio

Matt McQueen, Gem City Studios


Best TV Personality 
Lynda Fontaine: WTFM
Brandon Robinson: WYMT
Steven Hensley: WYMT



Best Photographer 

Larry Epling

Morgan Ravenscraft

Suzanne Mularz



Best Jazz/ Latin/Big Band/World 

New Orleans Jazz Ramblers

Santa Cruz Band

The Hunt Butler Band

Best Original Song 

Adalyn Ramey

Darrell Pittman

Tina Taylor


Best POP 

Alabaster Boxer

Rags and Riches

The Uptown Band


Best Religious/Worship/Spiritual 

Jarfly Gospel Hour Band

Jeremy Zeller

Olivia Atwood


Best Rock 

Ashton Brett Dunn

Ian Abel

Shades of Raven



Best Singer Songwriter 

Donnie Bowling

Holly Forbes

Spooky Fox


Best Digital Mixed Media 

Chris Burkhardt

Megan Brougton

Payton Martin



 Best Americana: 

Earl Bowman

Phoebe White

Ron Short


Best Bluegrass: 

Jerry Andrews

Jonathan Goodwin

Patricia Wallen



Best Blues: 

Asheville Cats

Brando Vanschoyck

Rachel Crowe


Best Country: 

Earl Bowman

Logan Purcell

Savannah Dean Revees


Best Funk/R&B/Reggae 

3rd Generation Band

Brett Higgins and the Family

Tribal Legacy


Best Indie/Indie Folk 

Brando Vanschoyck

Elonzo Wesley

Jack Shields Band



Best Logo Design/ Graphic Designer 

Eric Hersey

Jeff Clark

Jess Bowman


Best Cover Band/Variety Act: 

Eddie Jenkins

Pink Ladies

Thomas Taylor


Best Guitarist: 

Cody Lee Meece

Jonathan New

Rob Lightner


Best Strings (Non-guitar/Bass) 

  1. Tom Hnatow

Sharon Wenson

Tiffany Rose Shanta



Best Female Vocalist: 

Holly Forbes

Morgan White

Tyra Madison


Best Male Vocalist:

Brando Vanschoyck

Chase Bush

Matt Mullins


Best Music Video: 

Morgan White: Not IN This Heartbreak

Matt Mullins: Homesick

The Goodwin Brothers: Everyday Thing


Best Jewelry Design 

Chloe May

Monica Harlan

Tina Rush



Best Tattoo Artist: 

Fawn Baker

Matt Bartley

Tattoo Charlie’s


Best Traditional Appalachian 

Ashton Brett Dunn

Cigar Box String Band

  1. Boone Pittman


Best Textile 

Bet Ison

Susan Downs Freeman

Joey McKenney


Best Large Live Music Venue (501 seats or greater) 

Charleston Coliseum

Corbin Arena

The Burl



Best Original Movie/ Short Film/Documentary 

David Stokes Piercy

Elaine Sheldon/Curran Sheldon

Kevin Everson


Best Autor/Writer 

DeeDee Cox

Samantha Arthurs

Storm Young

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You May Also Like

Copyright © 2020 Salyersville Independent. All Rights Reserved.