First off, our thanks to the folks at Collings Guitars and Mandolins for their incredibly generous support of Chris Thile's new Bach recording Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1. Also our thanks to our friends at D'Addario Strings and Planet Waves for their part in helping create the giveaway as a way to honor Chris' efforts and his association with D'Addario.
Special thanks to Don Dawson, D'Addario's Social Media Manager who lead the entire project.
The winning entry has now been posted all over the web and I'm able to tell you a little about him even though he doesn't know he won, but will as soon as he checks his email or the Cafe. His name is Todd J. and his entry was one of my favorites. I didn't actually pick the winner but helped select finalists and personally read over 2,000+ entries. Todd appears to be on the west coast near San Diego and guessing from his email address he has a day job he's likely at for a few more hours. Blue collar guy! And... he registered on the Cafe forum October 2, 2002 although none of that had anything to do with his selection.
Now, I know you'd all like to see some of the winning entries but I'm going to hold off on those until we make the five runner-up selections. We all collectively ran out of steam at the end of the day here and my 5:00 was 6:00 p.m. on the east coast where the D'Addario staff is based. Should have the five runner-up picks out of the 20 finalists some time tomorrow and we'll discuss how many entries we'll post. It was a lot more work than anticipated but still fun.
Some of the entries made us laugh, others almost cry, some were confusing, 2-3 were spam in a foreign language, and one from a female entrant had me blushing. Don't ask. A lot of interesting creativity, dog names, names of family members, references to historical information and beyond.
To recap, from the press release:
The Grand Prize winner will be awarded a brand new Collings MT2, 25 sets of D'Addario EXP Mandolin Strings and a Planet Waves prize pack that includes tuners, peg winders, polishing cloths, and a mandolin strap. Masterfully crafted in Austin, TX, the MT2 comes with a seasoned red spruce top, premium maple back and sides and Collings will custom engrave the winning name right onto the truss rod cover.
Five additional runners-up will also be selected and each will receive five sets of D'Addario EXP Mandolin strings and the Planet Waves prize pack. All winners receive a copy of Chris' Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1, autographed by the man himself!
EDIT: Here are the six winning entries. I'm now off to contact the runner-ups.
The Grand Winner*
Lucy - Because when you get this baby home there is gonna be "a lot of splainin to do," cause you sat down to play one tune and now hours have gone by and the Honey Do list still ain't been touched.
* There were several "Lucy" entries (as in Lucille Ball in this case) but the description was what made this the winner.
Sunburst Trophy Wife - For when you've reached the age where the wife says, "It's me or that mandolin. You pick"
Nigel Tufnel - Nigel was really influenced by Bach and wrote a trilogy in Dm, the saddest of keys called Lick My Love Pump. This Mando would kick ass which echoes Artie Fufkin who had no timing. He requested the band, "Kick my Ass." I'm not asking, I'm telling.
Plink Freud - Plink being the timbre of the mandolin's sound, and Freud being the mind engager. Yes, it's a nod to a band that never used a mandolin as far as I can recall. Still, it is catchy.
Bach n Blue - Signifies versatility of the instrument -- Classical Music to Bluegrass.
PluckN A - As a devoted A style player, this is the very first thought when I saw the incredible lines on this Collings. Designed to be held close, voraciously played, and stowed away with love when the sandman finally shakes you from your trance.