News obituary: Haywood County Appalachian fiddler, teacher Trevor Stuart dies


Trevor Stuart, a well-known fiddler known for teaching traditional Appalachian music to children in Western North Carolina and around the world, died Wednesday. He was 47.

Stuart, and his twin brother Travis, who played the banjo, played concert halls, festivals and music camps throughout the U.S. and Europe. In Haywood County, the duo taught mountain music to children through the Junior Appalachian Music program. The Stuart brothers recorded two albums of their own and have appeared on innumerable other recordings.


Here’s more, from

Bethel natives Trevor and Travis Stuart have been playing as a duo for more than twenty years. They learned to play oldtime mountain music-Trevor to play fiddle, and Travis banjo–from members of their community and surrounding counties, including Byard Ray, the Smathers Family, and North Carolina Folk Heritage Award recipient Red Wilson.

They also have music in their ancestry. Travis plays their great-uncle Austin Stamey’s banjo, and Trevor wrote a fiddle tune, on their latest album, in honor of their fiddling great-grandfather, Rev. Henry King. Trevor writes, “I named this reel after our great-grandfather Henry King, born 1856, who was a fiddler, Methodist preacher, mortician, and a barber, among other things I’m sure. My Grandmaw Myrtle King Stuart told me many stories about him: how he’d cut every dead man’s hair in Sandy Mush. The stories about him staying up all night and playing for dances inspired me to play fiddle. As soon as I had a few tunes I’d play for her and watch the excitement in her eyes.”

Here’s the full obituary for Trevor Stuart from

Canton – Trevor George Stuart, age 47, of the Beaverdam community, passed away on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 unexpectedly at his home.

A native of Haywood County, he was the son of R.W. and Naomi Kuykendall Stuart of Canton. You never saw Trevor without a smile on his face always joking and helping those around him laugh and smile. Trevor was a true outdoorsman, and especially enjoyed fishing. He adored his family and always placed his love for them as a priority. Trevor loved music and was an accomplished musician, most notably for his talents on the fiddle and playing and teaching traditional Appalachian music world-wide. Along with his twin brother, Travis they were instructors with the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) Program in Haywood County, where they taught and instilled a love for Appalachian music and tradition in young children. Trevor will especially be remembered for being fair, honest and humble. His loving and gentle spirit will be cherished by his loving family and countless friends forever.

In addition to his parents, Trevor is survived by his wife of 16 years, Caroline Barnhardt Stuart; three sons, Luke Stuart and Sam Stuart both of Waynesville and Jesse Stuart of Canton; his twin brother, Travis Stuart and his wife, Jennifer, of Canton; a sister, Sandy Stockton and her husband, Jeff, of Waynesville; four grandchildren, Damon Stuart, Alexis and Alivia McCall and Jayden Stuart; mother-in-law, Nancy McIntyre; father-in-law, Jake Barnhardt and his wife, Amy; sister-in-laws, Gwynn Sullivan, Jennie Barnhardt (Rodney Sutton); brother-in-law, Mac Barnhardt (Kris) and many beloved nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 6, 2016 in the Canton Chapel of Wells Funeral Home with the Reverend Dr. Jack Holland officiating. The family will receive friends from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home. A celebration of his life and time of sharing his love of Appalachian Music with family and friends will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at Yesterday’s Spaces Gaining Grounds Farms in Leicester, NC.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Caroline Stuart, c/o, Champion Credit Union, 1 Academy Street, Canton, NC, 28716 for his three sons and the Haywood County JAM Program.


More about Trevor and Travis Stuart.

Image link for Stuart brothers.

1 Comment

WNCRod March 11, 2016 - 10:36 am

I’m sad to hear this. Very talented fiddler. I enjoyed covering the Junior Appalachian Music program many years ago and watching Travis and Trevor share their knowledge with eager learners.

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