Spencer Strickland grew up in a family and community steeped in music. His mother and and his father played guitar in a bluegrass band that performed in churches and at community events. At age 10 Strickland began mandolin lessons . Strickland’s father immediately recognized his talent and traded a pocketknife for Spencer’s first instrument. Since then Spencer has gone on to win prestigious awards, such as the ribbon for best all-around performer at Galax Fiddlers Convention in 2004 and mandolin competition at Merlefest in April 2005, both festivals that he had attended as a child. In the fall of 2004 Strickland began an apprenticeship with Gerald Anderson, sponsored by the Virginia Folklife Program and in November 2004 he completed his first mandolin. The Virginia Folklife Program’s apprenticeship program awarded annually connects master craftspeople with talented young apprentices in order to preserve and enrich the traditional arts of the Commonwealth.
Spencer is currently part of the duo performing act “Anderson-Strickland. The two released a CD entitled “Headin South” and are currently working on their second CD which will be part of the Crooked Road CD Series produced by the Virginia Foundation for the humanities.