The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Old Time Fiddlers present Amateur Contest


February 29, 2020

Marilynn Hogan

Joseph Wallek, Grand Champion winner of the 2019 Amateur Fiddle Contest, practices his tunes.

District 3 of the California State Old Time Fiddlers Association will hold its 11th annual Amateur Old Time Fiddle Contest on Saturday, March 14 at Tehachapi Valley United Methodist Church on Schout Road in Tehachapi.

Registration for contestants will open at 8 a.m. and the actual contest will begin at 9 a.m. and run all day. Fiddle Divisions will include Juniors (ages 13 - 20), Junior - Juniors (9 -12), Pee Wees (8 years and under) and Cello-Bass (up to 20 years). Other divisions will include Band Scramble, Picking (guitar, banjo and mandolin), Novelty (anything NOT a fiddle or picking instrument) and Twin Fiddles. CSOTFA rules will be followed.

Because this is an Amateur Contest, limited to contestants ages 20 and under, there will be no registration fee to enter the competition. Awards will consist of medals for the top five winners in each division, plus a Grand Championship trophy for the winner of the playoff between the first place winners in all the Fiddle Divisions.

There is no charge for admission, either, and the public is cordially invited to attend. Tehachapi has become a hotbed of fiddling and there will be a lot of good music played. Last year's Amateur Contest drew about 50 contestants. Contestants came from as far away as Hanford, Visalia and Bakersfield for last year's contest, so come on down and cheer our young people on!

Fiddling was brought to America by the Scots and Irish who came to this country in its early days. Tunes were jealously guarded and traded by fiddlers as if they were some sort of currency. The third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, was a fiddler and used to have friends come to the White House for fiddle jams. His journals state that they played tunes such as "Liberty" and "Haste to the Wedding," tunes fiddlers are still playing today.

Gradually as the United States grew westward, fiddlers and fiddle tunes also migrated across the country and now there are fiddlers in virtually every state, and the annual National Fiddle Contest is held in Weiser, Idaho. A number of District 3 fiddlers have competed there and one Tehachapi fiddler actually took third place in the Pee Wee (ages 8 and under) Division. Numerous Tehachapi fiddlers like Joe Wallek, Haydn Jones and Gayel Pitchford, have also won their divisions at the California State Fiddle Contest, and District 3 fiddler Hughie Smith has won both the State and National Fiddle Contests many times.

For more information, please call

(661) 823-8249.


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2021