June is almost gone, and it has been a whirlwind. Grace, my sister Shelby, and my niece Lindsey have prepared all year for these two main contests. We traveled to the Idaho Open contest on our way to Nationals and then spent the week at the National Oldtime Fiddlers' Contest in Weiser. I am still hearing fiddle tunes in my head! It was a fun week watching so many talented musicians share all of their hard work and talent. I was so proud of my sister Shelby for making the top 8 at Nationals, and Lindsey for making the top twenty in the Junior division. Grace had set a goal for herself to make the top five in the Junior Junior division, and she surpased that goal, taking 3rd place. I'm so proud of these girls and their hard work. The second the contest was over, Grace told me it was time for her to get working for next year ;) (videos of the girls playing are below)
Just in case you're wondering how these contests work: in the regular divisions, the contestants each get to play a round. The round consists of a Hoedown, Waltz, and a Tune of Choice. The judges are sequestered in a different room...they can't see who is playing, they can only hear the contestant through a sound system. The judges usually cut after each round until they get the final five who will play the last round. The points from all rounds are added together to come up with a total score. The contestants are judged on rythym, intonation (playing in tune), feel, difficulty etc. You'll notice that the girls are typically very serious when playing their rounds, because they have taken extra care to work on playing their very best so that it sounds good to the judges in another room. The last video is of Grace playing a fun tune in the certified division. In order to enter this division, you must win a certified contest in your state to compete. In this division, the judges can actually watch the contestants, and it is based more on showmanship. If you watch Grace's certified division (the video at the very bottom of this post), you'll see that she plays a lot differently than she does in the regular divisions.