MASTER
 
 

Old Time Fiddle Workshop & Contest Weekend

By Ozark Folk Center State Park (other events)

Thu, Aug 8 2019 8:30 AM Sat, Aug 10 2019 9:00 PM
 
ABOUT ABOUT


Celebrating the tradition of old time fiddling in the Ozarks, this event features 2 days of workshops, nightly performances and our Old Time Fiddle Contest 

 

 

Scroll through this entire page for information on workshops, contests and rules and weekend concerts.

Old Time Fiddle Performances
Evening Concert Friday AUG 9 @ 7pm w/ Roy Pilgrim & Aviva Steigmeyer 
Advance Tickets for this show, available here:
https://ozarkfolkcenter.ticketleap.com/roy-pilgrim/

Matinee Concert Friday AUG 9 @ 2pm w/ Billy Mathews and the Old Time Players
Admission included w/ daily park enterance fee.

Evening Concert Saturday AUG 10 @  7pm w/ Short Round Stringband feat. Betse Ellis
Advance Tickets for this show, available here:
https://ozarkfolkcenter.ticketleap.com/short-round-string-band/

 Admission to all concerts included w/ workshop registraion.

2019 FIDDLE WORKSHOP & REGISTRATION INFORMATION

August 8-9, 2019 / Aug 8th,  Orientation starts at 8:30am in the Administration Building
Full schedlue, copy and paste this link:
https://www.arkansasstateparks.com/events/arkansas-state-championship-fiddle-contest

Fiddle I – Beginner
This class is for students who have no experience on the fiddle.  We will start from scratch learning how to tune your instrument, how to hold the fiddle and bow, basic bowing techniques, and a simple tune.  Bring a working fiddle and bow and a recording device.  A shoulder rest and rosin are optional but recommended.
Fiddle II - Advanced Beginner
This class is for students who have previous experience playing the fiddle, but are still beginners.  We will learn a few tunes and practice using bow direction and drones to make simple tunes start to sound like classic old-time tunes!
Fiddle III – Intermediate
This class is for intermediate players who know quite a few tunes “up to speed” and are ready to take their playing and repertoire to the next level. Students will learn tunes by ear, piece by piece, and will discuss techniques to give the tunes an old-time sound. We recommended that students have some experience with drones, playing in different keys (primarily G, D, and A), and learning pieces of tunes by ear.
Fiddle IV – Advanced
This class is for advanced players who want to focus on improving their dance fiddling.  We will experiment with different ways in which the bow can create rhythms to support the beat of dance tunes, cross-tuning, and learning some new dance tunes.  Students should be able to drone with no trouble, play quite a few tunes up to speed, and have some experience controlling their bow direction.

Intructors
Emily Elam:
Former Arkansas State Banjo and Fiddle Champion and current Assistant Music Director at the Ozark Folk Center State Park, Emily has years of teaching experience on both banjo and fiddle. She recently completed a book entitled 500 Fiddle Tunes: Transcriptions of Billy Matthews’ Old-Time Archive chronicling the tunes of Ozark fiddle master, Billy Mathews.
Everett Elam-
Along with his wife Emily, Everett is one half of the fiddle duo, The Bow Tanglers. Everett is a past Arkansas State Fiddle Champion also has a background in traditional violin.
Shay Pool-Longtime Music Roots teacher, owner of Mountain View Music and lover of all things Old Time, Shay has been a stalwart of the music community in Mountain View for many years.
 Eden Pool-Eden studied music at Berklee in Boston, MA. Along with her husband Lukas, they run the Ozark Banjo Co., producing unique handmade banjos here in Stone County, Arkansas.

Fiddle I Shay Pool
How to Hold the Fiddle

If you’re brand new to the fiddle, it can be tough to juggle the fiddle, bow, and try to play notes at the same time!  Pick up the basics of holding your instrument and producing notes with good tone.  If you don’t own a fiddle, a limited number will be available to borrow.
Caring for Your Fiddle
No matter how well you play, nothing sounds good if the fiddle is out of tune or the bow needs more rosin.  Learn to tune and care for your fiddle and bow to sound great and keep your instrument in excellent condition.
Learning Tunes by Ear I
Tackling a tune armed with only a fiddle and your ears can be intimidating – it’s a lot to learn.  We will break down how to learn a tune by ear, one note at a time.  Learn how to match pitches your hear and discuss strategies for remembering all the notes you find.
Learning Tunes by Ear II
Did you know that in many tunes, almost half of the phrases are repeated?  Once you’ve learned the first half, you’re nearly done!  Dissect a few tunes and learn how to use the tune structure to quickly learn each phrase by ear.
Building Technique I
Learn some tunes and exercises that will help you to build technique, so you can play more challenging tunes!  You can use these tools to play more in tune, play faster, and produce a cleaner tone.
Making the Most of your Practice
Practicing is more than playing the same thing over and over.  Pick up tips for efficient practice methods that will help you learn more quickly.

Fiddle II, Everett Elam
Learning Tunes by Ear II

Did you know that in many tunes, almost half of the phrases are repeated?  Once you’ve learned the first half, you’re nearly done!  Dissect a few tunes and learn how to use the tune structure to quickly learn each phrase by ear.
Adding Drones
What are drones? When should you drone, and how long? Although droning, or playing on two strings, is one of the most iconic “fiddle” sounds, it can be difficult to master knowing when to drone on tunes you already know.  Learn how to use drones to make your playing sound full and rhythmic.
Following Along in a Jam
Jamming can be one of the most rewarding ways to participate in the old-time community but can be intimidating.  Gain confidence in your ability to join in on tunes you don’t know and get some tips for learning tunes from jams.  Test your abilities in a jam following this session! 
Keeping the Beat: Metronomes, Tapping Your Foot, and More
Building good timing is essential to play with other musicians.  Even if you don’t have the greatest sense of rhythm, there are exercises and technology that can help you get a handle on your timing.  Join us to learn how to use a metronome, tapping your feet, and backup instruments to improve your timing playing solo or with a group.
Building Technique II
Learn some tunes and exercises that will help you to build technique, so you can play more challenging tunes!  You can use these tools to help you play tunes in difficult keys, with double stops, and with challenging bow patterns.
Learning Tunes from Field Recordings
Poor audio quality can make learning from field recordings tough, but with a little imagination, you can learn some great tunes from scratchy audio files. Learn how to get the most from old field recordings by building your listening skills and discovering easy-to-use technology to facilitate your learning.

Fiddle III, Eden Pool/Emily Elam
Learning Tunes from Field Recordings

Poor audio quality can make learning from field recordings tough, but with a little imagination, you can learn some great tunes from scratchy audio files. Learn how to get the most from old field recordings by building your listening skills and discovering easy-to-use technology to facilitate your learning.
Ozark Fiddle Tunes
Expand your repertoire with some fiddle tunes from Arkansas and Missouri.  In addition to learning the tunes, listen to field recordings of Ozark fiddlers playing these tunes and discuss stylistic differences within Ozark regions.
Intro to Cross-Tuning
Taking your fiddle out of the standard GDae tuning can open up a whole new world of tunes and techniques to enjoy in a resonant cross-tuning.  If you’ve never cross-tuned, join us to discover how to change to a common alternate tuning and learn a new tune! If you have multiple fiddles, please being an extra to cross-tune.
Adding Style to “Easy” Tunes
Do you avoid the tunes you learned as a beginner because of the “easy version” that you play?  Take your tunes to the next level by listening to other versions of these simple tunes and learning how to implement new ideas that you hear.
Playing for Dances

Aside from a steady beat, what makes a tune enjoyable for dancers? Come learn how to make your playing more compelling for dancers. 

Fiddle IV, Eden Pool/Emily Elam
Ozark Fiddle Tunes

Expand your repertoire with some fiddle tunes from Arkansas and Missouri.  In addition to learning the tunes, listen to field recordings of Ozark fiddlers playing these tunes and discuss stylistic differences within Ozark regions.
Leading the Beat
Anticipating the beat gives fiddle tunes a unique drive by starting notes before the beat on which they would normally fall. The anticipation adds interest to the rhythm and makes tunes more fun to play and hear.  Listen to examples of fiddlers who lead the beat, practice leading the beat, and discuss how to know when you can anticipate the beat in other tunes you play.
Using the Bow to Create Rhythm Patterns
Not all fiddlers consciously control what direction their bow is going while they play, but many still use their bow to create some wonderful rhythmic patterns that add a strong beat to dance tunes.  We will discuss how to use the bow as a tool to create some of these rhythms and practice some simple exercises to help develop bow control.
Tunes in GDad Cross-Tuning
It’s common to cross-tune to the keys of A or D, but what about the key of G?  Learn some tunes in GDad cross-tuning like Indian Nation and Saddle Up the Grey.
Notating Tunes
This session is for players who can read sheet music but struggle to write it down themselves.  Learn how to take the music you already know and put it down on the page.
Tunes from Faye Green
Faye Green first picked up a fiddle in 1925 at the age of 5 and began her journey to becoming an Ozark fiddler.  Surviving recordings of Faye, her husband Leonard, and daughter Brenda provide not only a wonderful opportunity to practice learning from field recordings, but also to preserve Faye’s unique style and rare tunes.
All Levels

Original Tunes by Billy Mathews
Attend Billy Mathews’ matinee performance, then discuss his playing style.  What elements would you like to include in your own playing?  Learn an original tune by Billy and try to mimic his playing style.

 Contest Rules & Overview
Judy Kent will present the contest rules and explain judging criteria for prospective contestants.  This is a great time to ask questions and evaluate your tune choices

Workshop Registration Information

Extended Workshop and Offerings

Our fiddle workshop is now a two day event with classes from 9am-4pm on Thursday August 8th and Friday August, 9th.  Classes will be offered at 4 levels (new player, beginner, intermediate and advanced) with instructors for each level. Please see full schedule and class descriptions on our web-link for this event.

 New Registration Format
All workshop registrations for 2019 will be handled through our online portal with Ticketleap. This will allow us track registration information, keep accurate student counts, process refunds and check in students with much more efficiency than in years past. You will need a credit card and a valid email address to register.

 No registrations will be taken over the phone or by mail.
If you have specific questions about the workshop, class offerings or need to cancel an online registration, you can phone our Music Director, Daren Dortin at 870-269-3853. He’ll return your call as quickly as possible.

 Workshop Format
By selecting your level online and answering the registration questions, we will be better able to schedule classroom assignments. Note that you will be able to move from different levels and take classes from different instructors, as you like. Your level selection when registering online does not lock you in to a specific class for the duration of the workshop.

Pricing
Registration for the event is $106.00 and is available online through Wednesday August 7th, 2019. Your registration includes 2 days of workshop classes (Thursday and Friday) admission to the evening concerts on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, participation in the fiddle contest on Saturday and admission all other park events that weekend, including the Craft Village.

Single Day and Walk Up Registration
Registration for single day classes and walk up students will be processed at the front desk in the Administration building once the workshop has started. Single day classes are $75.00. Walk Up registration for the 2-day workshop is $125.00.

New this year 3 day Non Participant Pass for $32.50
Save over $25.00 off regular admission prices. This discounted pass is for spouses, friends and family members of workshop attendees who want to take advantage of all the Ozark Folk Center State Park has to offer and are not attending the workshops. This pass allows admission-- for one person-- to the both the Craft village and all nightly music shows, Thursday-Saturday during the workshop weekend.

On Site Lodging
On site lodging at the Cabins at Dry Creek fills up quickly for workshop weekends. If you are wishing to stay at the Ozark Folk Center State Park, we suggest making reservations as soon as possible.

For Cabin Reservations:  870-269-3851

New Cancelation and Refund Policy
Registration fees are fully refundable for this workshop until the close of business, August 7th, 2019. Accounting and fiscal management with the new online registration format means refunds cannot be issued after the 7th of August.  

In the event you are unable to attend after the refund deadline has passed, you will be offered the opportunity to “roll over” the registration fee for next year’s workshop or other OFCSP workshops, for up to one calendar year

For refunds please call (870-269 3853)  or email ([email protected]) our Music Director, Daren Dortin. Music Director’s office hours are:

Monday-Friday 9am-6pm Mid- November thru Mid-April
Wednesday-Saturday 10am-9pm Mid-April thru Mid-November

 

 Fiddle Contest Times and Prizes / Saturday August 10, 2019 

Division                  Registration Closes    Contest Begins  Ist Prize  2nd Prize  3rd Prize
YOUTH 11 & Under    9:50 AM                            10:30           $100       $50            $25
JUNIOR 12-16              11:20                               12:00           $200      $100          $50
SENIOR 60 & Over      12:50                                1:30             $500     $300         $100
ADULT 17-59                2:20                                  3:00            $500      $300        $100
Grand Champion                                                  4:30            $200  


Doors open at 9AM.
Contest registration is $10, at the door the day of the contest. No fee for accompanists.
Contestants must register (in person) no later than 40 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of their division.
Audience admission to the contest is FREE

Fiddle contest participants and spectators not registered for the workshop, much purchase a ticket for the evening show(s).

2019 Arkansas State Fiddle Championship

The original and continuing purpose of the Arkansas State Fiddle Championship is:

to help perpetuate and promote the old-time fiddling styles and tunes (specifically, the style in which the melody is never obscured and the rhythm encourages dancing and toe tapping). This style is often called “old-time mountain music style” and is exemplified in many of the old-time fiddle recordings from the 1930s and 1940s. The contest is limited to this style of fiddling. This means no Bluegrass, Texas swing, trick fiddling, Cajun, Celtic, blues, contest style, or other styles and tunes that are not considered old-time mountain music.;
to help develop a more genuine audience appreciation, understanding and participation;
to preserve the old-time fiddle tunes;
to develop and encourage old-time fiddlers' jam sessions and contests.

GENERAL RULES AND STANDARDS

The contest rules and standards may be amended depending on the situation and events at hand during the contest. Anything not covered in the Rules and Standards will be decided by the judges. Before the contest starts, judges will be pleased to answer your questions.

DIVISIONS
 Youth is for ages 11 and under. Any contestant who has won first place in the Youth division in two different years will not be allowed to compete in the Youth division again, but will be allowed to play in the Junior division.

Junior is for ages 12 to 16. Any contestant who has won first place in the Junior division in two different years will not be allowed to compete in the Junior division again, but will be allowed to play in the Open division. Youth 11 and under are allowed to compete in the Junior competition if they have won first place in two different years in the Youth division.

Adult is for ages 17 to 59. Any contestant who has won first place in the Adult division in three consecutive years will either sit out for one year or judge the following year. Children 16 and under who have won first place in the Junior division in two different years will be allowed to compete in the Adult division.

Senior is for ages 60 and up. Any contestant who has won first place in the Senior division in three consecutive years will either sit out for one year or judge the following year. No other age groups are allowed to play in the Senior division.

Grand Champion is for the four first place winners of the above divisions.

Contestants may compete in only one division, not including the Grand Champion Division.

TUNE SELECTIONS

Each contestant will select three (3) tunes to play in the contest.

1. Tune Selections shall be a breakdown suitable for square dancing, a waltz, and a tune of choice and will be played in that order in the competition.
2. Tune length Each of the selected tunes should be played through twice.
3. Tune of choice doesn't have to be (but can be) another dance tune.
4. Cross-tuning is permitted.
5. Submitting the names of the tunes - The names of the selected tunes shall be written down on the card provided at registration, and will be presented with the registration card at the drawing for the contestants' numbers.
6. Changing Tune Selections -- Contestants may not change their tune selections after turning them in at the drawing. Contestants who play a tune other than the announced tune will be marked down or awarded no points.
7. Tune Selections for Playoffs – In the event of a playoff, contestants shall play a breakdown and a waltz. These tunes cannot be the same tunes that were played in the earlier round.
8. Tunes for Grand Champion Competition – The first-place winner in each division should be prepared to play a breakdown and a waltz. These tunes cannot be the same tunes that were played in earlier rounds.
9. Age of Tunes – In the first round of competition, two of the three tunes should originate from the period before 1941. The third tune can be newer than 1941, but must have the old-time style and sound of the earlier tunes. When registering, the contestant will indicate which of the three tunes is newer than 1941. The newer tune can be an original tune that was written by the contestant. In play-off and Grand Champion rounds, all tunes must be older than 1941.
10. Old-Time only -- Contestants who deliberately play a tune or style not classified as “old-time” (also known as traditional or old time mountain music) in the opinion of the judges will be disqualified from winning any of the places in the competition. This means no Bluegrass, Texas swing, trick fiddling, Cajun, Celtic, blues, contest style, or other styles and tunes that are not considered old-time mountain music.
11. Five-String fiddles – Five-string fiddles are not traditional instruments, and are not allowed in the competition.

PERFORMING AT THE CONTEST

1. Contestants must be present and in proper, drawn position for entry onto the stage when number is called from the staging area. Late arrivals, or no-shows will be eliminated from the event. Allowances may be made for broken strings and other happenings judged to be beyond the control of the contestant(s).
2. Contestants must have instruments tuned and ready to play when called to stage. Instruments may require re-tuning due to the heat of the lighting in the auditorium. Please take this into consideration.
3. Contestants may have only one accompanist. Accompanist may not play the melody or a harmony part that follows the melody line. Any acoustic instrument suitable for an old-time dance is welcome; for example: piano, guitar, banjo (4- or 5-string,) cello, reed organ, tenor guitar, or bass. Mandolin and second fiddle are discouraged, and must play only chords or rhythmic backup, if used. Solo fiddling is welcome.
4. Contestants may restart a tune in the event of a broken string or equipment malfunction. One false start is allowed, but false starts are discouraged. Please keep the Execution aspect of the judging criteria in mind. Faltering (stopping during the performance of a tune not due to equipment problems) will result in a loss of points.
5. All contestants/performers are urged to consider the placement of the microphone and the efforts of the people responsible for the sound system. They are there to help the contestants/performers be clearly heard by the judges and audience alike. The judges will judge exactly what they hear. An instrument too close or too far away, or pointed away from the microphone, could distort or drop out the sound, resulting in a loss of points. Please make sure microphones are properly placed prior to starting your performance.
6. No sheet music or music stand is allowed in the stage area.
7. No electrical instruments, nor drums will be allowed on stage.
8. Instruments may not be amplified by contact microphone, pick-up, etc.
9. Contestants are allowed to bring more than one fiddle on stage.

JUDGING

Judging will be done by three (3) qualified judges who are chosen by the Ozark Folk Center.

Decisions of the judges will be final. Judges will be sequestered and no judge can see any contestant.

The contestant is identified only by number.

1. The Judges’ decisions will be final.
2. The Judges are not permitted to enter, nor play in any contest division.
3. The Judges are not allowed to advise contestants in their selection of tunes to be played.
4. JUDGING CRITERIA for all three tunes include Rhythm & Timing, Authentic Performance Style,

Execution, Expression/Feeling, and Difficulty.

• Rhythm & Timing (25 points). The rhythm and timing should be consistent. Any jerking, rushing,dragging or unevenness in tempo of the performance will result in a loss of points. It is common in some fiddling traditions for the fiddler to lead the beat, but this must be consistently utilized throughout the tune. For the breakdown and waltz, this correlates with danceability, and the judges will listen for the unique drive that makes a dance tune danceable.

• Authentic Performance Style (30 points). The purpose of this contest is to promote pure, traditional old-time fiddling, without the characteristics of the more modern, progressive style that is commonly heard today. Therefore, only authentic old-time performance style will be acceptable.

The judges will be listening for specific bowing techniques, phrasing patterns, repeating and alternating notes, drones and double stops, syncopations and strong beat patterns that are commonly heard in the recordings of old-time (born before 1935) fiddlers. Playing Bluegrass, Texas style, western swing, and other such variations will result in disqualification from winning any place in the competition.

• Execution/Intonation (15 points) The judges will listen for the tonal quality and clarity of the performance together with the general command of the instrument.

• Expression/Feeling (15 points) The judges will listen for the “feeling” that the contestant puts into the performance. Flat, mechanical and unfeeling performances will result in lost points.

• Difficulty (15 points) A difficult tune will receive additional points in the overall score of the tune.

REGISTRATION

1. Registration and payment of any entry fee will be at the door on the day of the contest.
2. No contestant will be allowed to register for any division after the registration for that division has closed. Registration is considered closed 40 minutes prior to the start of each division. No exceptions will be made.
3. Drawing for contestants' numbers will be done 30 minutes prior to the start of each division in the back-stage area. No exceptions will be made for being late for the drawing.
4. Badges are required for entering the rehearsal hall/practice rooms. Contestants and accompanists will be given badges at registration. Parents of YOUTH ages 11 and under will be given badges for assisting their registered children in the practice rooms. Teachers of YOUTH ages 11 and under and teachers of JUNIORS ages 12 to 16 will be given badges for assisting their registered students in the practice rooms. No other parents or musicians will be allowed in the rehearsal hall.

Other notes

Copies of the judges’ score sheets may be requested by the contestant by email after the day of competition. Please send an email to the Music Director at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Include your name, contest division and contestant number in your email to [email protected]