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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Jon Kay
Traditional Arts Indiana

Last modified: Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Traditional Arts Indiana calling on all fiddlers to compete in the Indiana State Fair Fiddle Contest

July 19, 2006

Photo by: George Vlahakis

Print-Quality Photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana State Fair and Traditional Arts Indiana -- a partnership of Indiana University Bloomington's Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and the Indiana Arts Commission -- are accepting entries for the Traditional Arts Indiana State Fair Fiddle Contest. The competition, featuring some of Indiana's finest fiddlers, will take place on Saturday, Aug. 12 on the WFMS Free Stage at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis.

It will begin at 10 a.m. and will be free and open to anyone attending the fair.

Traditional Arts Indiana aims to honor Indiana's fiddling styles and traditions -- from bluegrass and old-time to western swing -- through the contest. Contestants will be judged by a panel of three accomplished Indiana fiddlers who respect the wide range of performance styles. Together, they have nearly 100 years of performing experience.

"We are pleased to work with the Indiana State Fair and the Indiana Arts Commission in continuing to feature Indiana's strong fiddle tradition," said Dick Bauman, chair of the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at IU. "The fair is a special place where a diverse array of arts and artists are highlighted, and the pursuit of excellence and beauty is encouraged."

Contestants will be judged based on rhythm, bowing technique, intonation, phrasing and creativity. There will be four categories: Open Class -- Division I (Age 11 and under); Open Class -- Division II (Ages 12-17); Open Class -- Division III (Age 18 and older); and a special Old-time Style Fiddling award.

Contestants in the first three divisions will have six minutes to perform a hoedown, a waltz and a tune of their choice. Contestants in the old-time competition will be expected to perform a waltz and a hoedown.

Indiana native Kenny Stone and the Chicago Bluegrass Band will be a featured act during the lunchtime hour and while the judges deliberate. Stone is a two-time master artist in Traditional Arts Indiana's Apprenticeship Program.

To register or for more information, contact Megan Detterline at the Indiana State Fair at 317-927-7524. A complete list of rules will be mailed to contestants, along with two admission tickets to the fair upon registration.

Traditional Arts Indiana has been dedicated to expanding public awareness and promotion of Indiana's traditional arts and artists since 1998. The organization's staff members travel all over the state to promote cultural understanding and education.