34th Annual Banjo and Fiddle Contests

Banjo Fiddle Contest 2013


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News Release Date: August 14, 2013
Contact: Marieke Slovin, 978-275-1784
Contact: Phil Lupsiewicz, 978-275-1705

Lowell National Historical Park

2013 Banjo & Fiddle Contest Winners

Southern Appalachian Old Time Fiddle

1st:Eden Forman, Gloucester

2nd :Cathy Mason, Melrose

3rd :Bach Bui, Cambridge

Southern Appalachian Old Time Banjo

1st:Lukas Pool, Medford

2nd :Tim Rowell, Marblehead

3rd :John Reddick, Lexington

Bluegrass Fiddle

1st:Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, Jamaica Plain

2nd :Sarah Hubbard, Westfield

3rd :Dave Reiner, Lexington

Bluegrass Banjo

1st:Gabe Hirshfeld, Newton

2nd :Joe  DePasquale, Brookline

3rd :Matt Witler, Boston

Banjo & Fiddle (any style)

1st:Eden Forman, Gloucester & Lukas Pool, Medford

2nd :Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, Jamaica Plain & Matt Witler, Boston

3rd :Sadie Curry, Boston & Jordan Alleman, Brighton

Northern Fiddle

1st:Natalya Trudeau, Lowell

2nd :Kathleen Parks, Boston

3rd :Adrienne Howard, Beverly

Twin Fiddle

1st:Fiona Henry & Natalya Trudeau, Lowell

2nd :Carol A. Kycia & Aram Hollman, Arlington

3rd :Benjamin & Delaney Foss, Rehoboth

Youth (12 and under)

1st:Theo Bester, Reading

2nd :Cordelia L. Rozmiarek, Beverly

3rd :Ceiligh Cacho-Negrete, Amesbury


34th Annual Banjo & Fiddle Contest

Saturday, September 7, 2013
Boarding House Park

Reels & jigs, breakdowns, hornpipes and waltzes will fill the air!

At Lowell National Historical Park, we honor the stories of the past in a modern setting. The Banjo & Fiddle Contest is one way we pay tribute to our nation’s musical heritage. Created in 1980 by recently retired park ranger Alex Demas, the Banjo & Fiddle Contest celebrates its 34th year on September 7, 2013. The event is free for contestants and traditional music fans who wish to come and listen.
Judges will evaluate contestants on the following criteria: stylistic authenticity, intonation, musicality, rhythm/danceability, and tone. Cash prizes will be awarded for eight categories: Southern Appalachian Old Time Fiddle, Southern Appalachian Old Time Banjo, Bluegrass Fiddle, Bluegrass Banjo, Banjo & Fiddle (any style) Northern Fiddle, Twin Fiddle, and Youth (12 and under).

A bit of history:

The repertoire of tunes played during the Banjo and Fiddle Contest is what Folklorists refer to as traditional music—music practiced by groups of people who share a common ethnic heritage, language, religion, geographic region, or way of life. Typically, traditional music is learned during the course of daily life from someone steeped in the tradition, rather than through formal classes, books, or other methods of formal instruction. Tunes are shared within families and community of many cultures and geographic regions and are passed on over many generations.

Traditional music on stringed instruments has been played in America since the early 17th century. Learned and passed on primarily by ear, tunes played on fiddles, banjos, and guitars were historically essential for local dances, special events, and social gatherings. Regional and ethnic styles developed throughout the country. As the ethnic makeup of New England’s population diversified, so did the music of the area’s fiddle and banjo players. Styles of playing and tune repertoires developed regionally with each new wave of immigration, e.g., Yankee, Irish, Scottish, French Canadian, and Cape Breton.

Contests to determine the “best” musician began taking place in the early 19th century. These contests were entertaining, community events and provided great local pride to the community with the musician who brought home the first prize. Some of our country’s best-known contests include The Atlanta Fiddlers’ Convention (established in 1913), Henry Ford’s fiddle contests (1926), The National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest in Weiser, Idaho (1953), Vermont’s Craftsbury Common (1962), and The Appalachian String Band Music Festival (a.k.a. Clifftop, 1989).

The Banjo and Fiddle Contest at Lowell National Historical Park promises to provide an engaging venue for musicians and traditional music enthusiasts. We hope you will join us for this day of music, food, and family fun!  

Schedule of Events:

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  Informal jam sessions 

10-12 p.m. Kids' Activity (while informal jam sessions are going on) Create your own creative musical instruments using recycled materials

11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  Registration

12:00-5:30 p.m.  Banjo and Fiddle Contest

5:30-5:45 p.m.  Judges tally final scores; Performance by the Roots Music Review, Berklee College of Music

5:45-6:00 p.m.  Prizes awarded

Follow this link for Contest Rules and Registration:
Click here for a direct link to contest rules and registration.

The Lowell Banjo & Fiddle Contest is part of the Lowell Summer Music Series. Major support for this event is provided by the Lowell Festival Foundation and Lowell National Historical Park, which includes staff from Curatorial, Special Events, Maintenance, and Interpretation.

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