2014 Monumental Fiddling Championship

fiddling prairie scene

The annual Monumental Fiddling Championship and Acoustic Band Contest will be held on Saturday, May 24, 2014, at Homestead National Monument of America's Education Center. A free fiddling workshop will be held at 10 a.m.and competition will begin at 12 p.m.

Admission to the event is free, and there is also no registration or participant fee. The Coffin Family Foundation will sponsor a total of $2,750 in prize money.

This popular event celebrates music from the homesteading period. Music was a common thread among pioneers of all ages. The Monumental Fiddling Championship and Acoustic Band Contest is an opportunity to highlight this historic activity and heighten the awareness and enthusiasm for fiddling.

Fiddlers, young and old, are encouraged to participate. Professional musicians Greenblatt and Seay will conduct a free morning workshop allowing fiddlers to gain new skills or fine tune current skills. The youngest fiddler, oldest fiddler, and best left-handed fiddler will be recognized.

Competition Rules

Fiddle Contest Rules:
There are 3 main Divisions of Competition...
- Junior - for folks who have played less than 5 years.
- Senior - for folks who have played 5 years or more.
- Legends - for folks who have won 1st place in the Senior Division in previous years.

Each contestant in the 3 main Divisions will play 3 tunes...
- a Hoedown (upbeat danceable tune in two or four)
- a Waltz (danceable tune in three)
- a Tune of Choice (a tune other than a hoedown or a waltz, such as jigs, polkas, rags, blues, etc.)

In the Left Handed Contest, the bow and fiddle hands must be reversed. Each fiddler will play 1 tune.

Contestants may play with one or two backup acoustic musicians, neither to be playing melody. A backup guitarist is available for fiddlers who need one.

Contestants will be judged on pitch, tone, rhythm, and presentation (showmanship, interpretation, flair, creativity, charisma, adherence to the rules, etc.).

Trophies will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, places in the Junior, Senior, and Legends Divisions.

Acoustic Band Contest Rules:
Each band must consist of at least 3 members.
Each band will perform 3 songs.
No electric instruments or pickups allowed.
No drum sets.
Bands will be judged on their material selection (taste, difficulty, originality), performance (musical ability, tone, rhythm, and overal blend of the instruments and vocals), stage presence (showmanship, connection with audience, humor), and adherence to the rules.
Trophies will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.

Rules that apply to all contestants:
Contestants in all divisions are encouraged to announce each tune and to give a one sentence explanation of its origin.
All contest songs must have been in existence when Homestead National Monument of America was established in 1936.
All decisions of the judges are final.

And...have fun!

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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