2018 Fiddle Workshop & Contest Details

Workshop Schedule

THURSDAY – June 7, 2018
8:30 a.m……….Registration/Check In/Orientation
9:00 a.m……….Workshops Begin
10:30 a.m……..Break
10:45 a.m……..Break-out Sessions
12:00 p.m……..Lunch – Peterson Dining Hall
1:00 p.m……….Workshops
2:30 p.m……….Break
2:45 p.m……….Workshops
4:00 p.m……….Free Time/Practice
5:30 p.m……….Dinner
6:30 p.m……….Bluegrass Jam Workshop/Other Events

FRIDAY – June 8, 2018
8:00 a.m……….Breakfast
9:00 a.m……….Workshops
10:30 a.m……..Break
10:45 a.m……..Break-out Sessions
12:00 p.m……..Lunch
1:00 p.m……….Workshops
3:00 p.m……….Workshops Conclude
5:30 p.m……….Dinner
7:00 p.m……….Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Friday Night Spectacular – The High 48s ($10 USD admission for those attending the concert only)

All events will be held in the Burdick Center unless otherwise stated at the International Music Camp.

All times are Central Standard Time. Times listed are approximate and will be finalized upon arrival.

Contest Categories

The International Old-Time Fiddlers Contest is open to contestants from all states and provinces. All contestants must enter in their age-specific groups.  The division categories are as follows:

Small Fry Division – Contestants age 8 & under
Junior-Junior Division – Contestants age 9-12
Junior Division – Contestants age 13-18
Adult Division – Contestants age 19-64
Senior Division – Contestants age 65 or over
Twin Fiddling – Contestants of any age

At the end of the first go-around, the top five scorers in the Junior, Adult, and Senior Divisions will be moved from their registered division to the Championship Division.

Cash prizes totaling $2,000 and trophies will be awarded.

Entry Fee

There is a $20 USD entry fee for International Old-Time Fiddle Contest participants.  Small Fry and Junior-Junior contestants, and those registered for the Fiddle and Guitar Workshops on Thursday and Friday are exempt from the $20 fee.  Entry fee can be sent in advance or paid upon arrival for the Contest.

Contest Rules

1. Each contestant must play a hoedown, a waltz, and a selection of his or her choice (not a hoedown or waltz), in that order.  Small Fry contestants are only required to play a hoedown and a waltz.  Novelty tunes such as “Orange Blossom Special,” “Listen to the Mockingbird,” and “Rocky Mountain Rag” will not be permitted.  All tunes must be of danceable quality.  You must use different tunes for each go-around.

2. Contestants in all divisions except Small Fry will play at least two go-arounds each.  Contestants will draw for their position in each go-around of the contest.  Contestants advancing to the Finals will play one additional go-around (three go-arounds total).

3. Small Fry Division contestants will be required to play one go-around only.  They will not advance to the Finals round.  Contestants will, however, have an opportunity to perform while finals are being tabulated on Saturday night.  Certificates and a small cash prize will be awarded to each contestant in this category.

4. Junior-Junior Division contestants will be required to play two go-arounds only.  They will not advance to the Finals round.  Prizes and trophies will be awarded in the Junior-Junior Division based upon the cumulative points of the two go-arounds.  Junior-Junior contestants will, however, have an opportunity to perform while finals are being tabulated on Saturday night.

5. Twin Fiddling Division will be required to play one go-around only.  The contestants can select two tunes of their own choosing.

6. A maximum of five minutes will be allocated to each contestant for his/her performance in each contest go-around.

7. Scoring by the judges will include the following point system:

  • Technical Ability: 0 to 100 points
  • Tone Quality: 0 to 100 points
  • Rhythm: 0 to 100 points
  • Intonation: 0 to 100 points
  • All points earned will be cumulative.

8. All contestants will be allowed one or two accompanists.  No accompanist will be allowed to use a bowed instrument.  However, the acoustic string bass may be used if it is plucked.  One standing microphone will be provided for each participant, but no contact microphones will be allowed.

9. No sheet music shall be displayed in the contest area.

Contest Schedule

FRIDAY – June 8, 2018
5:30 – 7:00 p.m…..Registration Opens for Contest

SATURDAY – June 9, 2018
ADMISSION FOR NON-PARTICIPANTS: $12 USD
7:30 a.m……………Registration Opens and Breakfast
8:45 a.m……………General Meeting with judges and drawing for First Round Competitions
9:00 a.m……………First Round Competitions for Senior, Adult & Small Fry Divisions
10:15 a.m…………..First Round Competitions for Junior & Junior-Junior Divisions
11:30 a.m……………Announcement of top 5 scores for Championship Draw & Drawings for all Second Round Competitions
11:45-1:00 p.m……Lunch
1:00 p.m……………Second Round Competitions for Senior, Adult, Junior and Junior-Junior Divisions
2:45 p.m…………….Second Round Competition for Championship Division
3:30 p.m……………Drawings for Finals Round
4:00-5:30 p.m………Dinner
6:00 p.m……………Twin Fiddling Contest and FINALS for the Junior, Senior, Adult and Championship Competitions
(Top four in Junior, Senior & Adult Competitions; top five in Championship Competition.)

AWARDS CEREMONY – Winners of all competitions will be announced.
Selected Small Fry and Junior-Junior Competition participants will perform.

Instructors & Judges

Eric Christopher – Fiddle Instructor – St. Paul, Minnesota

For the last twenty years, Eric has worked as a fiddler-for-hire in Minnesota and around the country, performing, recording and/or touring with dozens of bluegrass, Americana and alternative country acts, including bluegrass legends James King and Alan Munde as well as a range of local and national Americana artists including Bellwether, Tina Schlieske, Dana Thompson, Eliza Blue and Vic Chesnutt.

In addition to performing with 2008 RockyGrass Band Competition winners The High 48s, Eric performs regularly with Tangled Rootsthe Anthony Ihrig Band, and The Minor Planets.

In 2011, Eric received a Minnesota State Arts Board grant to record a cross-genre collection of tunes gathered from Upper Midwestern fiddlers, which was released in the spring of 2012. On “In the Quiet Night: Fiddle Tunes from the Upper Midwest,” he had the joy of working with some of his favorite musicians, including the phenomenal guitarist Dean Magraw, vocalist and longtime collaborator Dana Thompson and a couple of his bandmates from The High 48s, Anthony Ihrig and Marty Marrone.

In addition to keeping up a busy performance schedule, Eric gives private fiddle, violin (Suzuki and traditional), and mandolin lessons out of his studio in Saint Paul and leads bluegrass fiddle workshops for all ages and levels of experience.

Eric Christopher Website

Jane Cory – Fiddle Instructor – Winnipeg, Manitoba

Jane fell in love with the picture of a violin in a catalogue at the age of five, and began Suzuki violin lessons soon after.  At the age of seven, she discovered fiddle music and joined a group class, and since then has explored several styles such as Old Time, French Canadian, Ottawa Valley, Métis, Bluegrass, and Celtic fiddle music.  She has gone on to compete and become a finalist at many fiddle contests across the country, has performed at countless festivals, concerts, charities and events, has collaborated on several studio albums and has additionally released her own fiddle album Road Between the Saints in 2014.  She was a Junior Showcase performer at the prestigious Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Competition in 2010, and has been invited back to compete every year since then, finishing in 8th place last summer.

Jane also has a passion for teaching, both in the classical and fiddle styles. She has been an instructor with Frontier Fiddlers, a program through a Northern Manitoba school division that teaches fiddle to hundreds of children from several communities. She is currently a private and group instructor for Fiddleheads Musical Theatre, a performing arts school in Quebec, while also teaching privately from her own home studio.

Jane is graduating this year with a Bachelor of Music performance degree in classical violin from the University of Ottawa.

Jim Tengesdal – Fiddle Instructor & IOTFC Judge – Minot, North Dakota

Jimmie Tengesdal began playing fiddle at the age of six.  In his twenties, Jimmie competed in fiddle contests throughout the country and was inducted into the Fiddler’s Hall of Fame in Weiser, Idaho.  Jimmie has been a judge at both the national fiddle contest in Weiser and the International Music Camp.  In 2011, he was inducted into the International Music Camp Fiddler Hall of Fame.  Not just a fiddler, Jimmie is also a classically trained violinist.  He received his undergraduate degree in music education from Minot State University and a Master of Music Education from the University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music.  Jimmie has spent his entire teaching career in the Minot Public School system where he has built an outstanding orchestra program.  He also maintains a studio of private students which allows him the opportunity to share his passion for fiddling.  Jimmie’s other passion is bows and instruments.  When not busy teaching, you may find him out in his workshop making his latest instrument or repairing an instrument or bow.

Anthony Ihrig – Banjo Instructor – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Anthony is a former drummer who brought his rock-solid timing to the banjo and helped form the Midwestern newgrass band Free Range Pickin’. His unique melodic banjo style and songwriting skills have helped earn him radio play in Nashville and a review in Bluegrass Unlimited.

In early 2012, Anthony released a solo album entitled Missing Ghosts, an all-original “Newgrass” record featuring the High 48s Eric Christopher on the fiddle.

Anthony Ihrig Website

Mike Hedding – Guitar/Mandolin Instructor – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Mike Hedding has been a staple of the Minnesota bluegrass scene for the better part of a decade. He first started playing mandolin in 2005 while he was studying at the University of Minnesota. He had been listening to classic rock and jam bands for years, but started to develop his taste for bluegrass while learning the mandolin. He quickly decided he needed to widen his talents and picked up the banjo.

His whirlwind introduction into the genre soon found him in the field of teaching. He started teaching mandolin and banjo in 2009 and now teaches mandolin, banjo, bass, and guitar full-time. He has been studying Monroe-style mandolin with mandolin master Mike Compton since 2012 and remains self-taught on the banjo, utilizing classic bluegrass recordings and books to hone his craft.

Mike Hedding Website

Rich Casey – Bass Instructor – Stockholm, Wisconsin

Rich is a musical man about town who, in addition to providing a solid musical foundation to the High 48s’ hard‐driving bluegrass sound, keeps a busy performance schedule lending his doghouse skills to a wide range of musical situations.

Mat Reimer – Contest Accompanist – Lorette, Manitoba

Mathieu Reimer has been accompanying his three older siblings (all fiddlers) in performance since 2010 and in competition since 2012. He has been the house accompanist at several Manitoba-based fiddles contests, such as the Festival du Voyageur and the Brandon Winter Fair, amongst others.

His accompaniment style has been greatly influenced by his studies with Jeremy Rusu and Kimberly Holmes, who have been great inspirations. He loves all fiddle styles and is also currently studying classical piano following the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto) program.

Mat is very happy to be returning for a second year as a house accompanist for the International Music Camp’s Fiddle Weekend.

2018 Fiddle Workshop Scholarship Information

IMC is offering scholarships for anyone 18 and under who is participating in the fiddle workshop.  Please click the link below for the scholarship application.  The application is due on May 1, 2018.

2018 Fiddle Workshop Scholarship Form