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MIDWEST FIDDLE & BANJO CHAMPIONSHIP

LINCOLN SQUARE · ON LINCOLN AVE BETWEEN MONTROSE AND WILSON


The Old Town School of Folk Music Announces the 15th Annual Midwest Fiddle & Banjo Championship, with generous support from Seman Violins and Gold Tone Music Group.

Prizes will be given to the top 3 contestants in each category: Youth Division Fiddle, Youth Division Banjo, Open Division Fiddle, and Open Division Banjo. Contestants must register by June 30, 2017.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE YOUTH OR OPEN DIVISIONS

Divisions

  • Youth Division (under 16)

    • 1st Round — Wednesday, July 5, 6:30 PM
      Old Town School, Szold Hall, 4545 North Lincoln Avenue
    • Finals — Thursday, July 6, 6:30 PM
      Old Town School, Maurer Hall, 4544 North Lincoln Avenue
  • Open Division

    • 1st Round — Thursday, July 6, 6:30 PM
      Old Town School, Maurer Hall, 4544 North Lincoln Avenue
    • Finals — Saturday, July 8, 1:30 PM
      Old Town School, Maurer Hall, 4544 North Lincoln Avenue

Prizes

  • Youth Division Fiddle

    • First Prize – Yamaha SV-150 Silent Practice Plus Violin™ ($1000 value) donated by Seman Violins
    • Second Prize – $75
    • Third Prize – $50
  • Youth Division Banjo

    • First Prize – CC-100: Cripple Creek Banjo ($464.25 value) donated by Gold Tone Music Group
    • Second Prize – $75
    • Third Prize – $50
  • Open Division Fiddle

    • First Prize – Peter Zemon violin ($2500 value) donated by Seman Violins
    • Second Prize – $100
    • Third Prize – $75
  • Open Division Banjo

    • First Prize – Banjola ($708 value) donated by Gold Tone Music Group
    • Second Prize – $100
    • Third Prize – $75

Rules

In the 1st Round: play one tune.
In the Finals: play two tunes.

Entrants may play alone or with up to two accompanists.

There is no strict time limit, so you may play enough times through to find your groove. To be considerate of other contestants your selection(s) should last not more than 5 minutes. Have one additional tune ready for a playoff, if needed.

Judging

Judges will be asked to award prizes on the basis of the playing that moved them the most. They will not be asked to decide who has the best technique or who played the flashiest or the cleanest. The only criteria is musicality. What does that mean? It means play from your heart. Play it hard and play it strong so that people want to get up and dance. Play it soft and play it tender so that folks in the audience have to wipe away a tear.

This contest is to promote the many sounds of fiddle and banjo in the Midwest. It is being organized in the spirit of fun and musical conviviality that accompanied two huge fiddle contests held in Chicago nearly 80 years ago. Players from all traditions are welcome: old-time, bluegrass, Norwegian, Scottish, Irish, Cajun, Mexican, Polish, Swedish, etc. Judging will be done on the basis of musicality. All decisions are final and are not subject to second-guessing.