It has been a great and FUN year!
The year began with a trip to the National Fiddle Competition back in June of 2017. Jacie Sites won the National Adult Fiddling Championships and Grace Partridge won the Junior Junior division and Sorella High was the Youngest fiddler.
In July, I mentioned an idea I had for a trip to Nashville to a few students and it turns out that we would be joined by several students and parents on a trip to the Grand Master Fiddle Competition in October. So this month we performed at the Farmers Market and Recorded a CD of the students attending the competition which was called Nashville Bound.
We also hosted our first Swan Valley, Idaho Fiddle Competition. Tim Hodgson from the Bar-J and McKenzie Thueson judged and Grace Partridge won Champion of the day.
CD sales and a Cookie/Bake Sale hosted by the Cookie Cottage's founder Jen Partridge kicked off our second round of fundraising for the Nashville trip at our performance at the Snake River Concert Series in Idaho Falls.
We also performed as a group for the War Bonnet Rodeo Youth (downtown Idaho Falls) Kick-off celebration and the kids performed the National Anthem for the performance to prepare for October's performance in Nashville.
In September we hosted free workshops and a concert at the ARTitorium on Broadway in Idaho Falls with legendary Celtic Pianist Kimberley Holmes. The advanced students learned a few tunes from Kimberley and the concert was a huge success. Several of the students were inspired to learn to play the piano after this fun concert!
In October several of the advanced students, parents and I flew to Nashville, Tennessee to participate in the Grand Master Fiddler Competition. You can see how they placed on the Grand Master's website...we were honored to be asked to perform the National Anthem as a group for the opening of each days festivities. Among some of our favorite activities were visiting the Science Museum, touring downtown Nashville and visiting the Grand Ole Opry for a show which included the Quebe Sister's band whom some of the fiddlers knew from past competitions. In years past both Joe and Jacie have been featured on the Grand Ole Opry along with their student Laura Waters, Jacie and Laura both as Champions of the Grand Master Fiddler Competition. Jacie judged the Grand Master Competition and all of the students competed in the Champion or Youth divisions.
In November we attended the Idaho Falls Festival of trees and played an hour of fiddle and Christmas music
In December we hosted our annual Sites' Fiddle Party and jammed into the late evening hours along with our advanced students and students who had returned home from college. Notably Laura Waters from BYU and Casey Braastad who now teaches violin and orchestra in the Idaho Falls school district. Casey taught the students a tune called Britches full of Stitches and it has since become a staple in our repertoire.
Carson Dungan was recognized as our 2017 student of the year and received a new fiddle case. Congratulations Carson!
In January Lauren Dance recored her Senior CD project at Sites' Studio.
In February we attended the Dillon, Montana Fiddle Competition and Jacie won the Championship division, Jessa Preston won the Junior Division and Logan Davis won the Junior-Junior division.
Also in February, Jesse Maw (national fiddle champion) hosted a free workshop for our intermediate and advanced students where he taught them how to cross-tune their violins and play an Appalachian song with singing and accompaniment. He learned to rehair bows from Joe and we had a fun Jam Session!
In March, Jacie judged the Oregon state contest and Jessa Preston won the Junior division and Jessa and Meg Preston placed second in the twin fiddle division. Lincoln and Leo High and Meg Preston placed in the top five in their divisions as well.
In April, several of our students attended the Idaho State Fiddle Competition in Hailey, Idaho. Joe and Jacie won their respective divisions. Joe also was honored as the States' favorite accompanist. Tabitha Snell won the open division and Brooklyn Wise placed 3rd. Abbie Steuhm won the Adult Novice division, Grace Partridge won the Junior division and Logan Davis won the Junior Junior division and several of the students won/placed in their respective intermediate or novice divisions. I will post the remaining results as soon as they are posted online. We had SO MANY students win/place that I want to make sure I report all results accurately. Congratulations to Abbie Steuhm who was our student of the month.
In May several of the students competed in the ISU fiddle contest for world fiddle day. Logan Davis won the Junior-Junior division and Leo High placed 4th. Jessa Preston placed 2nd in the Junior division and Shylee Campbell placed 4th and Lincoln High placed fifth. Leo and Lincoln won their respective divisions in the previous year's competition. Kortney Egbert placed 2nd in the Junior-Junior Novice (this was a HUGE division), Sarah Lawson placed second in the Adult division. Grace Partridge placed 4th in the Championship division. Sorella High placed 3rd in the Small Fry division. Congratulations to all who attended and placed!
Kyla Campbell won the Rigby High School's distinguished young women's competition playing a fiddle tune and we are so proud of her accomplishments. Several of our Juniors are looking forward to recording and producing their Senior CDs this Summer/Fall.
Several of the students from the Rigby 5th grade performed as fiddlers in the Hope of America program, Carter Horsley performed for the Idaho History 4th grade program and several fiddlers including Kaylee, Samantha, Jillian, Logan and more performed for the Rigby Middle School talent show. Both Anika and Hannah will be participating in the Idaho Falls Youth Symphony next year after successful auditions/seasons.
I am currently scheduling for the 2018-2019 year and we have students preparing to compete at the Idaho Open and National Fiddle Competition this month. We are looking forward to a few NEW events along with our old favorites this year.
Practicers/Student/Fiddlers of the Month for 2018 have been
NEW EVENTS FOR FALL 2018
JUNE 30 SWAN VALLEY FIDDLE CONTEST (THE PRACTICER OF THE YEAR WILL WIN A SILENT ELECTRIC VIOLIN!)
AUGUST 17 - 18 STUDENT CAMPOUT AT MOUNTAIN RIVER RANCH
SEPTEMBER 15 - BAR-J NIGHT WITH SITES' STUDENTS IN JACKSON, WYOMING