October News

Happy Fall Ya’ll!!! The cooler weather is upon us along with tons of fiddling around the state. Most towns are finishing up their year with fall festivals. We have plowed through 3 wonderful TOTFA contests in the month of October and will finish out November with the 44th Annual Dale McPherson Memorial Contest in conjunction with our TOTFA Convention. Click here for details.

The McPherson Family is always so flexible and welcoming as we join up with them to put on this event. This year we have over $3000 in prize money and a couple additional ideas in the works. We will have a raffle for a TOTFA Yeti Cooler, a Silent Auction, and another fundraiser that we have in the works. It is definitely a contest that you do not want to miss out on this year. If you have anything that you would like to donate to the Silent Auction, please remember that TOTFA is a Non-Profit, and that any donations are tax deductible. We have tax receipts that we can provide.

TOTFA has reserved a block of rooms with the Comfort Inn & Suites:

Location: 1615 NE Big Bend Trail, Glen Rose, TX 76043
Phone: (254) 898-8900 or (254) 898-8899
Rates: 2Queen=$74 1King=$84

On Sunday Morning, will be our convention meeting of our membership. This is your opportunity to voice your opinion and suggest any topics of consideration and feedback to the directors. I would LOVE to have as many people come as possible. Not only can you give us your opinion on things, but you will also have the chance to vote on your Favorite Fiddler, Accompanist, and Associate (non-musician) member.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your directors regarding this contest. Additional details are on page 2. Hope you can make the trip!

~~Jordan Bankston, TOTFA President~~

T.C. Mitchell

WILLOW PARK--T.C. Mitchell, age 99 years and 10 months, passed away Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. FUNERAL: 11 a.m. Tuesday at Central Christian Church, 1602 S. Main, Weatherford, 76086. Private Interment: Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park in Colleyville. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at White's Funeral Home, 130 Houston Ave., Weatherford, 76086. MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Central Christian Church Building Fund. T.C. was born Dec. 27, 1917, in Stonewall County. He was the fourth of 10 children born to Charlie and Willie Mitchell. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and was part of the Occupation Forces in Japan as well as the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. He was a longtime member of the Texas Old Time Fiddlers Association, winning many contests of his age group. T.C. was preceded in death by his parents; eight brothers and sisters; and his daughter, Berinda Webb. SURVIVORS: Wife of 78 years, Dorothy Mitchell; son, Bill Mitchell and wife, Jill; grandchildren, Dawn Shannon, Sandi Mitchell, Misty Germaine and husband, Jack, Dana Barnes and husband, Gregg, and Dean Webb; six great-grandchildren; brother, Pat Mitchell; and a host of nieces, nephews, other family members and friends.

TOTFA, By The Numbers

TOTFA currently has 146 members
Bank balance, as of March 5: $4,688.97

The Devil's Box

The Devil's Box available for purchase here!The Devil's Box is a fast paced jam-packed look at the world of contest fiddling. Every year contestants from all over the United States flock to the town of Hallettsville, Texas, to compete for the title of best Texas-style fiddler. Featuring performances from some of the greatest legends of American roots music, The Devil’s Box explores the beginnings of the art form and showcases the rising talents that will dominate the traditional music scene for years to come. The Devil’s Box is an instant classic, filled with fantastic music and great family fun. The 3-disc set includes:

Disc 1: The Devil's Box documentary, an 84-minute look at the world of contest fiddling and all of the major players involved. Bonus features include an extended history section of Texas-style, a four-minute movie of the Hallettsville Bar-BQ Cook-Off, Song Writers Serenade featurette, and an interview with the director Jason Hammond and producer Beth Jasper

Disc 2: The Devil's Box Bonus Disc features 42 complete fiddle tunes played by contestants from around the country as well as performances by Larry Franklin, Texas Shorty, and many, many more.

Disc 3 The Lost Benny Thomasson Tapes: This disc is a wonderful hour-long interview with the master himself, Benny Thomasson. Benny tells the story of Texas-style as only he knows it and plays 19 tunes like only he can. This interview from 1976 has been cleaned up and remastered and is the ideal tutorial for any fiddler who wants to hear the tunes exactly as Benny played them and learn some fascinating fiddle history along the way.

To buy the 3-disc set, click the "Buy Now" button below. You may pay with a credit card or a PayPal account. Thank you for your support! And spread the word about The Devil's Box - the happy documentary!


March 31-April 2: Llano
April 21-23: Hallettsville*
May 6: Groesbeck
May 27: Athens*
August 25-27: Branson*
September 8: Alvarado
September 23: Crockett*
October 7: Bowie
October 14: Seguin
October 14-15: Greenville*
October 21: Gilmer
November 11: Glen Rose

*non-association contest

Out-of-State Contests

August 25-27: Branson, MO
August 28-29: Fayette, AL


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You can renew your TOTFA member-ship, make TOTFA donations, or make purchases through PayPal at:


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You can also mail content through the postal service by sending to:

TOTFA Newsletter
c/o John Crawford
277 Diamond Ln N
Burleson, TX 76028-6729


That you can now pay your TOTFA dues online? Check out our membership page.

That you can advertise in the TOTFA newsletter and pay online? Check out our newsletter page.

That TOTFA members receive the monthly newsletter by email or USPS by the 1st of each month and that the web site newsletters are posted with a month's delay?

That the TOTFA newsletters contain additional information about contests, birthdays, photos, teacher information, transcriptions, etc.?

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