July News

I hope everyone had a festive and happy Independence Day! As we are all staying out of the heat and being lazy in the dog days of summer, I just wanted to give everyone a few updates.

We had a date change due to conflict with the World Championship Fiddle Contest in Crockett, Texas. The new date has been updated on the calendar and is now on September 23rd. If you have already made reservations, please contact them and get your dates changed over.

If you are looking for some fiddling events, I have listed a couple other non-association contests coming up in August. Branson, MO and Fayette, AL are having contests at the end of August and I have listed them in the calendar on Page 2 of the current newsletter.

The 3rd full week of June hosts the National Old Time Fiddlers contest. If you have never made the voyage to Weiser, Idaho, for this week long event, I encourage you to do so. Hundreds of fiddlers come from all over the world and country to compete for the top 5 places in the nation. Two of our very own members made the top 5 in three divisions this year. Mr. Gene Banks of Athens, TX, was the 5th place Champion in the Senior division and Miss Karissa Nugent of Burleson, TX, participated in the Young Adult division winning 3rd place Champion as well! Karissa and her friend, Shira Elissman from California, also competed together in the Twin Fiddling division and won 3rd place. If you see them, please congratulate them on their winnings!!! The full placings for the National Fiddle Contest are listed on Page 3 of the newsletter.

The Twin Lakes National Fiddler Championship in Leitchfield, KY was held this month. This contest could not be what it is without Ed Carnes. He has served on the Board of Directors for TOTFA in the past and does a great job coordinating contests. There were 116 contestants this year. A couple of our very own Texas boys made the Top 5 in their divisions. Mr. Brad Riley, was the Senior Division Champion, and Mr. Carl Hopkins took home 3rd place in the Adult Division. I’m so very proud to see our members represent our great state of Texas in these contests around the nation. Ya’ll keep it up!!!

The Randy Elmore Fiddle Camp was held July 10th-14th. Fellow TOTFA director Elijah Stone was in attendance along with several other members. The camp is one of the best there is to learn about Texas Fiddling. There were just over 50 students eager to learn from the Top Texas Fiddling instructors in the state. Randy Elmore, Wes Wesmoreland III, Larry Franklin, Rich Schroeder, Valerie Ryals, and Roberta Rast were teaching fiddle. Marty Elmore and Dick Gimble taught the guitar classes. Every evening, there is a little showcase and concert for each instructor and special guests. If you are interested in learning more about the Randy Elmore Fiddle Camp, please contact any director and let us know.

The Bowie Contest Benefit and “July Jam” was held this month as well. There was a packed house! Chicken dinners were served for $8 each, there was a bake sale, silent auction and best of all, live entertainment and good fiddling from all around. Afterward, the Harris’ held a small get-together and the music continued into the night as always. A great “Thank You” to Marty Elmore and all involved to help this contest stay alive, and to the community of Bowie Texas for their continued support of fiddling.

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*
September 8: Alvarado
September 23: Crockett*
October 7: Bowie
October 14: Seguin
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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TOTFA Newsletter
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Burleson, TX 76028-6729


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