The judging panel consists of qualified musicians. There are three judges for fiddlers. Judges follow standardized guidelines used at most regional, state, and national fiddle contests. Performances are judged using traditional old-time fiddling criteria including authentic performance style, expression, timing control, rhythm suitability for selected tune, intonation, dance-ability, difficulty, overall execution, and appropriateness of accompaniment.
Score sheets will be available for viewing only after the awards ceremony.
Introducing this year’s Judging Panel
Katy grew up in a musical family. She started playing violin at age eight, because her parents wouldn’t let her play any instrument as large and heavy as a harp (and they could say this with some authority, since her older sister plays bass). Her mom tried to inspire her with stories of Itzhak Perlman and Mark O’Connor, but instead just ended up scaring the daylights out of her. Katy played classical music exclusively until age 20, and then quit playing entirely until she heard the Turtle Island String Quartet play Night in Tunisia. These days Katy fiddles every chance she gets. As far as contests go, she has won some, placed in many, and has been a judge in a whole bunch. She aims to preserve fiddle music for future generations and have a really good time on stage. She believes that everyone everywhere can improve their lives though fiddling.
Kenny Blacklock enjoys playing a variety of fiddle styles, including old-time, Celtic, and Bluegrass. He has been teaching fiddle and other instruments for over thirty years. In addition to the fiddle, he plays mandolin, guitar, piano, fife, pennywhistle, recorder, and musical saw. He is a member of two local bands, Sugar Moon, a Western Swing band, and the Chaos Wranglers, a contra-dance band. Kenny has been a regular competitor and judge at fiddle contests throughout California. He is the grandson of musical saw player, Charlie Blacklock, who was inducted into the American Old-Time Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999.
Gus has attended every Cloverdale contest since its inception, and has been a judge here at least four times. He nearly always comes out in the top three (sometimes even First Place), and always comes here with a spirit of fun and high energy. He plays in many different styles, and many different ensembles, from the Wild Catahoulas Cajun Band to the Lake County Symphony. He is also the Music Director of the Gravenstein Mandolin Ensemble in Sebastopol, and writes a quarterly column for Fiddler Magazine. Gus’s fiddling includes old time, bluegrass, Western Swing, Cajun, and more. When he’s not “fiddling around” or judging, he’s a killer Scrabble player.