Returning to the Great Tulsa State Fair, Bob Fjeldsted took the helm of the Oklahoma State Fiddling Contest September 30. Oklahoma has sponsored this Weiser-qualified contest for over 40 years, although it had a short lapse due to COVID. The 2023 contest burst into the Sage Net Center, which is directly behind the Tulsa Driller.
On the lower level, the stage was set, draped in black. Change is inevitable, and a huge change this year was the modification of layout. Normally this event hosts the state contest for every stringed instrument, but due to time constraints, in 2023 only hosted the Oklahoma State Fiddling contest. Using the guidelines of Weiser, all judges were sequestered, so they can only judge on what the ear hears, not what the eyes see.
Judges in 2023 were the following:
Rick Morton, teaching and performing in and around Tulsa for over 40 years, he currently plays with a western swing band, the Tulsa Playboys, and continues to perform bluegrass and country music every time opportunity knocks. Rick has judged the Oklahoma State Fiddling contest many times.
Shelby Eicher began his fiddling days in Ohio, with his family band The Fulton County Sand Sifters. He was an active member of Roy Clark’s band, recording five albums, and appearing with Roy on The Tonight Show as well as Hee Haw. Today Shelby is still actively doing what he enjoys, playing music
Greg Burgess has been playing fiddle and guitar for over 40 years, and has performed alongside the best including twinning with the Double Stop King, Byron Berline. A previous state of Oklahoma fiddle champion, Burgess is touring with his own band, Oklahoma Swing, and was inducted into the Western Swing Hall of Fame in 2019.
Pee Wee Divisional Winners:
- Amos Parker -$50, buckle, and certificate
- Sicily Creekpaum – $40 and certificate
- Rosie Kelley – $30 and Certificate
Youth Division Winners:
- McKenna Peterson – $200, buckle, and certificate
- Tristan Paskvan -$150 and certificate
- Sidney Cantrell – $100 and certificate
- Charlene Parker – $50 and certificate
Also, participating in the youth division and receiving honorable mentions/certificates were Bea Ferris, Carolina Land, Kylah Harris, Marin Kelley, and Maye Kelley.
Junior Divisional Winners:
- Thomas Paskvan – $200, buckle, and certificate
- Mary Parker – $150 and certificate
- Preston Marriott -$100 and certificate
- Gordon Parker – $50 and certificate
Honorable mention and certificate of participation was awarded to Colton Harris.
- Cody Marriott – $500, buckle, and Weiser qualification
- Jake Duncan – $400
- Monte Gaylord -$300
- Emma Pendelton -$200
- Aimee Peterson -$100
Other participants in the championship division were Junior Marriott, Anna Lang, Carole Smith, and Ron Jones.
JC Broughton Rising Star award went to Colton Harris.
Make this one one of your next contests, you won’t be sorry. See you in 2024!