Archive for Sunday, August 25, 2013

Musicians, spectators experience a sense of community at Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships

August 25, 2013


Contest results

Miscellaneous instruments:

1) Dave Hooge, Lawrence

2) Steve Luper, Andover

Folk ensemble:

1) Jim Brothers MSB, Lawrence

2) Terri & Michael, Overland Park

Youth fiddling:

1) Glenn Sigler, Joplin, Mo.

2) Edith Sigler, Joplin, Mo.

3) Bethany Marcolesco, Andale

Open fiddle:

1) John Shaw, Lincoln, Neb.

2) Jason Shaw, Lincoln, Neb.

3) Tricia Spencer, Lawrence


1) Matthew Oliphant, Chanute

Flatpicking guitar:

1) Matthew Oliphant, Chanute

2) John Shaw, Lincoln, Neb.

3) Dan Delancy, Kansas City, Mo.


1) Mike Black, Lawrence

2) Bill Allen, Topeka

Fingerpicking guitar:

1) John Gamache, Wichita

2) Luke Paul, Lawrence

Youth Award:

1) Mason Ruble, Minneapolis, Kan.

A stream of people walked along the sidewalks in South Park on Sunday afternoon, donning hats and sunglasses and carrying lawn chairs and coolers. Kids played in the fountain west of the gazebo, and adults found some relief in plastic cups full of cold beer.

Wherever spectators found themselves — under a distant tree, next to the food trucks and vendors, or right in the center of it all — they could clearly hear the traditional Americana music wafting from either of two makeshift stages in the park.

South Park was the site of the 33rd annual Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships on Sunday. Musicians in each of the eight categories — miscellaneous instruments, folk ensemble, youth fiddling, open fiddle, banjo, flatpicking guitar, mandolin and fingerpicking guitar — were judged on rhythm, timing, execution, creativity and expression.

While musicians played on stage, spectators spontaneously got together to jam away from the stage, and clapped and sang along to familiar tunes.

“My favorite aspect is the continuum of the event,” said Gayle Sigurdson, coordinator of the competition. “I see people there just jamming and a few years later they put together a band and compete. There’s that continuum, that sense of community.”

Cara and Matt Oliphant, a brother and sister duo from Chanute, rehearsed in the southwest corner of the park before their turn on stage.

They had just finished a six-minute performance in the folk ensemble category and were seventh in line to compete in flatpicking guitar, in which contestants played two fiddle tunes on guitar using a flat pick.

Cara and Matt, now 21 and 17 respectively, started playing music together when Matt was 5. They returned to the contest this year after a four-year break while Cara was away at college.

In addition to participating in the folk ensemble and flatpicking guitar categories, Cara competed in open fiddle and Matt in banjo.

“It was just something our parents did and passed on to us,” Cara said. “Since we’re family, we’ll probably always play together.”

Lawrence residents Michael Paull and Terri Laddusaw also were returning to the competition after a brief hiatus. They were the first to perform in the folk ensemble category, with Paull on guitar and singing backup and Laddusaw singing lead.

They played two songs in their six-minute set, “Sweetest Waste of Time” by Kasey Chambers and an original song written by Paull.

“We’re a mix of Americana, country, bluegrass and folk,” Laddusaw said. “Michael likes to call it ‘parlor country.’”

The duo met 11 years ago during a jam session at the Americana Music Academy, 1419 Massachusetts St., and they decided to start playing together because of their good vocal blend.

Paull and Laddusaw won the folk ensemble category at the Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships in 2003 and 2005 before Laddusaw moved to Texas. She moved back to Lawrence recently, and the two reconnected to play in the contest 10 years after the first time they won it.

“We’re suckers for anniversaries,” Paull said. “We’re sentimental that way.”


Alceste 4 years, 9 months ago

This article notes "....adults found some relief in plastic cups full of cold beer.....". It's not an unusual remark to be found within the LJWorld.....there are lots of articles which glamorize and promote the consumption of ethanol. It's a fashionable and permitted drug. shrug

Too, having this Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships right here in Lawrence only goes to further demonstrate and document that all of Kansas, including Lawrence, is a hillbilly based mindset and "culture" state, akin to Kentucky and W. Virginia. Nothing more....and nothing less. It is what it is.

Joe Blackford II 4 years, 9 months ago

Mark O'Connor'Connor

O'Connor won both the Winfield flatpicking & fiddle championships as a teenager. Played the White House for Ronald Reagan. Played McCain Auditorium, KSU.

Alceste, you should take a listen to the following to determine how high brow your musical tastes actually are:

Appalachia Waltz by Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Mark O'Connor

Filmed at Lincoln Center in New York City, NY for 'Great Performances at Lincoln Center' - 2000.

"It is one of my most loved pieces and I like to think it is for this reason; If it's played for folk musicians, they most often think it's classical music. When played for classical musicians, they most often think of it as folk music. Appalachia Waltz seems to exist in the middle of places. Each listener is embracing it on quite personal and maybe very different terms. When Yo-Yo performs it unaccompanied as an encore to his Bach Suite recitals, there are those who think it is old and German! When I play it unaccompanied in Southern California, it reminds people of their grandparents back in the mountains of North Carolina. Neither is true but this occurrence is one of the most important bridges I have attempted to cross; "Appalachia Waltz" has become one of my most important compositions, because it helped me create and cross yet another bridge...between audience and performer."

2007 "Appalachian Journey" Grammy for Best Classical Crossover Album

Commenting has been disabled for this item.