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Congratulations to Katrina Nicolayeff 2011 Grand Master Fiddler Champion

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Grand Master FiddlerThe Grand Master Fiddler Champion for 2011 is Katrina Nicolayeff of Idaho. She was awarded the honors last week in Nashville, Tennessee. 2011 Grand Master Traditional Champion is Gailanne Amudson of Florida. The Accompanist championship was awarded to Tyler Andal of Tennessee. H.G. Roberts received the Dr. Perry F. Harris award and the Charlie Bush Traditional fiddler Performance award went to Maddie Denton. The two-day 41st annual Grand Master Fiddler Championship is the nation's championship event held at the International Bluegrass Music Association's Fan Fest in Nashville, Tenn.

Katrina Nicolayeff is a 3 time National Champion. She was born in Nampa and now lives in Boise with her husband Alex and their son, Alexander James. In October 2007 she competed in Nashville and won the title of Grand Master Fiddler Champion where she got the honor of playing at the Grand Ole Opry. She has been teaching fiddle for over 10 years. She serves as the Co-director for the Idaho Junior Jammer Fiddlers.

The new category for Traditional Style Fiddling was a huge success and the championships have expanded paying awards to 10 places! The Grand Master Fiddler Traditional Championship is designed to recognize fiddlers who play a fiddling style outside the recognized US "contest" or "Texas" styles, or Canadian "contest" styles. Examples of Traditional styles could be the Appalachian fiddling, the Central Missouri fiddling, Metis, Bluegrass, Southeastern, Scottish, Irish, New England, the Kentucky fiddling of Doc Roberts and Ed Haley and so forth (this list is not inclusive). The competition was sponsored by the West Virginia Division and Culture and History and the champion was presented the Robert C. Byrd Award in recognition of our dear friend and former GMFC Board member.

Fiddle playing was an important part of the WSM Grand Ole Opry for many years and from 1972 through 1997 the contest was sponsored by WSM and the Grand Ole Opry and later by Gaylord Entertainment. Once the contest is self-sufficient, we plan on annual donations of proceeds to such charities as the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund and Bluegrass Trust fund, which benefits musicians in need. We do this in recognition of the contribution of these pioneers to country, bluegrass and traditional music. Many of these pioneers such as Roy Acuff, "Uncle Jimmy" Thompson, Bill Monroe, and Tommy Jackson played the fiddle or were very involved with fiddling.

Congratulations to the 2011 Champion Katrina Nicolayeff! The top five honors in each category are:

2011 Grand Master Fiddler Championship

  1. Katrina Nicolayeff Idaho
  2. Isaac Callender Oregon
  3. Doug Fleener Kentucky
  4. Billy Contreras Tennessee
  5. Maddie Denton Tennessee

2011 GMFC Traditional Championship

  1. Gailanne Amundson Florida
  2. Matt Kinman North Carolina
  3. Tyler Crawford Tennessee
  4. Amanda Contreras Tennessee
  5. Daniel Greeson North Carolina

2011 GMFC Accompanist Championship

  1. Tyler Andal Tennessee
  2. Darin Meeks Idaho
  3. Jonathan Trawick Arkansas
  4. Terry Ludiker Idaho
  5. Todd Varble Ohio

Special Awards

  • Dr. Perry F. Harris Award - H. G. Roberts
  • Charlie Bush Traditional Fiddler Performance Award - Maddie Denton

The judges for the 2011 championships wereJustin Branum, Bethany Dick-Olds, Danita Gardner, Dan Kelly, and Mark Ralph.

The Forty-first Annual Grand Master Fiddler Championship was held on September 28 and 29, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee during the IBMA Bluegrass Fan Fest. With support and advice from Bud Wendell, the Grand Master Fiddler Championship organizers held a series of meetings with Dan Hays, President of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the trade organization formed to support bluegrass music and musicians worldwide, to explore possible ways to work together. After approval by the Board of Directors of the Grand Master Fiddler Championship and the IBMA, the competition was re-established and held in conjunction with the IBMA “World of Bluegrass” annual event in Nashville, Tennessee in October 2005.

For more information and a complete list of those who placed, visit the Grand Master Fiddler website at

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