The Grand Master Fiddler Championship is a showcase for some of the best fiddle players in the world. Each year, the Contest Committee invites many top Fiddle Players around the world to compete in the contest.
A Preliminary round is held and open to any and all fiddle players regardless of age or nationality. Pre-registration for this round will be available April 01 each year. Anyone who pre-registers will have the option to SKIP the draw for numbers and play LAST after all the onsite registrations. After onsite pre-registration closes, no additional registrations will be accepted. Any exceptions or appeals must be made to the Contest Committee and decision will be made based on the number of registered contestants and the time needed for the round. Click here to access the form. You may print the form and mail or fax in to take advantage of pre-registration. Any contestants who pre-register MUST check-in before 10:00 am the morning of the contest or your registration is void.
The Top 5 to 15 fiddle players are selected from this round to join the Finalist Round. In addition several more players may be selected by the judging committee to also compete as a finalist. After this round, 10 players are then chosen to compete in the Championship round. Making the Championship round will guarantee a player's selection as an invited Finalist for the next year. Contestants from as far away as Japan and Australia have competed as finalists. In support of our educational goals, the Contest Committee occasionally selects additional players from this round to compete in the Finals round based in the number of Finalists.
There are five judges all of whom are Champion Fiddlers. They are hidden from view, can not see the contestants and are not told who is playing. There will be entertainment between the rounds by Grand Ole Opry stars and other musicians.
Right after the competition ends, the newly named Grand Master Fiddler Champion will make an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry and perform on the IBMA Main Stage later that night.
The Accompanist contest returns again this year. Accompanists are the unsung heroes of the fiddling contest world and spend countless hours helping fiddlers perform to their best abilities. The Accompanist contest is open to guitar and piano backup players but no GMFC fiddle participants can enter this division, and visa versa. Details on this division are available in the Details and Prizes section. The competition plays five places.
The Grand Master Traditional Fiddler Championship contest returns again this year. This category is designed to recognize fiddlers who play a fiddling style outside the recognized US “contest” or “Texas” styles, or Canadian “contest” styles. If you play the competitive style heard at places such as Weiser, Shelbourne, or Hallettsville then you should not enter this category. Contestants playing in those styles in this competition will be disqualified – if in doubt ask the contest coordinators before you enter this category. Details on this division are available in the Details and Prizes section.
The Grand Master Youth Fiddler Championship contest is new for 2012 and is open to any fiddler 15 years of age and under (as of SEP 29, 2012) year. This category is designed to give younger players an opportunity to compete against players in their own age range. Details on this division are available in the Details and Prizes section.
The GMFC is working with several local hotels to find affordable group rates for rooms for our contestants, friends and guests. Some downtown Hotel discounts are available through the IBMA World of Bluegrass event - please see below.
2012 Contest Schedule and Times
Thursday, September 27 - Renaissance Hotel – Level 2
|4:00 pm ||5:30 ||Youth Fiddling Demonstration, featuring Bobby Taylor and the GMFC Judges. A fiddle demonstration and hands-on event designed for children under the age of 18 but open to all ages, no pre-registration necessary, free event.|
|9:00 ||1:00 ||GMFC Open Jam session - TBA|
Friday, September 28 - Nashville Convention Center – Room 205/206, Convention Center Second Floor
8:30 - 10:30a Contestant Registration
10:45 - 11:00 Welcome and National Anthem
11:00 - 1:00p Preliminary Open Round Competition (open to all)
1:00 - 1:30 Entertainment – Mark Newton and Steve Thomas
1:30 - 1:45 Open Finalist Announcements
1:45 - 3:00 Preliminary Traditional Round Competition (open to all)
3:00 - 3:30 Entertainment – Cathy Roberts Band
3:30 - 3:45 Traditional Finalist Announcements, Awards for 6th thru 10th
3:45 - 4:15 Final Traditional Round Competition (Top 5)
4:30 - 5:15 Grand Master Fiddler Accompanist Contest
5:15 - 5:45 Awards - Grand Master Fiddler Traditional Contest and
Grand Master Fiddler Accompanist Contest
6:00 - 6:30 Entertainment – Rocky Top Revue Square Dance Team
9:00 - 1:00a GMFC Open Jam Session - TBA
Saturday, September 29 - Nashville Convention Center – Room 205/206, Convention Center Second Floor
8:30 - 10:00a Contestant Check-in
10:00 - 10:15 Welcome and National Anthem
10:15 - 12:45 Open Finals Round Competition
12:45 - 1:00p Announcement of Top 10, Awards to 11th through 20th place
1:00 - 2:15 Preliminary Youth Round Competition (open to 15 and under)
2:15 - 2:30 Youth Finalist Announcements, Awards for 6th thru 10th
2:30 - 3:00 Entertainment - The Likely Culprits
3:00 - 3:30 Finals Youth Round Competition (Top 5)
3:30 - 4:30 Open Championship Round Competition, Top 10 Compete
4:30 - 5:00 Entertainment - Rigney Family
5:00 - Awards Presentations - Grand Master Open Champion,
Dr. Perry Harris F. Award, Charlie Bush Award
7:00 - 7:10 GMFC Champion performs – IBMA Main Stage
10:00 - 10:30 GMFC Champion performs - Grand Ole Opry
9:00 - 3:00a GMFC Open Jam Session - TBA
All Grand Master Fiddler Championship judges will be experienced and knowledgeable fiddlers and musicians. The five Judges for this year's Grand Master Fiddler Championship are:
|Luke Bulla||Former GMFC Top Ten and U.S. National Champ |
|Daniel Carwile||Former GMFC Champion and Judge|
|Tim Crouch||SPBGMA Champ, AR Champ, noted Judge |
|Deanie Richardson ||Former GMFC Top Ten, fiddler for Patty Loveless|
|Bobby Taylor||GMFC Director and NOTFA Qualified Judge|
The GMFC has a special rate of $109 per night plus tax at the new Home2 Suites Nashville, 1800 Division St., Nashville, TN 37203 at (615) 254-2170. The hotel is at the top of Music Row near the MUSICA statues and walking distance from restaurants and nightlife, and less than a mile from the contest venue. The rooms will be offered to invited fiddler and contestants first but if you are interested in one let us know! You can find more information at http://home2suites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/tennessee/home2-suites-by-hilton-nashville-vanderbilt-tn-BNAHTHT/index.html.
Hotel bookings are available through the IBMA who has reserved rooms at several downtown Nashville hotels. Click here for the IBMA list of hotels and info to make reservations. NOTE: The GMFC CAN NOT BOOK IBMA HOTELS - please go through the IBMA or contact the properties directly.
There are other hotels in downtown Nashville, all within a few blocks of the Nashville Convention Center and these can be booked directly by you.
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