2017 Contest Rules

IN ALL CATEGORIES: Judging is based on: intonation, timing and style. (Townsend, Messer and Vollrath are recommended styles.) All fiddles are played acoustically. No cross/double or shuffle bowing is accepted. Mutes must be removed or backed away from the bridge.

GRAND NORTH AMERICAN
OLD TIME FIDDLE CHAMPIONSHIP

2017 OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES

  GENERAL
  1. Three competent judges will evaluate contestants’ fiddling based on intonation, timing and style. JUDGES' DECISIONS ARE FINAL.
  2. All fiddles are played acoustically.
  3. Plucking (picking the strings), cross/double, shuffle or hokum bowing is NOT accepted. Mutes must be removed or backed away from the bridge.
  4. In the event that a tie-breaker is needed in either the Preliminary or Final Rounds, the first ‘play-off’ tune will be a REEL, and if required, the second ‘play-off’ tune would be a JIG.
  5. Any player in a 15 and older class who wins the same class 2 years in a row must move up one class or drop out for one year.
  6. If you feel your ability is above your age class, you may enter a higher class. Senior and Golden Age fiddlers may NOT compete in the 15- to 18-year-old class.
  7. In any class where there are only as many contestants as Finalist Positions, the rankings and marks from the preliminary and final performances will be combined to decide the winning positions.
  8. Any player under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be disqualified. This decision is made by the contest committee.
NOTE:   See below for additional rules for the Championship and
              Alberta Open classes.

  • REGISTRATION
    1. Contestants in all classes, with the exception of the Alberta Open class, may enter up to two (2) classes: one Standard Core class, plus one of the Specialty classes.


      • Specialty Classes      
          Standard Core Classes (choose one)                    (choose one)
      Championship (any age) Golden (70 & over) Traditional
      Advanced Intermediate (19-54) Youth (15-18) Twin Fiddle Harmony
      Intermediate (19-54) Junior (10-14)
      Senior (55-69) Junior Junior (9 & under)

    2. Contestants in the Alberta Open class may enter up to three (3) classes: the Alberta Open class, one Standard Core class, plus one of the Specialty classes.
    3. Contestants of the Alberta Open class must have proof of Alberta residency,
      i.e. Alberta Health Care card.
    4. Contestants may NOT enter a class after it is CALLED to play.
    5. Tunes for the Preliminary and the Final Rounds must be listed on the registration form.

  • ACCOMPANIMENT
    1. Contestants may have ONE accompanist – electronic stage keyboard OR other acoustic instrument. A keyboard and house accompanist are available.
    2. Accompanists must chord Old Time style. NO MELODY, NO INTRO.
    3. When registering, please be prepared to provide name, key and format (AA, BB …) of tune. Accompanist would appreciate chord charts, if possible.
    4. In the Traditional class, the fiddler drums with the feet. No other accompaniment is permitted.

  • PLAYING TIME
    1. All contestants playing two (2) or three (3) tunes must finish their tunes in four (4) minutes.
    2. All contestants playing four (4) tunes must finish their tunes in five (5) minutes. This applies specifically to contestants in the Final Round of the Alberta Open and/or the Championship Class.
    3. A signal will indicate the END of the allotted playing times. Judging will stop immediately. Contest etiquette requires that contestants complete their tune within 15 seconds of that signal.

  • CHOICE and ORDER OF TUNES
    1. All tunes, all classes, must be played in Old Time Style and Tempo.
    2. Junior/Junior class
      • Must play in order: a WALTZ followed by one OTHER tune
      • May play the same tunes for both the Preliminary and Final Rounds
      • May play from sheet music
    3. Twin Harmony classes
      • Must play in order: a WALTZ, followed by one OTHER tune.
      • Must play different tunes for each of the Preliminary and Final Rounds. No tune may be repeated, not even in a tie-breaker.
    4. Traditional class
      • Must play a tune of REEL tempo (2/4-time, Traditional, Métis or Quebecois)
      • The only accompaniment is the drumming of the player's feet
      • Style and tempo must be in unison without variation of tempo
      • The music and the drumming must start simultaneously
      • Must play a different tune for each of the Preliminary and Final Rounds. No tune may be repeated, not even in a tie breaker.
    5. See below for rules specific to the Alberta Open and Championship classes.
    6. All other classes
      • Must play in order: a WALTZ, then a JIG, and end with a REEL. (Hornpipes and hoedowns qualify as reels.)
      • Must play different tunes for each of the Preliminary and Final Rounds. No tune may be repeated, not even in a tie-breaker.
      • Other dance rhythms, i.e. Fox Trot, Swing, Pattern or Clog tunes are not accepted.

  • ADDITIONAL RULES FOR
    ALBERTA OPEN AND CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSES ONLY

    NOTE: Competition rules for the Alberta Open and the Championship classes
    1. Emphasize traditional fiddling,
    2. Represent Canadian fiddling styles and
    3. Embrace the regional diversity of Canadian fiddling.

    CHAMPIONSHIP AND ALBERTA OPEN CLASSES - PRELIMINARY ROUND
    1. Must play in order: a WALTZ, then a JIG, and end with a REEL. (Hornpipes and hoedowns qualify as reels.)
    2. Must play different tunes for each of the Preliminary and Final Rounds. No tune may be repeated, not even in a tie-breaker.
    3. Other dance rhythms, i.e. Fox Trot, Swing, Pattern or Clog tunes are not accepted.
    4. Playing time: four (4) minutes.

    CHAMPIONSHIP CLASS - FINAL ROUND
    1. Must play four (4) tunes
      • three (3) tunes in order: a WALTZ, a JIG, and a REEL. (Hornpipes and hoedowns qualify as reels.)
      • one (1) additional TUNE OF CHOICE - see RECOGNIZED FIDDLE STYLES below.
    2. Playing time: five (5) minutes.

    ALBERTA OPEN CLASS - FINAL ROUND
    1. Must play four (4) tunes
      • three (3) tunes, order of tunes is optional, each of a different DANCE RHYTHM (see below).

      • This is based on the rationale that contestants in this category have been exposed to a broader range of musical styles, have matured in their art, and therefore; they may wish to change the order of their tunes to enhance their presentation.
      • one (1) additional TUNE OF CHOICE - see RECOGNIZED FIDDLE STYLES below.
    2. Playing time: five (5) minutes.

              DANCE RHYTHMS                             RECOGNIZED FIDDLE STYLES
                    Final Round                                   Tune of Choice - Final Round
         Alberta Open Class Only                 Alberta Open and Championship Classes
    1. Waltz, Aire
    2. March (6/8), Jig
    3. Reel (2/4 or 4/4), Hornpipe, Strathspey, Polka, Clog, or Two-Step


    1. Tune of choice may be in any style.
    2. Exceptions: The following are not allowed:

      • Classical jazz, blues and other non-traditional fiddle styles

      • Show tunes such as Black Mountain Rag, Orange Blossom Special and Mockingbird

    ALBERTA OPEN CLASS SPONSORSHIP
    1. Sponsorship funds for travel and accommodation are awarded to the winner if he/she wishes to compete at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddlers Competition in the following year.
    2. Sponsorship funds will go to the runner up in the event that that winner cannot attend the Canadian Grand Masters.
    3. Any contestant winning in two consecutive years will forfeit the second year’s sponsorship funding to the runner up.

    Practice Room

    A big welcome to Marlee Heesing who will be working alongside Blaine Lutwick. While one keyboard player is accompanying the contestants, the other will be available in the Practice Room. The plan is to have Blaine and Marlee alternating the classes so that you will have the opportunity to practice with the house accompanist who will be available on stage for that class. As in previous years you can still have your own accompanist rather than using one of the house accompanists.

    Review the Suggestions for Contestants document before the contest.

    2017 Registration Fees

    Championship (any age) $30.00
    Alberta Open (any age) $15.00
    Advanced Intermediate (19-54) $15.00
    Intermediate (19-54) $15.00
    Senior (55-69) $ 8.00
    Golden (70 & over) $ 8.00
    Youth (15-18) $ 8.00
    Junior (10-14) $ 5.00
    Junior Junior (9 & under) no charge
    Traditional (any age) $ 5.00
    Twin Harmony Junior (18 & under)
          (2x5.00=10.00)
    $10.00
    Twin Harmony Intermediate (19-54)
          (2x5.00=10.00)
    $10.00
    Twin Harmony Senior (55 & over)
          (2x5.00=10.00)
    $10.00

    Registrations will be accepted on site

    Friday: 5:30 - 7:00 pm
    Saturday and Sunday: 8:30 am

    1 free adult admission per family for
    contestants under 18

    Contest Rules

    Ensure you review the 2017 Contest Rules and Contest Judging documents before the competition.