Music Student Named State Fiddle Champion

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As the 29th Annual Arizona State Championship Old-Time Fiddlers' Contest came to an end Sunday under the trees at Rumsey Park, one young woman stood out from the crowd. Tamara Whetten, 20, of Mesa, held the largest of the five championship trophies.


Whetten, a music education major in her junior year at Arizona State University, took the championship win in stride. It's the second time she's held the honor.


She started playing when she was 11 years old and was named state champion in 1997. James Whetten, Tamara's father, accompanied her on the guitar, playing "Herman's Hornpipe," "Westphalia Waltz" and "Cotton Patch Rag" in the final championship round.


Two locals also took home trophies. Bob Crose of Pine won first place in the senior division and Travis Styer of Payson won third in the junior division.


"When this all comes together, it takes a lot of real special people," organizer Vertilee Floyd said.

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