Teen Retains State Title In Fiddling

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Matthew Rolland successfully defended his 2004 Arizona State Fiddle Championship this weekend.

Rolland, 18, Mesa, won the state title at the 35th Annual State Championship Old Time Fiddlers Contest held Sept. 24 to 25 in Rumsey Park. He will represent the state at the nationals in Weiser, Idaho.

He is a freshman at the University of Arizona in Tucson, pursuing a degree in international studies.

"I plan to continue competing in fiddling contests and will be back in Payson for next year's championship," Rolland said. He is also planning a compact disc project with his brother, Michael, 19, also of Mesa, who took second place in the state championship.

"I want to travel to other countries and volunteer to spread awareness about AIDS," he said. "I also want to learn about the different music styles of other countries."

Rolland has played the fiddle for 11 years. In addition to the state honors, Rolland and his brother, Michael, shared second place for the twin fiddling competition and placed fourth in the young adult division the first day of competition.

Michael Rolland also won third place in the fancy fiddling contest and third in the young adult division.

Placing in the state championship contest were Andrew Donald, 13, third; Michael Shu, 14, fourth; and David Shoup, Phoenix, fifth.

The team of David Kaemmer of Sierra Vista, and Andrew Gallardo of Tucson, won first in the twin fiddling finals; third place went to Laura Barry and Blaine Cone. Gallardo won first place in the fancy fiddle finals and Rachel Crawford was second.

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Dennis Russell, of Yuma, was one of about 50 contestants in the 35th Annual State Championship Old Time Fiddlers Contest. Russell took a third place in the division for adult fiddlers in competition Saturday.

Divisional winners were:

Brooke Boisvert, Small Fry

Katherine Messer, Junior-Junior

Joshua Galyon, Junior

David Shoup, Young Adult

Laura Barry, Adult

Sue Elsclager, Senior

Roy Thackerson, Trick

Michael Rolland, Cross Tune

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