Old Time Opry & Fiddlers Contest

The Special Consensus will perform at the Old Time Opry Friday, Sept. 28 in the Payson High School Auditorium.

The Special Consensus will perform at the Old Time Opry Friday, Sept. 28 in the Payson High School Auditorium.



The 42nd Fiddlers Contest will be held Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30 at the Payson Event Center. Admission is $5 and gates open at 8:30 a.m.

Award-winning musicians will be featured in the Payson Old Time Opry Friday, Sept. 28 at the Payson High School Auditorium. Doors open at 6 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m.

Scheduled to perform are: Special Consensus and Run Boy Run, with a special appearance by State Champion Michael Rolland and other fiddlin’ friends.

Special Consensus

The Special Consensus is a four-person acoustic bluegrass band that began performing in the Midwest in the spring of 1975.

The first band album was released in 1979 when the band began touring on a national basis.

In November 2003, The Special Consensus received a standing ovation after the first band performance on the Grand Ole Opry at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. International tours have brought The Special Consensus to the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, Ireland and South America. In 1993, the band performed the first of many concerts with a symphony orchestra, complete with orchestral arrangements of songs from the band repertoire.

Members are co-founder Greg Cahill, Rick Faris, David Thomas, and Dustin Benson.

Cahill plays banjo and sings baritone and tenor harmony vocals. Chicago born and bred, he has been playing bluegrass banjo since the early 1970s. He co-founded The Special Consensus in Chicago in 1975 and has continued to tour nationally and internationally with the band since the late 1970s.


Guitars on a rack waiting for their rightful owners to find and purchase.

He served on the Nashville-based International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Board of Directors from 1998-2010 (board chair/president 2006-2010) and was awarded the prestigious IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award in 2011. Cahill was also appointed to the Board of Directors of the Nashville-based Foundation for Bluegrass Music in 2007 and was elected president of the organization in 2011.

Faris plays mandolin and sings lead, baritone, tenor and high baritone vocals.

Although guitar was his first instrument (he began playing when he was 7 years old), Faris also plays dobro and banjo as well as the mandolin.

He joined The Special Consensus in 2009.

Thomas plays bass and sings lead, baritone, tenor and high baritone vocals.

His interest in music was sparked by listening to the country band of his uncle and great uncles in the 1980s. He began playing the guitar at the age of 12 and the mandolin at the age of 17 and the bass at 19. Thomas joined The Special Consensus in 2006.

Benson plays guitar and sings lead, tenor, baritone and bass vocals.

He was raised in Jasper, Ala., where he “grew up” on bluegrass music. His father taught him to play the guitar when he was 12; he began playing the mandolin when he was 16 and joined his father’s band as the mandolin player when he was 17.

He was nominated for Guitar Player of the Year by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) in 2010 and joined The Special Consensus in 2011.


Contributed photo

Run Boy Run will perform at the Old Time Opry Friday, Sept. 28 in the Payson High School Auditorium.

Run Boy Run

With a newly released extended play recording, appearances at several major Arizona festivals, and a recent win at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Run Boy Run is rapidly growing to be a prevalent force in promoting the tradition of Bluegrass and Appalachian old-time in the Southwest.

The band members are Jen Sandoval, mandolin; Bekah Sandoval, sister of Jen, playing fiddle and guitar; Grace Rolland, cellist; Jesse Allen, upright bassist; and Matt Rolland, brother of Grace and two-time Arizona State Fiddle Champion. The Sandoval sisters are the daughters of Payson residents Roy and Sylvia Sandoval. They grew up in Rim Country and at the Payson Fiddle Festival.

Their musical endeavors extend beyond their exploration of traditional music into territory first traversed by modern folk pioneers such as Nickel Creek and Crooked Still, groups credited in the folk world for their creation of a new wave of music — a music characterized by its unique hybridization of the old with the new.

With captivating three-part female harmony, masterful fiddle work and roots in traditional, jazz, classical, and folk music, Run Boy Run succeeds in creating an innovative and distinctive sound through a tasteful and skillful melding of traditional music with a variety of contemporary musical traditions

Admission is $7 and tickets are on sale now at the Payson Parks and Rec office in Green Valley Park or at the Chamber of Commerce.

There are only 1,000 tickets available and last year was a sellout, so get your tickets soon.

Old Time Fiddle Contest

The Vertielee Floyd Memorial

42nd Annual Old Time Fiddlers Contest takes place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 and 30 at the Payson Event Center. It is one of the officially sanctioned event commemorating the 100th anniversary of Arizona statehood.

Gates open each morning at 8:30 a.m.

Saturday opening ceremonies will be at 9:30 a.m., with contestant play starting at 10 a.m. The order of the contests: Small Fry, Junior-Junior; Senior; Young Adult; Adult; Cross-Tuned Fiddle; Trick Fiddler; awards ceremony.

Sunday’s schedule: 9 a.m., gospel program; 11 a.m., contestant play starting with the Championship Division, Round One; Championship Division, Round Two; Twin Fiddling; Fancy Fiddling; awards ceremony.

The Payson Old Time Fiddlers Contest is truly a piece of Arizona history. This event has over 40 years history of celebrating the musical heritage of the pioneers of our great state.

The winner of the Old Time Fiddling State Championship honors represents the state of Arizona at the national competition.

Judges this year are Mickey Long, John Kennedy and Marti White.

Daily admission for the contest is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

For more information, visit www.paysonrimcountry.com.


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