Fiddle Fest, Opry Draw Appreciative Crowd


Last weekend’s fourth annual Old Time Opry featured a host of Payson favorites including Isaac and Cassie Bradford, Wyatt Troxel and 2012 Arizona State Fiddling Champion Michael Roland performing as lead-ins for country superstar Suzy Bogguss.


The Old Time Opry featuring Suzy Bogguss and 2013 Arizona State Fiddling Championships brought hundreds of people out to enjoy a weekend of music.

Bogguss impressed the 800-plus crowd with her chart-topping country songs together with her more recent exploration of the folk music roots of country. She sang musical standards like “Red River Valley” and “Wayfaring Stranger” with a golden voice as well as numerous former top 10 contemporary country hits.

The first “Fiddle-in” Acoustic Bands Competition scored with listeners on Saturday, although only three bands ventured into this inaugural event, including Cisco and the Racecars, Utah’s Cross Strung, and The Crossley Family Band.

The Saturday evening festivities at the Payson Event Center included a “dinner concert” and the band competition finals.

The Crucial County Band from Tucson wowed the small, but involved crowd of 200 people. Ultimately, Cisco and the Racecars won the contest and claimed the $500 first prize and the opportunity to perform in the 2014 summer concert series in Payson and at next year’s Old Time Opry.

Roughly 750 attended the Saturday and Sunday fiddle competition at the Payson Event Center.


2013 Arizona State Champion: Joseph Turner

Fiddling Age divisions

Small Fry Division

First, Malcom Barrios, Tucson

Second, Jennelle Jergensen, Safford

Third, Spencer Jergensen, Safford

Junior Junior Division

First, Will MacDonald, Tucson

Second, Kathleen Crossley, Mesa

Third , Iselle Barrios, Tucson

Junior Division

First, Joseph Turner, Tucson

Second, Ben Shu, Mesa

Third, Devon Gardner, Mesa

Adult Division

First, Laura Barry, Tucson

Second, Kevin DeRusha, Thatcher

Third, Kim Skinner, Thatcher

Senior Division

First, Kent Chamberlin, Sun City

Second, Sue Elsclager, Tucson

Third, Blain Cone, Dewey

Grand Championship Division

First, Joseph Turner, Tucson

Second, Ben Shu, Mesa

Third, Will MacDonald, Tucson

Fourth, Kim Skinner, Thatcher

Fifth, Sue Elsclager, Tucson

Sixth, Laura Barry, Tucson

Seventh, Kevin DeRusha, Thatcher

Specialty divisions

Trick Fiddling: Dan Riggs, Utah

Fancy Fiddling: Sue Elsclager, Tucson

Twin Fiddling: Ben Shu/Joseph Turner, Mesa/Tucson

Cross Tuned: Kevin DeRusha, Thatcher

Fiddle-in Bands Competition

First, Cisco and the Racecars, Chandler

Second, Cross Strung, Utah

Third, The Crossley Family Band, Mesa


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