If Utah youngsters have been doing some fiddling around, Karl Allred may be to blame.
Allred, of Springville, who recently won the Utah state fiddle championship for the second consecutive year, also lays claim to having introduced fiddling to Utah's public schools. He was named winner in the general division of the recent Utah State Fiddle Contest, sponsored by the Utah Oldtime Fiddlers in the SCERA Shell in Orem.Allred said he's been fiddling for only about seven years, but he came to it from a 15-year stint playing viola with the Utah Symphony (for the uninitiated, there's no difference between a fiddle and a violin - except the style of music and tunes played. Waltzes, hoedowns and other danceable old-time numbers are the fiddler's stock-in-trade.)
Allred taught music in the public schools, and when he started fiddling he introduced fiddle and folk music to the curriculum. "We had the only class in the state that I know of that had a fiddling class and a folk-band class."
He is now a part-time faculty member at Brigham Young University, where he teaches the folk ensemble, including the band that travels with the International Folk Dancers.
Other winners include: general division, Jean Brighton, Layton, second; and Mark Watts, third; JoAnne Hinkle, fourth; and Sherry Olsen, fifth, all Salt Lake City.
Senior division, Denna Scott, Salt Lake City, first, and Wesley Ercanbrack, Vernal, second; novice division, Alyce Todd, Park City, first.
Fiddling families captured the bulk of prizes in the junior (under 18) and junior-junior (under 13) divisions. Junior winners included Timothy Dutton, Provo, first; his sister, Jennifer, second; another sister, Amy, third; Mitch Goff, North Ogden, fourth; and Joey Jensen, Spanish Fork, fifth.
Junior-junior winners were Vanessa Rich, Provo, first; her sister, Joanna, second; Hillary Duncan, Provo, third; another Rich girl, Melinda, fourth; and Robbie Ricks, Clinton, fifth.