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Santa Clara Valley Fiddlers Association
Drawing by Hilary Cole (c)2006

SCVFA Youth Programs

Playing traditional music is an activity for people of all ages. The SCVFA has been a family-oriented organization since its inception, and we encourage and welcome young musicians to participate in our monthly jam.

We have two groups whose aim is to help people who are learning to play traditional music, and who prefer a slower pace and more structure than an open jam. Both groups are led by experienced players — and they're not just for fiddlers! The Slow Jam is an opportunity for beginning players of all ages to learn a few tunes, and to learn to play with others in a group setting. The Tune Builder Circle is aimed at intermediate-level players, and focuses more on learning new tunes. Check the Learning page for details, and the Tunes page for some of the music typically played in the Slow Jam, as well as tunes from the early days of our old Beginners' Circle.

We also have two programs aimed specifically at young fiddlers:


SCVFA KidFiddle workshop, 2005 [Pete Showman photo © 2005]

KidFiddle Youth Fiddle Workshops, aimed at the advanced-beginner to intermediate student, are offered periodically. The workshops are generally led by a well-known musician, sometimes in conjunction with a concert. The SCVFA underwrites the workshops, so tuition is typically only $5 per student. After the workshop, the students play for our audience to show what they've learned — and to gain some experience playing on stage. See our Upcoming Jams and Events page to see if any workshops are scheduled in the near future.

KidFiddle instructors have included Luke Abbott, Kenny Blacklock, Larry Chung, Tashina and Tristan Clarridge, John Francis, Richard Greene, Brittany Haas, Arthur Kee, Sarah Kirton, Laurie Lewis, Megan Lynch, Nancy Solomon and Jack Tuttle.


The SCVFA Youth Fiddle Contest is for fiddlers up to 17 years old, and has been held at the monthly jam on the first Sunday of November. Contestants receive custom ribbons and individual certificates, and can win cash prizes and other awards. This has been a fun event for both contestants and the audience. Click or touch the contest link above for more contest information.

SCVFA Youth Fiddle Contestants, 2003

Richard Brooks Photo  

This nice video of the 2010 contest, taken by LiPo Ching of the San Jose Mercury News, shows some of the contestants preparing and performing. (Note: the Mercury News website says “The video you are trying to watch is currently unavailable. Please check back soon.” It has said that for many months, so we've put the video up here while we wait.)


Our 13th contest was held November 2, 2014. We were pleased to have very good participation this year, with 23 contestants in the three divisions. Division 2 was particularly large, with 12 young fiddlers. A big thanks to all the contestants and their families, and to the many SCVFA volunteers who all helped make it a successful event. The winners are listed below. (Hover your cursor over a name to see the contestant's teacher, if specified, and the tunes played.)

If you would be interested in helping organize a future contest, we'd love to hear from you! Email contestinfo14 [at] fiddlers.org.

Winners from the November 2, 2014 (13th) contest:

Division 1 (8 and under)   Division 2 (11 and under)   Division 3 (17 and under)  
1st: Matteo Quale (8)   1st: Katelyn Wong (11)   1st: Elvin Hsieh (15)  
2nd: Veronica Day Palermo (8)   2nd: Khushi Parikh (11)   2nd: Edward Ross (13)  
3rd*: Niko Quale (5)    3rd: Miles Quale (10)   3rd: Helen Ludé (11)  
3rd*: Caedmon Dickson (7)   4th: Tessa Schwartz (11)   4th: Emma Pegler (13)  
5th: Thomas Fairfield (7)   5th: Doniella Dumont (9)   5th: Kaushik Shivakumar (13)  
 * Tie for 3rd place in Div. 1

Winners from the November 3, 2013 (12th) contest:

Division 1 (8 and under)   Division 2 (11 and under)   Division 3 (17 and under)  
1st: Doniella Dumont (8)   1st: Khushi Parikh (10)   1st: Elvin Hsieh (14)  
2nd: Matteo Quale (7)   2nd: Helen Ludé (10)   2nd: Edward Ross (12)  
3rd: Katherine Kline (8)   3rd: Miles Quale (9)  
4th: Casey Kendrick (8)   4th: Ruksana Varma (10)  
5th: Ayana Wilmot (8)   5th: Gilford Ting (9)  

Winners from the November 4, 2012 (11th) contest:

Division 1 (8 and under)   Division 2 (11 and under)   Division 3 (17 and under)  
1st: Doniella Dumont (7)   1st: Katelyn Wong (9)   1st: Amanda Ting (12)  
2nd: Gilford Ting (8)   2nd: Helen Ludé (9)   2nd: Marika Blacklock (12)  
3rd: Miles Quale (8)   3rd: Edward Ross (11)   3rd: Joseph Elhardt (13)  
4th: Jerry Wong (8)   4th: Andrew Shen (11)   4th: Simone von Kugelgen (14)  
5th: Matteo Quale (6)   5th: Khushi Parikh (9)  

Winners from the November 6, 2011 (10th) contest:

Division 1 (8 and under)   Division 2 (11 and under)   Division 3 (17 and under)  
1st: Katelyn Wong (8)   1st: Marika Blacklock (11)   1st: Elvin Hsieh (12)  
2nd: Khushi Parikh (8)   2nd: Ella Campbell (11)   2nd: Derya Akin (16)  
3rd: Tessa Schwartz (8)   3rd: Amanda Ting (11)   3rd: Simone von Kugelgen (13)  
4th: Helen Ludé (8)   4th: Edward Ross (10)   4th: Michaela Law (12)  
5th: Gilford Ting (7)   5th: Catrina Riordan (10)  

Winners from the November 7, 2010 (9th) Contest

Division 1 (8 and under)   Division 2 (11 and under)   Division 3 (16 and under)  
1st: Tessa Schwartz (7)   1st: Elvin Hsieh (11)   1st: Derrick Du (13)  
2nd: Helen Ludé (7)   2nd: Ashlyn Murphy (11)   2nd: Derya Akin (15)  
3rd: Gilford Ting (6)   3rd: Amanda Ting (10)   3rd: Shawyon Ritter (14)  
4th: Jacqueline Li (7)   4th: Marika Blacklock (10)   4th: Angelina Cress (13)  
5th: Elsa Crotty (6)   5th: Joyce Lin (11)   5th: Max Schwartz (12)  

Winners from the November 1, 2009 (8th) contest:

Division 1 (8 and under)   Division 2 (11 and under)   Division 3 (16 and under)  
1st: Savannah Hurt (8)   1st: Elvin Hsieh (10)   1st: Ben Jackson (12)  
2nd: Katelyn Wong (6)   2nd: Ashlyn Murphy (10)   2nd: Shawyon Ritter (13)  
3rd: Andrew Shen (8)   3rd: Amanda Ting (9)   3rd: Derya Akin (14)  
4th: Tessa Schwartz (6)   4th: Amanda Jackson (9)   4th: Angelina Cress (12)  
5th: Khushi Parikh (6)   5th: Marika Blacklock (9)   5th: Will Antes (13)  

Winners from the November 2, 2008 (7th) contest:

Division 1 (8 and under)   Division 2 (11 and under)   Division 3 (16 and under)  
1st: Amanda Jackson (8)   1st: Ben Jackson (11)   1st: Griffin Stoller (13)  
2nd: Amanda Ting (8)   2nd: Ashlyn Murphy (9)   2nd: Will Antes (12)  
3rd: Marcus Loh-Ekstrand (8)   3rd: Alison Tran (10)   3rd: Shawyon Ritter (12)  
4th: Marika Blacklock (8)   4th: Angelina Cress (11)   4th: Samantha Cecil (15)  
5th: Savannah Hurt (7)   5th: Aline Hoang (10)   5th: Maxine Tsang (14)  

Winners from the November 4, 2007 (6th) contest:

Division 1 (8 and under)   Division 2 (11 and under)   Division 3 (16 and under)  
1st: Ashlyn Murphy (8)   1st: Shawyon Ritter (11)   1st: Griffin Stoller (12)  
2nd: Amanda Ting (7)   2nd: Will Antes (11)   2nd: Samantha Cecil (14)  
3rd: Anthony Ma (7)   3rd: Ben Jackson (10)   3rd: Robbie Solorzano (12)  
4th: Nicolas Gunn (7)   4th: Noelle Toong (10)   4th: Rebecca Lim (16)  
5th: Savannah Hurt (6)   5th: Emily Miller (11)   5th: Abby LaPier (15)  

Winners from the November 5, 2006 (5th) contest:

Division 1 (8 and under)   Division 2 (11 and under)   Division 3 (16 and under)  
1st: Elvin Hsieh (7)   1st: Will Antes (10)   1st: Griffin Stoller (11)  
2nd: Grace Hsieh (5)   2nd: Rebecca Glazer (10)   2nd: Maxine Tsang (12)  
3rd: Eli Wilson (8)   3rd: Ben Jackson (9)   3rd: Samantha Cecil (13)  
4th: Annie Kroo (8)   4th: Robbie Solorzano (11)  
5th: Amanda Jackson (6)   5th: Michael Hasson (10)  

Winners from the November 6, 2005 (4th) contest:

Division 1 (8 and under)   Division 2 (11 and under)   Division 3 (16 and under)  
1st: Ben Jackson (8)   1st: Caroline Glazer (10)   1st: Griffin Stoller (10)  
2nd: Anna Dailey (8)   2nd: Maxine Tsang (11)   2nd: Rebecca Lim (14)  
3rd: Elvin Hsieh (6)   3rd: Lisa Lee (9)   3rd: Samantha Cecil (12)  
4th: Sidarth Jayadev (8)   4th: Souma Kundu (11)   4th: Eric Hilton (16)  
5th: Julianna Xie (7)   5th: Marie-Pierre Delisle (9)  

Winners from the November 7, 2004 (3rd) contest:

Division 1 (8 and under)   Division 2 (11 and under)   Division 3 (16 and under)  
1st: Ben Jackson (7)   1st: Caroline Glazer (9)   1st: Griffin Stoller (9)  
2nd: Niamh Evenhouse (7) (tie)   2nd: Pat Reilly (10)   2nd: WooHo Park  
2nd: Annie Kroo (6) (tie)   3rd: Maxine Tsang (10)   3rd: Sorcha Evenhouse (13)  

Winners from the November 2, 2003 (2nd) contest:

Division 1 (8 and under)   Division 2 (12 and under)   Division 3 (16 and under)  
1st: Griffin Stoller (8)   1st: Sorcha Evenhouse (12)   1st: Jeremey Feng (14)  
2nd: Caroline Glazer (8)   2nd: Natalie Hall (11)   2nd: Wen Li  
3rd: Camden Boyle (8)   3rd: Maxine Tsang (10)   3rd:     —

Winners from the November 3, 2002 contest (our first):

Division 1 (11 and under)   Division 2 (12 to 16)  
(28 contestants!)   (9 contestants))  
1st: Sorcha Evenhouse (11)   1st: Cameron Hurt (16)  
2nd: Natalie Hall (10)   2nd: Aaron Kahn (12)  
3rd: Nichole Chen (9)   3rd: Samuel Germain  

In the past we granted several scholarships to young players for fiddle instruction, but we don't currently offer scholarships.

Updated 9/13/11


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