Last weekend, the Fiddlers of Idaho State Championship was held in Hailey. Those with the top scores have now advanced to the national championships in Weiser this summer.
There was competition at all levels, from the “senior senior” division of 70 and above, to the “small fry” division of eight and younger.
Contestants were judged on three fiddle songs: a waltz, a hoe down and a tune of their choice. But who wasn’t there was as important as who was.
Allison Lindley, a fiddler from Jerome, explained, "The program is dedicated to the memory of Dollie Daniels, who was a resident long-term in Jerome, Idaho, and spent a lifetime doing music, teaching young fiddle players and she wrote this waltz."
Ken Worthington provides guitar accompaniment for Lindley. He said Daniels had a big impact on southern Idaho. "She taught fiddle lessons out of her home. She taught a lot of kids to play. A lot of adults to play."
"Dollie died in November 2016," he continued, "and she was right at 100 years old. And she never started playing the fiddle until she was 55 years old."
And that fact is what caused Dennis Koyle to pick up a bow. He said, "Dollie played around, all around the Magic Valley for many years. She taught three daughters of mine. And they loved her. And she inspired me. When I was 59 I picked up the fiddle for the first time."
Dollie Daniels didn’t just play; she also made fiddles, with her husband Sam.
Looking ahead, the group was excited about the next phase, the National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest, in Weiser during the third week of June.
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