Old Time Fiddlers - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Old Time Fiddlers

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The sweet sound of fiddles are filling the air at International Music Camp, but if you listen closely that's not all you'll hear.

Bonnie Campo takes us inside the campgrounds to hear and see all the instruments being played at this years International old-time fiddle weekend.

It's a tradition that goes back 39 years. Music artists of all ages converge between the U.S. border and Canada to practice their skills. The only requirement, pick an instrument and have a willingness to learn.

(Tim Baumann, Camp Director) "Anyone who is interested in learning more about fiddle, about blue-grass music, about Canadian old-time music, and so addition to fiddle we also have mandolin, and banjo and guitar."

All of those instruments typically accompany the fiddle. But if finger strumming is more of your thing, The guitar teachers here are also the best of the best like accomplished player, Adam Granger, a name you might recognize from NPR's Prairie Home Companion.

(Adam Granger, International Music Camp Teacher) "The fiddle is the queen bee of this event, and so as a teacher, I always have a couple of people who are not very advanced on a guitar. The hardest thing about these classes, this camp is teaching to a wide range of abilities, and those four people in there, we have quite a breathe of ability."

That could be because the camp is designed for the young and the young at heart.

(Tim Baumann, Camp Director) "Our youngest participant today is eight, and our oldest is about 80, 81."

The camp chose to advocate for a diverse age group so that other could offer advice and insight to those just starting out.

(Tim Baumann, Camp Director) "What we wanna do for music in the future, we just want people to enjoy making music, and we want our young people to see that they can make music later on in their life. They don't have to be a professional musician in order to enjoy it."

But for those seeking a challenge, there is a competition at the end of the weekend.

(Tim Baumann, Camp Director) Saturday is the combined event, which is the fiddle contest, and the winners in each division will go on to the championship division in the evening, and then the winner of that is able to compete in the international fiddle contest, old-time fiddle contest, which is a big deal in fiddle world."

However, if you do wanna turn pro, it's advised you build up some very thick finger-tip callus and expect a wandering paycheck. Then you have to take a chance.

(Adam Granger, International Music Camp Teacher) "One of the biggest things you have to have, if you are going to decided to making a living at it is, you have to have modest expectations of income. You have to be willing to say, I am going to live a very modest lifestyle, but I am going to live a life that I love, and that's what I haven chosen to do with my life.

From the International Peace Garden, Bonnie Campo KX News.

Campers from Spain and China also joined in the fun this year, making it one of the most demographically different groups in camp history.

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