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Summer sure has been busy for the Marriott family! In addition to operating Marriott Music and providing music lessons for students, weekends have been full of jamming, contests, festivals, fairs, concerts, and dances.
The fiddle contest season began in April with a trip to Hallettsville, Texas, where Junior participated on the judging panel for the Fiddlers Frolics Texas State Championships, and the season is not over yet!
May opened with the induction of Edna Mae Davis into the Douglas County Museum. Cathy’s mother was known for her years of teaching and preserving old time square and jig dancing. A square dance was held in Edna’s honor to a packed house at Marriott Music.
In June the Marriotts traveled to Oklahoma where Junior, Cody, Tanner, and Preston competed in The American Heritage Music Festival and Grand Lake National Fiddle Festival in Grove, Okla. Cody placed 2nd in the Open Division and Junior placed 7th. The Take Me Back to Tulsa Division saw Junior in 1st place and Cody in 3rd. Junior won 1st in the Honey Creek Special Gamblers Contest, and Junior and Cody won 2nd in the Twin Fiddle Division.
Marriott Music student Trustin Baker of Birch Tree, Mo., won 1st place in the Jr-Jr Division and 3rd in the Hot Fiddle Division. June also saw the Marriotts in Hermann, Mo., at a contest sponsored by the Hermann Farm and Museum. Junior placed 1st in the Open Division. In the Junior Division, Tanner placed 2nd and Preston placed 3rd.
The Old Time Music Ozark Heritage Festival in West Plains was a time for jamming with friends from as far away as Pennsylvania. Cathy emceed the Bob Holt National Jig Dance competition and the weekend ended with old time square dancing.
Junior played to a large crowd on the Gainesville square June 22 with Billy Ward, Trustin Baker, and Tedi May. The concert was one of many the Gainesville Historical Society scheduled during the summer months.
Branson entertainment was brought to Ava with a concert by Texas Mudd. Band member Ricky Boen plays for the Sons of the Pioneers at The Shepherd of the Hills, and members Tim Gregg and Cortlandt Ingram play with The Presleys’ Country Jubilee. June was rounded out with Junior playing with Jason Plummer in the opening act for Easton Corbin in Mtn. Grove.
Junior traveled to Leitchfield, Ky., in July to be a part of the judging panel for the Twin Lakes National Fiddle Championships.
August brought several contests. Junior won 1st in the Open Division at the fiddle contest at the Grape Jam Bluegrass and Craft Festival held in St. James, Missouri. Trustin Baker placed 2nd in the Open Division, and Tanner Marriott placed 2nd in the Junior Division.
The Missouri Fiddle Championships were held at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Mo., Aug. 19. Junior went home with the title of Missouri State Open Division Champion, again! And Trustin Baker is the Missouri Junior Division Champion for the 2nd year in a row.
The Downtown Branson Fiddle Festival and Mid America Fiddle Championship were held Aug. 24-26. Fiddle and guitar workshops opened the weekend. Tanner Marriott won 1st in the Pee Wee Division and Marriott Music student Kaylee Downs won 5th. Trustin Baker won 1st in the Junior Division.
Junior and friends were asked to play for the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Lion’s Club. Junior was joined by Trustin Baker and Billy Ward. However, Trustin’s little sister, Carina, almost stole the show with her vocals on the songs “Milk Cow Blues” and “Blue”!
The Marriotts traveled to Grove, Okla., again in August where Junior was one of 10 instructors for the Jana Jae Fiddle Camp. Tanner and Preston participated in the camp and the fiddle contest that was held at the Snider Campground on Grand Lake. Junior placed 1st in the Open Division, Tanner won 3rd in the Jr-Jr Division, Preston won 1st in the Pee Wee Division, and Trustin Baker won 1st in the Junior Division.
September has been just as busy. Mediacom visited Marriott Music to interview Junior and record fiddle music for a segment they are doing on Douglas County. A dance was held at Marriott Music, in spite of the storm that blew in, making it treacherous for the band coming from Arkansas!
The Arkansas State Championships were held in Mtn. View Sept. 15. Junior placed 2nd in the Open Division. Tanner won the Arkansas Championship in the Youth Division, and Trustin Baker won the Arkansas Championship in the Junior Division. We got to visit with several who came out to Hootin an Hollerin in Gainesville on Thursday, Sept, 20 to hear Junior play with well-known fiddler H.K. Silvey. Mr. Silvey was the fiddler for the square dances at the festival for 18 consecutive years. He is a great player and a mentor to many musicians.
The Marriotts traveled to Tulsa, Okla. for the State Fiddle Championships this past weekend. Junior placed 2nd in the Open Division, Tanner placed 9th in the Youth Division, and Preston took 2nd in the Pee Wee Division.
The summer was rounded out by trips to Mtn. View, Arkansas to jam under the shade tree on the square and with other concerts and square dances held at Marriott Music.
October will close out the contest season with another trip to Arkansas for a fiddle contest. A square dance will be held Oct. 20 at Marriott Music with a film crew on hand to document this Ozark tradition. Join us at Glade Top Trail Oct. 21 where Junior and Trustin Baker will be providing music.