WOF
PO Box 101, Red Bluff CA 96080 * Phone: (530) 527-6127 * Fax: (530) 528-0431 * Email: texshar@pacbell.net
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WESTERN OPEN HISTORY
Wherever people were gathered, in parlors or on back porches, at family get-togethers, barn-raisings, or schoolhouse dances, making music was our forefathers' primary entertainment. A fiddler was often called upon to play from memory the tunes taught to him by a father, uncle or friend. They danced Irish jigs, English quadrilles, Scottish hornpipes, waltzes and schottisches, all of which originated in the Old Country and were passed down from generation to generation. Sometimes these gatherings included fiddle contests, and there are reports of fiddle conventions and contests during the mid-1700's. Their popularity spread and endured and you can now find a fiddle contest in every one of these United States and all of the Canadian provinces.

The California State Old Time Fiddle Association (CSOTFA) was organized in Oroville in 1969 as a non-profit organization with its primary purpose to revive and perpetuate old time fiddle music for goodwill, public interest, historical value, personal enjoyment and...fiddle contests! Frances Anderson, a champion fiddler and then Board Member of the CSOTFA, saw an opportunity to create a new district in Northern California. District 6 was organized in 1974 and is headquartered in Redding.

Jana Jae, a music teacher in the Redding Elementary Schools, electrified the community with her fantastic fiddling. She taught a Shasta College class in American Fiddle Music which brought together a nucleus of musicians who enjoyed playing old time string music. When Jana left for the television program, Hee Haw, other District 6 members continued promoting fiddle music.

Lee Brushett, an accomplished accompanist, was the first President of District 6 and continues to be an active member. Evelyn Horner led the District for several years and organized a children's jam, which later was incorporated into the regular monthly fiddle jams. Children's fiddle bands, including Bend Fiddle Jammers, Fiddlekin, Bowdraggled, and Fiddletyme, were very popular and our fiddling kids continue to be in great demand to perform at community functions.

The Western Open Fiddle Championships were born in the spring of 1982 in Redding. Jacque Waterhouse, Maria and Frank Hawkey, Ron Heuer, and Mary Lane, can take credit for having the courage and enthusiasm to get started and create what is now one of the largest and most popular fiddle contests in the Western United States. After 14 very successful years in Redding, the Western Open moved to its home here in Red Bluff. This year we celebrate our 20th year in Red Bluff with the 34th Annual Western Open Fiddle Championships..