Mt. Shasta area youth made a strong showing at this year’s State Fiddle Championship, which took place in Oroville last weekend.

Competitors included ten year-old Elliott Benda, a Mt. Shasta 5th grader, who won his third California State Fiddling Championship.  He competed in the Junior-Junior division against twenty other youth,  aged 9-12, from across the state.  

Contestants were required to play a variety of pieces, including a breakdown, a waltz, and a choice tune.  After the initial round, five finalists were called back to play another unique round of tunes.  

By winning the state contest, Elliott is invited to perform in addition to compete at the National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest in Weiser, ID in June.

Also competing was five year-old Finneas Colescott, who played in his first fiddle contest and walked away with   two medals,  one for Youngest Boy Fiddler and  one for top ten in the Pee Wee division, which consisted of fiddlers age 8 and younger.  

Finneas played Boil the Cabbage, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and The Itsy Bitsy Spider.  Finneas impressed the audience with his enthusiasm and the judges with his clarity of tone.

Winning medals in the twin fiddling division were Mary Longworth  and Caya Layman of Weed.