HERE COME THE JUDGES!
Missouri State Fair Fiddle Championship 2016
   
Betse Ellis 

Betse Ellis

Paul Andrews photo  
   
Betse Ellis is an Ozark fiddle tune celebrant, long time performer, and instructor. Known for her exuberant performance style with her former band, The Wilders, or in her solo touring that followed, Betse has partnered with banjoist Clarke Wyatt as the duo "Betse & Clarke" to continue her adventures in old time music and beyond. Betse's primary fiddle mentor is Violet Hensley, "The Whittling Fiddler" of Arkansas. For many years, Betse has studied with Violet, and they have performed together, at Silver Dollar City and the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas. Betse & Clarke recently released their debut album, "River Still Rise". In late August, they will travel to Ireland for a tour. Visit www.betseandclarke.com for more information about the recording and the duo.
   
Jim Nelson Jim Nelson 
   
Guitarist, collector, folklorist, performer. Jim Nelson has spent most of his adult life immersed in old-time music, especially the fiddling of Missouri and the Midwest. Jim has produced numerous recordings, done countless hours of field recordings in an effort to preserve the music we love. He currently plays with the Volo Bogtrotters and the Red Squirrel Chasers - both noted old-time string bands.
   
Geoff Seitz  Geoff Sietz

Geoffrey J. Seitz has been making violins, violas and cellos for over 25 years. His instruments are noted for their beautiful design and rich tone. He has been at his current location in St. Louis for over 15 years. His instruments have been featured in Strings, an international string instrument publication.

Geoff has numerous awards playing old-time fiddle music including two national fiddle championships, one at the 50th Anniversary of the National Fiddlers Convention in Galax, VA, the oldest and largest fiddle contest in the world. He also won 1st place at the Appalachian String Band Festival in Clifftop, WV. Geoff has been a judge at many contest around the United States. He has played in numerous string bands and is currently a member of the Dugout Canoe stringband.

He has produced music CD's including his own The Good Old Days Are Here. His CD includes original compositions as well as traditional fiddling. One of the tracks Ways of the World was used for the NBC Miniseries Movie A Will of Their Own.