Katelyn Casper plays two tunes perfectly, to capture the title of 2023 Grand Champion for the second year in a row at Berks Fiddle Fest.
That's some powerful fiddlin'. Wow! What talent!
Yes indeed! Clean as Spring water!
Yes! Nice video~ I jammed with her this past June...she's a part of my good friends band, Serene Green! Her tone in person along with her boyfriend were the high light of my summer!
Interesting contrast with this video of Jenee Fleenor (a local from around here); Jenee uses the whole bow, and mostly the lower half, requiring both the upper and lower arm to move. She also has her pinky lightly anchored above the end of the frog like I've been taught.
Katelyn stays close to what teachers call the "square" position (where your arm forms a square), only requiring the lower arm to move, which keeps the bow mostly in the upper half. She keeps her soundpoint constant, draws her bow straight, and has clean string crossings, so I assume she's received formal training (I can't say classical training, because that assumes progression through a certain repertoire). But she raises the pinky almost like she's taking tea.
What's with the difference in bow style? The genre?
She is certainly schooled in the competition style with lots of classical technique in her approach. I won second at that contest once. Most of the fiddlers were Yankee or Celtic flavored and my Appalachian approach was a welcome change. It appears with the extensive schooling now going on with fiddling that things are changing up there. Also it was 25 or 30 years ago when I played up there.
On her Instagram page she lists "Berklee '25," which has becoming one of the training grounds for a certain style of "Americana" music. Its quite a change that now a young person with talent and interest in "traditional" music can pursue it on a collegiate level in many places, instead of fiddlers picnics, smoky bars, and kitchen junkets as we did in the past. And why wouldn't you, if you have the means and opportunity? One of my favorite contra (and more) fiddlers and singers attended the New England Conservatory, and I've known several players who went to Juilliard. When it really comes down to it though, we all have to muddle through as best we can.
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