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MOUNT VERNON — The annual Fiddle Contest at the Dan Emmett Festival saw four contestants compete in two different age categories.
Kia Grosklos and Joe Lautzenheiser competed against one another in the junior category.
Lautzenheiser has been competing the Dan Emmett Festival for a few years now. He said he likes to perform in other contests as well.
What he enjoys most about these competitions is being able to listen to the music that he and others are making.
“It’s a shame not more people came out,” Lautzenheiser said. “This is part of the history of the festival and it’s a dying art form.”
Kia Grosklos, who drove up from Columbus with his mom Nikki, was looking for a local contest to compete in. He likes to compete in various competitions over the summer.
“I’ve been playing for about ten years now,” Grosklos said. “I really wanted to learn an instrument but I had no idea what to play.”
He started out on classical violin and when he was about 9, he went to a fiddle camp and fiddle music stuck with him since.
“It’s a good way to meet other local musicians,” Nikki Grosklos said, “At any contest we go to, we make more connections and that’s the best reason to go to one.”
Kay Lorson and Dave Suver both competed in the senior division of the fiddle contest.
Dave Suver has been competing in the Dan Emmett Fiddle Contest for over just about 30 years now.
“The social atmosphere and meeting other musicians is the best part,” Suver said when asked what he enjoyed most about doing the competitions.
Suver started playing the fiddle around 40 years ago when his neighbor started learning how to the play the banjo, and his friend started taking fiddle lessons.
Kay Lorson views these competitions as a challenge for her to be able to get up on stage and perform. She started out as a classical violinist in grade school. About 12 years ago is when she started going to fiddle competitions after her friend took her to one.
“It’s fun. I think this is my ninth year (performing at Dan Emmett),” Kay Lorson said. “Once you get past the nerves, it’s pretty fun.”
She travels around northeast Ohio performing at a handful of other competitions.
“I get to meet all these people and kids, and watch (the kids) grow and learn,” she said when asked what her favorite part of the competitions were.
Suver won the senior division of the competitions.
Lautzenheiser won the junior division and the took home the John Baltzell Award, the prize for overall winner.