Utah State Instrument Championships: We had the honor of placing first in the fiddle (Mary) and the Mandolin (Peter). In addition, one of Mary’s students took 2nd on the fiddle playing Peter’s arrangement of Old Joe Clark. Thanks to all the incredible volunteers who make this event happen every year.
Walnut Valley Festival, Winfield, Kansas: With tickets and entry fees to the festival paid for by our victory in in the Utah State Instrument Championships we headed out to the national competitions in Winfield. In addition our song Tethered Wings was selected as an alternate in the NewSongs Showcase held at the festival. Mary played extremely well in the fiddle competition, and Peter won 2nd place in the National Mandolin Competition. We also had the privilege of accompanying two of our friends during their winning performances in the NewSongs Showcase. Jen Hajj’s song Raptor Bird won in the Children’s Songs category, and Utah Slim’s song Sister San Rafael won in the better world category. That same category has included a Utah winner three years in a row. Our song Down to the River won in 2010 and Kristin Erickson won that category in 2009. In addition to Peter’s win in the nationals, two other Utahans placed. Keith Taylor took 3rd place in the International Fingerstyle Guitar Competition, and Jake Workman took 2nd place in the National Banjo Competition. Winfield is wild and wonderful and in some ways utterly indescribable. Special thanks to our friend Jim Witherspoon for showing us the ropes. Also a big thanks to Bruce and Mary Weber for donating the incredible “Black Ice” Mandolin Peter received as his prize. We have put it to good use!
Mountain Music Festival, Snowbird: After co-writing her first song, Take the Climb Mary decided to take the plunge into the world of songwriting and attended the Snowbird Song School with Peter. Also at the festival, Peter took 1st place in the Suzanne Millsaps Performing Songwriter Showcase, which was an incredible honor given the caliber of the other contestants!
FAR-West Region Folk Alliance: We were thrilled to be chosen out of hundreds of applicants as an official showcase for the conference. We had an incredible time connecting with friends old and new and getting to know the folk community of the northwest region. Perhaps the biggest highlight was getting to play a piece on Tom May’s Nationally Syndicated River City Folk radio program. Peter has been a big fan for years. In addition we had a chance to spend time with our friend David Jorgensen and get to know Kate MacLeod on the way up. We’ve admired her for years after running across a couple of her CD’s in the library back when we were starving students.
Tucson Folk Festival: We were thrilled to perform at this festival, held in downtown Tucson. Peter was also a finalist in the Songwriting Competition held at the festival along with two close friends of ours, Jen Hajj, and Dana Hubbard. Our kids loved the Cacti and the desert and we had a great time even without air conditioning in our van. We’re hoping to make this festival an annual tradition! (We’re also hoping to fix our air conditioning.)
Moab Folk Festival: We’ve been meaning to make it down to this festival for quite some time and this year had the perfect catalyst. Our friend Alicia McGovern asked us to back her up for her performance down at the festival. Peter also sat in on a few songs with Kate MacLeod during her performance. This is an incredible festival with a real bent toward the best in singer songwriters. We finally got to see Cheryl Wheeler in concert as well and she even sang our children’s favorite song of hers, Potato.
Brewin’ Bistro: SLCC produces this great TV show juxtaposing student artists with local and traveling musicians as well as highlighting events in the local acoustic music scene. Thanks to Scott Iverson and the team at SLCC for producing a great show with us and making us look so good! We look forward to hearing more of Allegra Cramer who was on the show with us!
Jen Hajj Band: We were excited to be asked to join the Jen Hajj band for several performances this year, chief among them Jen’s fantastic set at the Gallivan Folk Festival and her incredible show at her CD release later in 2011 for her second CD Ornithologie.
IAMA’s First Annual Member’s Choice Awards: We were deeply moved and honored to receive two awards. Otter Creek won for Favorite Folk Band and Peter tied with Ken Sager for Favorite Mandolin Player. We were also very pleased to be asked to perform a set at the ceremony. As Peter said there, our only regret was that there was no “select all” option on the ballot so we could vote for everyone to win. IAMA is incredibly important to us as our home community and it is a big part of who we are and what we have become. (News Coverage)
Looking over this list we realize we’ve left plenty out, such as our daughter’s debut as The Three Muses, Utah Pride, concerts in Southern Utah and Colorado, booking conferences, collaborations and recordings with friends, CD releases (Utah Slim, Chris Orrock, and Jen Hajj), house concerts, song circles, open mikes, and all the rest. 2011 has been an incredible journey and we’re thankful to all our fellow travelers! Hope to see all of you in 2012 and add another big batch of adventures to our already very full pot! Most of all we’re thankful to our Three Muses who not only inspire us, but put up with us when we are tired and cranky and allow us to do what we love. Thanks Eliza, Kjersten, and Lucy! You are the best!