Since 1994, regional fiddlers and folk musicians have gathered to participate in the annual Scenic 6 Fiddle Show. It’s now in its 18th year, and event chairwoman Mabel Vogt of Potlatch hopes to have a turnout similar to last year’s performance, where 26 musicians performed.Aside from the fiddle, instruments featured in the show have included the banjo, mandolin, guitar, harmonica, dobro, harp, and the accordion.
This year’s Scenic 6 Fiddle Show features Vogt’s daughter Anna Vowels as emcee. Although Vogt puts the event together, she said there is no need for a conductor because fiddlers play by ear.
“They just listen and rely on accompanists … very much for (their) rhythm,” Vogt said. “They play by feel.”
Opening the show are the Potlatch Junior Jammers, a youth group of string players Vogt has led for 30 years. The Junior Jammers meet once a month to practice, and play at various community events in the area, such as the Latah County Fair. The Junior Jammers have also performed at the Dahmen Barn in Uniontown.
“They learn about using their music for community service,” Vogt said of the Junior Jammers, who perform around 10-12 shows a year. “They learn to have confidence in public.”
The Junior Jammers elect a president, who speaks at the performance.
“They tell the group what we are going to play,” Vogt said. “They’re basically the leader.”
Vogt said that most of the Junior Jammers also sign up to play individually after the opening performance. Each musician who signs up for the event is allowed to perform two tunes.
Vogt is an Idaho and Northwest Regional champion fiddler who has taught fiddle since 1982. She offers lessons to students ranging in age from 8-70. The youngest student she has had was 4.
Two of Vogt’s student alumni include Stuart Osbourne of the bluegrass band Forgotten Freight, and Dan Akin, the owner of Floyd’s Harvest Foods in Potlatch. Akin was Vogt’s first student.
Vogt said it isn’t uncommon for her past students to come help out and perform at the show, which is sponsored by the Potlatch Arts Council.
Vogt, a founding member of the council, came up with the idea for the show.
“My idea was to have an event where my students could have a nice audience, but where we could also invite other musicians to perform,” Vogt said. “It’s kind of an enrichment for our local fiddlers.”
Vogt also recognized that although there are fiddle contests throughout the Northwest, some people prefer to play in a more laid-back environment.
“Some people don’t enjoy the pressure of the competition,” Vogt said. “So we decided to put on a show instead.”
The performance will be catered by the Potlatch Presbyterian Lutheran Community Youth Group. The youth group, which is an ecumenical group open to all, will be fund raising in order to go to camp, Vogt said.
According to Vogt, most fiddle shows don’t make much money, but the annual Scenic 6 Fiddle show usually has a big turnout. The event costs $5 for adults, and is free for children under 18. Vogt is hoping for a small profit, which will go back into funding Potlatch arts.
The show will take place 6 p.m. Saturday at Potlatch High School. Those wishing to participate may sign in at 5:30 p.m.
Camping space for RVs or tents at Scenic 6 Park is available by contacting Potlatch City Hall at (208) 875-0708.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: 18th Annual Scenic 6 Fiddle Show
WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday; musician sign-in 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: Potlatch High School
COST: $5; under 18 free
INFO: Mabel Vogt at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (208) 875-0947
By Sarah DeVleming, an intern for the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. She can be reached by email at email@example.com.