Welcome to IOTFA!

Opening Ceremony of the 2019 Illinois State Fiddle Contest at the Effingham (IL) Performance Center, October 27.

The Illinois Old Time Fiddlers Association is a not-for-profit organization. The group was formed and hosted its first fiddle contest in 1965, then incorporated in 1966.  The association is dedicated to reviving and furthering Old Time Fiddle Music, to the preserving of the Old Time Tunes and fiddling techniques, and to the passing on of this traditional form of entertainment to the younger generation.  The young folks are our future!  We encourage you to embrace these goals and become a member of this association.   Please join the IOTFA to share your enthusiasm, your talent and to contribute your expertise to help achieve these goals.  We welcome your participation and appreciate your support.

We have Monthly Meetings and our yearly event is the Annual Fiddle Contest.



The  latest info on the Dennis Stroughtmatt performance this Saturday, Oct 24 @ 7PM:

This is to alert you to a performance I recommend for you this weekend, Saturday, October 24, 2020.

The Illinois Old Time Fiddlers Association is hosting an evening performance by Dennis Stroughmatt and his band at the Effingham Perfor mance Center in Effingham, IL starting at 7:00 pm. The ticket price is only $10 per person. More details can be found at the Effingham Performance web site.

I have seen Denis play and he does a fine job and does a variety of music types. Dennis is also known for his program in Creole fiddle music he learned from residents of the French settlements south of St. Louis, MO:


is the YouTube address for his performance at the Library of Congress from which you can get an appreciation of his talent. Dennis actually has a national presence and has played and entertained in a number of states of the US from Montana to Florida to Connecticut ti Wisconsin and probably more I haven’t heard about.

From the University of Illinois production of Illinois country music:


Dennis Stroughmatt is an award-winning fiddler, educator and historian. Stroughmatt is an expert in the early music and history of the French Midwest Creole cultures along the Mississippi River in Illinois, Indiana and Missouri. He is the founder of the Dennis Stroughmatt et l’Espirit Creole band. He performs and lectures widely across the nation. When he’s not on the road, Stroughmatt is an instructor at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, IL.

Also see:


for some country music. Dennis was featured in the TV series on Illinois County Music that aired at about the same time as the long series on country music by Ken Burns on Public TV.

Also try:


I highly recommend this program by Dennis Stroughmatt this Saturday!

Jerry W. Ellis, IOTFA

Hi to all,

 The annual IOTFA Fiddle Contest for 2020 has been canceled.

 The current thinking is that the Illinois Old Time Fiddlers Association monthly meetings will be held in the current venue, the Chesnut Family Music Store practice room located in Effingham, for the remainder of the year 2020. If changes are made we’ll let you know by this same medium.

Previous Post on the Dennis Stroughmatt IOTFA progaram:

But the Fiddle Fest Saturday evening program is still on!

  This is to inform you that while the actual annual fiddle contest has been cancelled, the Saturday evening program is still scheduled as planned.  The 2020 program will be a concert by Dennis Stroughtmatt and his band.  Dennis has a very strong following in the Southern areas of Illinois and well beyond into several other states.  His main instrument is the fiddle so his program should fit well with the goals of the IOTFA.  
   Tickets are $10 and the show starts at 7:00 PM, Saturday, October 24, 2020 in Effingham at The Effingham Performance Center,  which has hosted our Fiddle Fest since the 2018 Annual Fiddle Contest.
   Tickets and more information can be found on The EPC Website.  Or just search for “The EPC Dennis Stroughmatt,” which I found to arrive at the correct web site.
   Meanwhile, be careful, be safe, keep fiddlin’  and we’ll hope to see you on the “other side” of all this craziness we’ve been saddled with for most of 2020.

Dennis Stroughmatt

Dennis Stroughmatt