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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.


Hi to all,

  The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has had its impact on the IOTFA activities.  I’ve just learned (11/21/2020) that due to the virus problem the monthly meetings of the IOTFA have been cancelled until further notice.

  As of this date, November in  2020, future plans for the 2021 Fiddle Contest are currently unknown.  Please stay in touch for developments as they occur.

The Dennis Stroughmatt IOTFA Performance

Dennis Stroughmatt

 The October 24, 2020 concert by Dennis Stroughtmatt and his band was success!  He presented a very fine performance revealing his expertise in the several styles of fiddling in which he specializes.

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.”

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 to Wisconsin and probably more I haven’t heard about.

I have seen Denis play and he does a fine job and includes 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.  Check out these videos for some good examples of his programs:


is the YouTube address for his performance at the Library of Congress from which you can get an appreciation of his talent.

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:


Dennis Stroughmatt

See his web page for more information and contact information.

Jerry W. Ellis, the IOTFA web page guy.