The Washington Old Time Fiddlers Association (WOTFA) is a non-profit organization formed in 1965 to preserve and promote old time fiddling and related arts.
Who We Are
Statewide, we now have around 1700 members, arranged geographically into districts. Talented musicians range in age from 5 up into the 90's. We welcome new members (you do not have to be a musician to join). Membership benefits include the opportunity to attend the summer Fiddle Workshop, plus monthly WOTFA newsletters, which publicize all statewide activities (including shows) and the sheet music for a selected song each month. Members also gain access to the Members Only part of this website, which contains all sorts of fun ways to share our enthusiasm with each other about Old Time Fiddling.
What We Do
We are a very active organization statewide and perform at various functions (nursing homes, retirement homes, senior centers, clubs, religious groups, civic functions, etc.) throughout the year. Donations from many of these playouts are used to cover our operating expenses. Local districts host regular meetings and jams. Please check with the district you would like to visit for times and locations of monthly jam sessions and meetings in your area. These are open to the public to come and listen. We also publish several tune books and CD's. We actively support youth fiddling activities and hold our summer Kittitas Workshop every summer.
State Convention in Kittitas, Washington
The Washington Old Time Fiddlers hold our annual convention during our summer Workshop each July. Each district sends a representative to give a report about activities in their area. You need not attend the Workshop to participate in the convention. We are a large organization and it is both interesting and heartening to hear about how districts are working to preserve and perpetuate old time music. We hope you will attend.
Summer Music Workshop and Campouts
We have held a week-long summer Fiddle, Guitar and Mandolin Music Workshop in Kittitas, Washington, (near Ellensburg, Washington), taught by nationally recognized artists for many years. The 2013 workshop was July 22 - 26, 2013. Because enrollment is limited (and the workshop is extremely popular, we have used a process to prioritize registrations: the earliest date to mail your enrollment forms is in early April and is posted in advance in the Evergreen Fiddler newsletter that is mailed to members (and also on this website). To get priority registration, you must be a member of WOTFA by January 31st of the workshop year and must postmark your registration form ON the first allowable date to send it in. Please see the workshop page for this year's class descriptions, the enrollment form and further information describing the camp; it will give you a basic idea of how things run so you can be ready to apply early next year..
Campouts are weekend gatherings that several of the districts sponsor each summer. They are great opportunities to jam, socialize and learn new tunes; some even have an open band with square dancing. Please see the calendar page.
To carry on our tradition, we enthusiastically promote youth musicianship. Many districts have Junior Old Time Fiddlers Groups for children ages 5 to 18. Some districts offer scholarships to youth who want to attend the summer Kittitas Workshop. Some districts have a free music lesson at their meetings or sponsor free lessons from designated instructors in exchange for volunteering for the district.
Research & Archives
WOTFA promotes and conducts research on old time and traditional fiddling and maintains archives and collections. Check out our Tune of the Month page to listen and learn about some of the tunes we are playing and the people who taught them to us.