By: Kathleen Pixley | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: June 2012
Jana Jae, founder of the American Heritage Music Festival, with violinist Buddy Spiecher and other musicians at last year’s event.
The American Heritage Music Festival hosted by Grand Lake Festivals, Inc. in Grove, OK is held the first full week of June each year, featuring fiddle and clogging competitions as the two main components of this festival. The 2012 date is Thursday, June 7 through Saturday, June 9.
The festival was founded by Jana Jae, known as the First Lady of Fiddling, who is also director of the event. This event provides a national venue for musical artists, bands, musicians and dancers in competitions and performances on three stages. The contests are nationally sanctioned and certified events, bringing top talent from all over the nation to compete for the top prize of $1,000 in both divisions.
Grand Lake Festivals, Inc. has earned an excellent reputation, which encourages many outstanding musicians and dancers to travel hundreds of miles to test their abilities against other talents in competitions. Judging for both events follow strict national rules, with winners in all categories winning cash prizes, medallions or plaques. All the contests promote and encourage creativity, innovation, quality and excellence in these growing artistic fields. Judging for the clogging is, of course, visual, while the judges for the fiddle competitions are in a secluded area unable to see the contestants, listening to the competitors via remote transmission. Numbers are also assigned to each contestant, insuring unbiased judging of each player.
The fiddle contest is nationally certified by NOTFC, Weiser, Idaho, and the clogging contest is sanctioned by America’s Clogging Hall of Fame and the National Clogging and Hoe-down Council. Top prize for each contest is $1,000. Cloggers and fiddlers from across the United States spend much of the year getting their contest tunes and dances ready for this exciting weekend of contests and entertainment.
Other events Grand Lake Festivals hosts each year include The Arts, Crafts, Music and Cajun Festival held at the Grove Civic Center on July 4, with free admission, wonderful Cajun food, Cajun music, and other entertainment. The Jana Jae Fiddle Camp is held Labor Day weekend in September, featuring renowned musicians performing and teaching workshops, demonstrations and master classes.
Grand Lake Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing family entertainment to the Grand Lake area with the assistance of the Oklahoma Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and many dedicated local and area sponsors. More information on all three festivals can be found at www.grandlakefestivals.com, or call (918) 786-8896.