Meet the Judges for the 2017 State of Tennessee Old-Time Fiddlers' Championships!

We at the State of Tennessee Old-Time Fiddlers' Championships take great pride in having the finest judges available for our music and dance competitions. All our judges, led by Judging Coordinator Boge Quinn, are championship-caliber musicians or dancers who bring a lifetime of experience to our event.

(click pictures for a larger version)

Music Judges

Boge Quinn - Judging Coordinator

A mandolinist, guitarist and Old-Time banjo player, Boge was raised in Clarksville, TN and grew up around the State of Tennessee Old-Time Fiddlers' Championships. Boge has won many contests across the Southeastern United States over the years, and has served for many years as a judge at the Uncle Dave Macon Days festival in Murfreesboro, TN. Boge currently plays and sings Gospel and Old-Time Country/Western music as a solo act, leads singing at a small country church where his late dad completed his long career as Pastor, and plays and sings Blue Grass and Country music in local groups.

Fred Duggin

Fred began playing the guitar as a teenager and learned many styles. After becoming interested in acoustic music, he concentrated on the flat top guitar. In the 80's he played with Wynn Osborne, and also worked the Grand Ol' Opry with Mike Snider, as well as the Nashville Now TV show. Fred later met a musician named Danny Roberts and they started the band The New Tradition. The band played the Grand Ol" Opry and had a number one video on CMT called "Seed Of Love". After playing many festivals nationwide. Fred left the band in the 90's and started playing with Tim Graves. In the last several years, Fred has placed at the National Flatpick Guitar Championships at Winfield, KS, and won the State of Tennessee Old-Time Fiddlers' contest in guitar and Blue Grass band, as well as many other contests. He resides in Nashville Tn, and owns a recording studio, SongCity Studios.

Donnie Allen

A longtime professional multi-instrumentalist, Donnie has enjoyed a long and successful career playing with many big-name Blue Grass, Gospel, and Country artists, such as James Monroe, Holly Dunn, Charlie Louvin, The Blackwood Brothers, Christi Lane, Marty Raybon, and John Denver. He is currently on a world tour with Country supergroup Shenandoah, with whom he has worked since 1990.

Johnny Bellar

Born in Springfield, Tennessee Johnny grew up with the sounds of the traditional country music that his father, an accomplished harmonica player loves so well. Very early Johnny showed a remarkable ear for music. Tuning other musicians' instruments while still in grade school, he began to teach himself the guitar at 14.

At age 15, Johnny began to concentrate on the instrument which would become his greatest love - the resophonic guitar. Listening for hours to Josh Graves and Brother Oswald, Johnny began to develop and perfect his own style of playing.

Within a year of his 1973 graduation from high school, Johnny entered and won the dobro competition at a contest in Murfreesboro (this would be the first of hundreds of contest wins!). Watching his performance was a friend of the legendary Stoneman Family. Within two weeks Johnny was performing with the group.

In 1984. Johnny became an original member of The New Tradition, a popular bluegrass group. After three years, touring with the group, Johnny left to pursue a solo career and continue with his composing.

Johnny has recorded several national radio commercials and demos for name songwriters. He tours with various artists, as well as working as a session musician. Recently, Johnny was one of four featured performers in two national tours for the "Masters of the Steel String Guitar." Sponsored by the National Council for the Traditional Arts. And by the way, he can frequently be found on stage at the grand old Opry as a member of Wilma Lee Cooper's Clinch Mountain Clan.



Fiddle Judges

Ed Carnes - Head Fiddle Judge

Ed was born and grew up in Leitchfield, Kentucky, and has been playing the fiddle since 1977. He began playing as a charter member of the Grayson County school orchestra and learned to play fiddle with several other students who also became champion fiddlers.

Ed has won fiddle championships in 5 states - Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama and Ohio, and placed as high as Runner-Up in the Grand Master Fiddler Championship. He has won numerous other championships, such as the Mid-America Championship (5 times), Empire State Championship, Western KY. Championship and many others. Ed has fiddled all over the US, and also in Canada. An accomplished and Nationally certified fiddle judge, Ed has judged the KY State Championship several times, the IN State championship, the U.S. National Contest in Weiser, ID, the Western Open Contest in Redding, CA, and many other contests. Ed has two solo recordings of his music available, and has been featured on several collections. Ed is also one of the organizers of the new Grand Master Fiddler Championship Competition, which restarted in 2005, and serves on its Board of Directors.

Dan Kelly

(with Faith Hill)

Dan Kelly has won many prestigious fiddle contests; was Roy Acuff's last "Smoky Mountain Boy" fiddle player on the Grand Ole Opry; and has developed a successful career as a sideman, touring with Country stars Pam Tillis, Steve Wariner, Faith Hill, Lonestar, SheDaisy, Alan Jackson, and currently with Clint Black. He has performed on the stages of the Kennedy Center; the Grammy, CMA and ACM Awards shows; the Tonight Show; the David Letterman Show; Good Morning America; and Carnegie Hall

A native Pennsylvanian, Dan began playing fiddle at age eight, and by the age of twelve he had won the Canadian National Open Fiddle Championship. During his contest career, he went on to win the state championships of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia, as well as the Mid-America Championship twice. In 1983, at the age of seventeen, Dan won the most famous fiddle title in the nation, the Grand Masters

Dan's favorite career highlight, aside from winning the Grand Masters and being a member of Roy Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys, was playing Carnegie Hall with Alan Jackson. When Dan is not touring with Clint Black, he divides his musical time between performing with the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band; doing session work around Nashville; maintaining a private teaching schedule; and teaching a violin class at a local private school.

Maddie Denton

Maddie Denton is a third generation fiddle player from Murfreesboro, Tennessee who began playing at the age of five. She is the current Grand Master Fiddle Champion, the first Tennessee-born contestant to ever win, plus the 2009 National Oldtime Junior Fiddle Champion.  Since 2008, Maddie has won fourteen state championship titles spread over the states of Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia, and Tennessee, where she is a three time winner and current state champion.  She is an accomplished tenor guitar player and frequently backs up her fellow competitors.  Maddie also plays mandolin, banjo, and standard guitar.  In addition to her love for contest fiddling, Maddie also enjoys playing bluegrass and is the fiddle player for the 2017 SPBGMA International Bluegrass Band Champion, Mashtag.

 Aside from music, Maddie is a recent graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in biology with a minor in music.  While at MTSU, she played NCAA Division One golf for four years and helped the Lady Raiders win back-to-back Conference USA Championships.

 Maddie is a nationally certified judge with experience judging the National Oldtime Fiddle Championship as well as state championships. As a judge, Maddie listens for intonation and groove in up-tempo tunes as well as emotion and execution in waltzes.




Sponsored by:

Diamond Sponsors:



Platinum Sponsors:

Publix Supermarket

Copies in a Flash

Bryant Equipment Company



Mary's Music

Waste Industries

Hilltop Supermarket

Food Lion

Cumberland Bank & Trust

Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2001-2017 State of Tennessee Old-Time Fidlers' Championships
Last modified: February 26, 2017 

Web Design by Boge Quinn