Gary Schuh began playing the violin in his school orchestra at age nine. After two years, he became interested in fiddle music and started taking lessons from Jaydean Ludiker. Since then, Gary has garnered many state, regional, and national titles including: one Junior and three Young Adult titles at the Washington State Contest; 1992 & 1993 Northwest Regional Young Adult Champion; 1993 Young Adult National Champion; and 2014 Adult National Champion, as well as many other titles including wins at the Oregon State Fiddle Contest and other Regional contests. His fiddle contest judging experience includes prior years at The National Oldtime Fiddle Contest, The Northwest Regional Fiddle Contest, The Montana State Fiddle Contest, The Washington State Fiddle Contest, The Oregon State Fiddle Contest, the contest in Casper, WY, and many smaller contests.
Gary currently performs and does studio recording work with various groups around the United States. He was the fiddler for the Riders of the Rockin’ B Ranch for three years prior to becoming a teacher, and has been an instructor at the Ludiker Fiddle Camp, and other music camps for multiple years. He has played and opened shows for artists all over the U.S., including shows during the South By Southwest Music and Film Festival in Austin, TX.
Gary’s philosophy on judging a fiddle contest is fairly straight forward. Songs should be played clean, with accuracy, and within reason of the fiddler’s capability. If toes are tapping then the fiddler is doing something right. It’s better for a fiddler to play a song within their capacity well, than play a song that is too difficult and not executed properly. Fiddle contests are subjective, and that should always be kept in mind by contestants, judges, and spectators. Everyone is there to share their opinion at that given time, and it is the responsibility of the judges, contestants, and spectators to remain mindful of that and not let things ever become personal. Fiddle contests are about community and friends getting together to enjoy something they share in common, nothing else. Most importantly, when a fiddler is playing, it should sound like they’re having fun and enjoying what they’re doing.