Malinda (Fried) DeBry first participated in the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest at the age of 5, and after that, there was no turning back. Over her many years of competition, she consistently placed in the top 5 of whatever division she was in, winning many state, local and regional contests, and was the NOTFC 2001 Young Adult Champion. She has continued her lifelong love of fiddling even after becoming a busy mother of 5.
Her latest musical pursuits have been closer to home; teaching, playing with her family and daughters who sing, fiddle and also play piano. One of her recent projects has been playing inspirational music as a duo with her talented friend, pianist Jen Butikofer. Malinda caught the ‘performing bug’ early under her first fiddle instructor Roberta Pearce, as well as her all-time favorite Bar J Wrangler, Tim Hodgson. To this day she loves playing ‘fancy fiddle’ songs to entertain and has won many ‘Fanciest Fiddler’ trophies. She further developed her musicianship while attending college, having the opportunity to travel, play and perform with the BYU American Folk Ensemble.
Malinda was privileged as a youth to be instructed and inspired by some of the best fiddlers in the nation, Matthew Hartz and Danita Gardner. Malinda has judged the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest in prior years and feels some of the most important elements to look for while judging are great intonation and rhythm. She also feels style and creativity will make you sit up and take notice, setting a fiddler apart from the rest.