Twenty-one-year-old Sedra Bistodeau began playing the violin at age three. She currently studies with Bettina Mussumeli, at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
In addition to her focus on classical music, Bistodeau has spent an equal number of years on fiddling. She has found much success in this area. She appears in the TV documentary, The Devil’s Box, completed a recording with Peter Ostroushko, and has made numerous visits to Garrison Keillor’s, A Prairie Home Companion. Sedra has accumulated many awards including two first-place finishes in the Junior Junior Division in 2006 and 2007 at the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest and a first place at the coveted “Gone to Texas” division at the Fiddlers’ Frolics in Hallettsville, TX in 2008. Sedra was the first female to win that division and the youngest at age 13. She has had three top finishes at the Wisconsin State Championship. Sedra’s awards in the Grand Champion Division at Weiser include a 4th place in 2010, a 2nd place in 2011 and again in 2013.
Bistodeau also performs with her family, The Bistodeau Family Band. She began appearing with The Bistodeau Family Band at age six, and has recorded three CDs with them.
When it comes to judging, Sedra looks for a clean tone, exceptional intonation, a steady groove, and musicality/difficulty. She appreciates originality/improvisation but also keeping the original melodies of the tunes prominent. Sedra particularly feels that all tunes played in each round are equally important, and judges each tune under all the same pretenses. Especially waltzes! She says, “If you play a sweet waltz with in tune double stops, position changes, and musicality, you will stand out to me.”