Reuter wins first at fiddle contest

Donna Reuter heads to her hometown of Spokane for the Northwest Old Time Fiddlers Regionals April 13 after winning first place in state last weekend.

Reuter, of Hood River, won the adult division (ages 37-59) at the Oregon Old-Time Fiddlers Competition in Salem.

Reuter (pronounced “roy-ter”) also took third in duets. She was joined by Pam McNamara on bass.

The state win earns Reuter a trip to the Nationals in Weiser, Idaho, July 17-23. The state organization will pay her entry fee.

Reuter will get to play in the special “Certified” Division for the state and regional champions and compete for titles including the “fanciest fiddler,” “best-dressed,” “most entertaining.”

Reuter has placed in the top four at Weiser four times, and while this was her first win in Oregon, she was 1976 Washington State Junior Champion. Her father, Bud Johnson, and grandfather also played fiddle.

“I didn’t imagine I would win when I’m at this age,” joked Reuter. “I thought I was over-the-hill.” Reuter works as bookkeeper for her husband’s company, Fritz Reuter Construction, but she’ll be playing a lot more fiddle in the coming weeks.

“I make an effort before competition to practice every day. I normally practice only once a week,” she said Thursday at Hood River Valley Adult Center, where she and pianist Diane Allen played a mix of folk and classical tunes during lunch.

Asked what making music means to her, Reuter said, “It’s like a different language that I use to communicate with people.

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