Category Archives: Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest

2019 Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest

May 19 Sunday 9am-6pm: Topanga Banjo-Fiddle Contest and Songmakers Stage –– Despite losing the town to fire, the Board of Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest decided that the annual tradition will rise from the ashes, will continue for the 59th year and also stating that “Songmakers are not forgotten.” Bonnie Clarfield-Bylin, the Booths Coordinator, notified Steve Berman that we will have our “Corner” as usual but the location will be a 10×20 foot space in the “triangle” vendor area adjacent to the main stage area where a Contra Dancing Stage used to be many years ago. Simon Lucas writes: “I am looking for some volunteers to run our space. You will be ‘in charge’ for an hour, and it is up to you to fill that hour with good music to engage the crowd and invite new members. Please apply to:

More volunteers are needed this year due to the fire

Quite a few of our songmaker mambers volunteer annually at the festival. Please consider volunteering this year if you haven’t done so already.

Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Volunteer Information

Songmakers Stage a Hit at the TBFC

First of all, congratulations to Mary Zangerle who took 2nd place in the contest in Intermediate Mandolin and to Tim Holtwick, who took 1st place in the Intermediate-Other category playing in the Hawaiian Slack Key guitar instrumental style!

Dana and Sally Charette opened the Songmaker stage with a blast of fun!  Dana is always amusing, talented and knows how to involve the crowd. Sally is a singer par excellence and got down with her cool repertoire on her rockin’ resonator Uke.

Jim Friery and friends, back on the SM stage (actually in front of the stage getting down!) for their second year representing our awesome club, are talented guys who brought fun and harmony and got the audience very involved and singing with gusto.

The ever-popular Gemini (Bruce Farewell and Renata Decher) took the 11:00 a.m. slot with wit, and talent. They love to involve the crowd, and young people get their taste for performing because Renata hands them her rhythm instrument!

Doug Kerr & Linda Szitkar, first timers to our stage, have an amazingly popular and sing-along-able repertoire!  Very well done you two!

TJ Zeiler and Steve Linsky and all of HorsePlay band is always a big hit at Topanga. They really draw a crowd with their prodigious talents.

Ever the walking juke box, Dean Donin wowed the crowd. Dean has an eclectic repertoire and has a very entertaining performance style!

Gary and Kathy Lynch, what can one say? They are excitement and fun personified!

Karen Hart and Jennifer Leitham presented a Joni Mitchell Sing-along with professional savvy and deep and wide talent. Thanks for bringing Joni to us with such beauty, skill and charisma!

Thank you Steve and Sandie, our President and First Lady who promoted Songmakers throughout the day, and made sure our Banner was mounted!  Thanks to all the other Songmakers, unnamed here, who participated, supported and showed the crowd how to have fun!

Louise Dobbs

Songmakers Stage at Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest

May 20, Sunday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Stop by the  Songmakers Stage at Topanga and spend some time playing with your fellow Songmakers! 

Here is the stage leadership line up:

Dana Charette and friends
Jim Friery and friends
Gemini (Bruce and Renata)
Doug Kerr & Linda Szitkar
TJ & Charletta Horse Playing w/friends
Dean Donin
Gary and Kathy Lynch
Karen Hart and Jennifer Leitham present a Joni Mitchell Sing-along

Additional information about the festival is available at  2018 Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Festival