Jason Moody is a seventeen-year-old violinist hailing from Dover, Idaho (approx.
pop. 500). As a very young child, he attended a symphony orchestra concert at
the Festival at Sandpoint (Idaho), where he pointed to the concertmaster and told
his parents he wanted to do that. He started violin lessons and gave his first
solo performance at age five. He now studies with the concertmaster of the Spokane
Symphony and was named the concertmaster of the 1999 All-Northwest Orchestra.
He is a member of the Spokane Youth Orchestra string quartet and, under the direction
of Gunther Schuller, he was a soloist with the Spokane Symphony at the 1998 Festival
at Sandpoint, where his interest in the violin first began.
The Virtual Consort is an acoustic, eclectic trio led by archguitar player Peter
Blanchette. Blanchette is from Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts (pop. 1,996); Charlie
Schneeweis (trumpet) is from Marlboro, Vermont (pop. 625); and Jean Chaine (bass)
is from Whitingham, Vermont (approx. pop. 1,000). Blanchette is a builder of instruments
and the inventor of the "archguitar," an 11-string instrument that combines elements
of the lute and the guitar. The Virtual consort won the ocntest with their performance
of John Dowland's "The Frog Galliard."
Kirkmount is a Celtic trio of teenage brothers: Alex, Sam, and Simeon Bigney,
who live in Woodland Hills, Utah (pop. 900). Alex plays the harp, Sam the fiddle,
and Simeon the cello. It's a Bigney family tradition to play music: their forefathers
performed Celtic music in the hills of Nova Scotia, in the all-but-forgotten village
Emily Shackelton was 10 years old and a fourth grader from Biwabik, Minnesota
(pop. 1070) when she won the T-TUTT title in 1996 for her rendition of "Colors
of the Wind" from the Disney movie, Pocahontas.
Yodeler Janet Sorenson farms with her husband near Fisher, Minnesota (pop. 413)
and is an organist, piano teacher, and choir director. In April of 1995, Sorenson's
expert yodeling made her A Prairie Home Companion's first-ever "Talent from Towns
Under 2,000" champion.