Local fiddler named 2011 Montana State Grand Champion

Tiffany Boucher, the 2011 Montana State Fiddle Grand Champion, performs at the Sheridan Summer Festival, Saturday July 30 2011. Photo by Ben Coulter.

While many teens shy away from the spotlight and public performances in general, Sheridan’s Tiffany Boucher is just the opposite.

“I love performing in front of people or audiences,” Boucher said. “That’s kind of my big thing.”

In fact, the 17-year-old fiddler excels at performing under pressure, and was recently named Grand Champion at the 2011 Montana State Fiddle Contest July 23 in Choteau. The champion’s division is open to anyone who has won other contests, and Boucher, the 2010 junior champion, returned from this year’s contest with two trophies and $300 in prize money.

Tiffany began playing when she was six years old, and currently plays in a band called Strings of Fire with her brother Cody and mom Jennifer.

“This is kind of a pinnacle of accomplishment for her,” Jennifer Boucher said. “She has really put in the effort and the dedication, so I’m just very proud that she has come this far.”

While performing at the Sheridan Summer Festival on Saturday, Tiffany and her family filled the air with the sweet sounds of string music.

“Ever since I was little, I always loved having recitals, getting all dressed up all fancy for it,” Tiffany said. “I was never nervous, and I know both my parents recognized that.”

It’s no surprise the seasoned musician doesn’t get stage fright, considering that she has performed on local and national television as well as National Public Radio. She has also played background music for a documentary film and a couple of recorded albums.

Boucher explains the most difficult aspect of playing the fiddle is “learning the technique, and how to play to get good sound quality.”

“Once you have your sound down, you can pretty much play whatever you want,” she said.

The next performance for Strings of Fire will be in Butte during An Ri Rah Montana Irish Festival in Butte, Aug. 12-14.

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