In the beginning..............
The original founders of NOFA were asked to share their stories of how we began.
Submitted by Jeanne Rozzi
"I had just taught myself the basics of the fiddle. I could play a few tunes very slowly while reading the music. I was desperated to find other people to play with and share information. I looked everywhere. I joined some fiddle blog on the internet and pleaded with anyone who happened to be in this area to contact me. No luck. Finally, I saw a little announcement in the newspaper about a bluegrass jam. I thought, "What the heck, bluegrass has some fiddling in it, there must be some fiddles there." So, Herb and I tracked it down and went to the Valley View Rec Center. This all took place in 2002
The bluegrass jam was quite intimidating to me. Everyone knew everyone else. They played real fast. The tunes they played were ones I had never heard before. It was there that I met Mike Farrow. He was quietly playing his mandolin in the corner. We became friends. My fiddle didn't leave my car for awhile. They told me about Rick Seligman but I didn't see him yet. Then, one day Rick came in. I was blown away, of course. I could never be that good. Ever.
They also said Darla Sorenson was the person I had to meet. Darla came in and invited me to come over to her place to play. So I did and she invited Mike too. We went to her place to "jam" and she invited JD Jones to play guitar. We had a blast. Of course, I couldn't play fast or without music but I was on my way.
Darla then decided to create a jam at the new Cora Coleman Center. She advertised an acoustic jam. At first, it was just the four of us. It was at that time that JD asked us if we had heard of the National Old Time Fiddlers Association. We were extremely interested. He contacted them to see what it would take to form our own branch here. They told us what to do. All of us did a lot of research looking up other fiddle organizations and there was a lot of discussion. We looked at all of their newsletters and stuff. Herb looked up the legal stuff we had to do. We had to write by-laws and all kinds of things. It took a little while. Finally, we decided that Mike would be President, Darla was Vice President, Rita Jones was Secretary, and I was Treasurer. JD wanted to stay out of having a "title." JD even put out a newsletter. Herb was added when we found out we needed one more person. He was the Director and this was before he knew what a bass was! This was 2003.
Mike's wife, Adele, was our biggest fan and she helped Rita with the secretarial duties. They kept attendance records of every jam and wrote down every tune we played. Fabulous!
Eventually, more people started coming to this jam. We started signing up members. Bill Thornhill was the first to sign up. We played old time fiddle tunes and some bluegrass. It took a lot of work and many other people to form this club. It has been the most wonderful experience in my life. I've made very good friends and had so much fun. and that how we began.
Thank you, everyone, for the wonderful inspiration!"
Submitted by Darla Sorenson
"I can remember moving to Vegas in '86 and at that time my fiddle was in Wyoming with a crack in it from when my daughter dropped on the floor in orchestra. Anyway, we moved to Christy Lane and met a person in the Ward that played banjo. I asked him if his instructor could fix my violin, which he did. His name was Jay Buckey. Well, I took lessons from Jay and here I am today playing fiddle.
I joined the Bluegrass Society and through the Tuesday Night Jam I met JD Jones, Clyde, Mike Farrow and Jeanne Rozzi. We started to meet at the Two Car Bar (our garage), playing music. I would copy music from Jay's website so we could all play the same tunes. From the garage we moved over to the Cora Coleman Center to play. Bill Thornhill also joined us.
Mike, JD, Jeanne and I then decided to form a fiddlers' group. We all did a lot research, footwork , calling and the Fiddlers started to take shape. Herb and Rita also joined in.
I can recall JD, Mike, Jeanne and I meeting at the bank to set up the account for the Fiddlers' Club. Then the jams moved to the library in Green Valley. We advertised on the web and started to bring in more members. We played out of the Teach Yourself Fiddling book and a few others.
Thank you Mike, JD, Jeanne, Herb, and Rita for all your working in bringing this Nevada Old-Time Fiddlers Association here. Mike, JD, Jeanne and I have been made Honorary Members of the club, which is a great honor to me.
Thank you everyone for keeping the club going. Please keep bringing in new members. Thank you Bob Black for the fiddles you set up for the Blind School. It is a pleasure to have Theresa part of us."