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A 12-year-old Auburn fiddler wins second place in state championship

Eli Clegg recently took second place in a state fiddle competition.

AUBURN, California — Eli Clegg has been playing the fiddle, also known as the violin, for less than two years and he's already the second best in the state. 

The 12-year-old Auburn resident took to the instrument immediately, his music teacher, Mary Preston, said. 

"He takes direction and notes very well, which of course is a joy to any teacher," Preston said. "However, his joy for the instrument was readily apparent early on and I knew he could excel. When I asked him to compete, he was immediately excited and it shows [because] he placed!"

And Eli wasn't disappointed with the second place finish. Preston said his reaction was the opposite. 

"He made a dash straight to me after the ceremony and he said 'I want to get first next year,' and of course I took the opportunity to remind him to practice," Preston said.

And practice he does. Eli's mother, Mary, said he practices religiously, about 30 minutes every day.   

"Even on days he doesn't feel like it," Mary said.

Eli said the violin becomes a fiddle when you're not playing a "super famous composer and you add your own twist, that's fiddling!" 


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