Elmore Fiddle Camp
Randy Elmore

Valerie Ryals   " Bio Continued "

Valerie’s Music Studio in Burleson, Texas, has launched hundreds -if not thousands- of students into the world of Texas fiddling over the past 31 years. The studio has grown to the point that, without the help of sister Lydia, daughters Julie and Jennifer, and a score of other generous and able assistants throughout the years, its continuing growth and success would be difficult to achieve. Valerie reminisces that she had always wanted to be in business for herself so operating a teaching studio seemed the obvious thing to do. Moreover, raising two young daughters precluded the thought of touring and playing in a “band- type environment.”

Other highlights of her career include being 1st Runner-Up in the World Champion Contest, two-timer Texas State Champion, the first woman on the Texas Old Time Fiddlers Association Board of Directors, the first lady fiddler to be inducted into the Texas Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame in Hallettsville, Texas, and a Master Artist with Texas Folklife Resources. She has performed in such diverse venues as public and private, churches, schools, car lots, and neighborhood bars across Texas. She has also served as an educator for the Texas Commission of the Arts, taking her all over the Lone Star State. She has been an instructor at Johnny Gimble’s, Dale Morris’, and Randy Elmore’s fiddle camps, as well as an instructor for DFW WOW Suzuki Violin Institute and TCU’s Fiddle Workshop. In 2005, Valerie was honored by being chosen, along with Bob Wills and Johnny Gimble, to represent Texas’ rich tradition of fiddling by having her fiddle on loan for exhibit in the Bob Bullock Museum of Texas History in Austin.

Although the operation of a teaching studio demands much of her time, Valerie continues to find opportunities to play her fiddle for appreciative audiences all across the U.S.A. “Now that my daughters, Jennifer and Julie, are grown, I enjoy going to places like California, Wyoming, and Tennessee for a few days and playing. But I’m always glad to get back home and be with my four beautiful grandkids, Bernard, Nicholas, Isabella, and Juliet. They are a source of incredible joy to me.”

Biography Continues.....

Valerie Ryals

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