Elmore Fiddle Camp
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Wes Westmoreland

Wes was born into a family whose musical history goes back many decades. His Granddad, H.D. Westmoreland, was an accomplished fiddler and began teaching Wes to play at age nine. The fiddle tunes Wes had heard all his life came easy to him and he began to play in contests all over the state of Texas. If you listen to Wes play today, you will hear the sounds of Major Franklin, Benny Thomasson, Louis Franklin, Vernon and Norman Solomon, Texas Shorty, and many other fiddlers that have become his heroes.

During his high school years he played country dances with his granddad. They also traveled to many contests together. At the age of 18 he won the ‘National Junior Championship Fiddle Contest’ in Weiser, Idaho. Currently, Wes has won the ‘World Championship Fiddler’ in Crockett, Texas six times, ‘Texas State Champion Fiddler’ eight times, and has placed in the ‘top 3’ twice at the ‘National Fiddle Championship’ in Weiser, Idaho.

Wes attended college at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. While there he played with the Tarleton Jazz Band and won Top Soloist at the State competition. During his college years he played with Red Stegall and Moe Bandy while still managing to earn a degree in Chemistry.

In 1989, Wes moved to Branson, Missouri to play for Boxcar Willie for a year, before accepting a job to play for Mel Tillis. He played for Mel for ten years. During this time, he not only played the shows in Branson, but also to the Grand Ol’ Opry in Nashville, several venues in Las Vegas, Okinawa, Japan and all across the United States. Wes learned to coordinate within an 18 piece band and played not only first, but also second, third, and fourth fiddle parts.

After his years with Mel Tillis, Wes went back to school and obtained a Pharmacy Doctorate Degree from the University of Houston and is now employed at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas.

While Wes currently does not have the time to teach aspiring fiddlers on an ongoing basis, he truly enjoys teaching and passing on the Texas Fiddle Tradition at camps and workshops.

 

 

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