Printed on: September 12, 2013

Teen fiddler wins 2nd award


Laura Waters has had one heck of a summer.

Last month, the 17-year-old achieved one of her dreams by winning the open division at the Grand Master Fiddler Championship in Nashville, Tenn.

"It's always been one of my life's goals to win it," Waters said.

It was her second major win of the summer. In June, she won the National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest in the junior division for fiddlers 13 to 17 years old.

The senior at Bonneville High School plans to attend Utah State University in fall 2014. Her father, Brett Waters, said she will major in music therapy.

While she's no stranger to success -- she's a four-time Idaho state junior champion, two-time Colorado state junior champion and a Northwest Regional champion -- her showing in Nashville "was kind of a shock," she said.

"I had never expected to win it this early in life," she said.

Although still a teenager, Waters has more than a decade of musical experience. She started playing the violin at 6 and took up fiddling at 8. She also plays the piano, viola, mandolin, guitar, cello and bass.

Her father said it's rare for a performer to win both contests.

"Both of these contests are something some people pursue their entire lives and don't win," he said. "It was a magical summer for Laura to win both titles. It's unheard of almost."