Our Judges - 2023
Amy Carwile comes from a musical family and was born and raised in Idaho but has made Kentucky her home for many years.
Playing the fiddle since age eight, Amy's championships include Northwest Regional, Washington State, Colorado Open, Pend O’Reille International, and Rocky Mountain Young Adult Championships. She has served as a judge at the Alabama, Kentucky, Oregon, Indiana, Tennessee, and Wyoming State Contests, Colorado and Idaho Open, The World Championships of Fiddling, Northwest Regional, the National Old-Time Fiddlers' Contest and The Grand Master Fiddler Championship.
In tandem with her private music instruction, Amy travels the U.S. and international locations conducting fiddle workshops and master classes, as well as teaching at summer music camps including the International Fiddle School at Vanderbilt University and the Mark O'Connor Berklee College of Music Summer String Program. Amy currently performs as a duo with her husband Daniel adding fiddle, piano, and vocals to their fusion of musical styles. Together they own and operate Carwile String Studio in Lexington, Kentucky.
Bill Jones was born and raised in Nashville, TN and grew up in a musical family. He started playing violin at age 10 with the Metro Nashville School System strings program. A couple years after playing classical music, he and his father Barry branched into to old-time fiddle music and played with the Nashville Old Time String Band Association which gathered at Stratford High School in the evenings a few times per month.
Later on, Bill heard contest and “Texas style” fiddling and fell in love with the musical style. Soon, he learned some contest breakdowns and waltzes, and his father learned the rhythm chords on guitar – and from then on hardly a Saturday would pass where he and his father were not competing or jamming. Barry paid for the best music lessons that were available and Bill got to study with Crystal Plohman, Jim Wood, Loretta Brank, Luke Bulla, and Daniel Carwile. Some years later, Bill started playing rhythm guitar and tenor guitar which to him rivals his enjoyment of fiddling.
Bill earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and Master of Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University. He is married to Heather, who is a nurse, and they have three boys - Weston, Harrison, and Greyson – and they live in East Tennessee.
Bill is a former Kentucky State Champion, US Grand National Young Adult Champion, Alabama State Champion and Tennessee Valley Fiddle Champion. Although busy with his family, Bill very much enjoys, competing, judging and playing guitar for other fiddlers whenever he can.
Kerry Varble has been playing the fiddle for more than 30 years. She is the 2022 Southeastern Regional Fiddle Champion and recipient of the 2022 Bud Meredith Showmanship award at the Twin Lakes National Fiddler Championship in Leitchfield, KY. She is a two-time Ohio State Fiddle champion, and in addition to top finishes in contests from Ohio to Texas, she is a three-time Indiana State Gambler's Draw champion, and four-time Grand Master Fiddler Championship finalist.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in violin and master’s degrees in reading and special education. She currently teaches seventh grade language arts at Alliance Middle School in Alliance, Ohio. Her innovative approach to integrating music and language arts has been reported in local newspapers, as well as featured on the Youngstown NBC television affiliate, WFMJ.
In addition to playing the fiddle, Kerry is an avid equestrian specializing in retraining thoroughbred ex-racehorses for the sport of eventing and competes her horses at nationally recognized events. In her spare time, she runs half and full marathons around the state of Ohio.