Hannah Mercy Elizabeth

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.


Update on Hannah's Addisonian Crisis






March 22, 2013


We sat around the office yesterday and heard your fiddle CD again. It is so good. Your playing is on a par with the best.

See you at the Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest.

D. A. Callaway
Silver Dollar City Events
Branson, Missouri



Hannah Places 3rd in Old-Time Fiddle Championship @ Walnut Valley Festival


Photo by Bill Benson

Oma Noma Days Heritage Festival / May 19, 2012 / Lake Ozark, Missouri

Fiddle Contests & Placings

A young 15 year old high school student from Galena, Missouri placed 3rd in this [the Walnut Valley Old Time Fiddle Championship] competition. Hannah Farnum is a home schooled student who loves playing the fiddle and has been playing the fiddle for the past nine years. This was Hannah's first trip to Winfield and the Festival. She came because she wanted to compete. Hannah has competed in othe festivals at Branson and Apleton City. In addition to the fiddle she says she "doodles around on the mandolin." Swimming and hanging out with friends are the things she likes to do most, other than playing the fiddle. Hannah takes back to Galena the 3rd Place Trophy and a Gama Elite Stradivari Birdsey Fiddle represented by the Beautiful Music Violin Shop of Lawrence, Kansas.

From the Walnut Valley Occasional / Volume 37, Number 2 / December 2012

Local Family Attends
Walnut Valley Festival

41st Annual Walnut Valley Festival Logo Old-Time Fiddle Contest
September 2012 / Third Place Winner!
Winfield, Kansas

"Thanks for telling about Hannah's winning at Winfield. That's quite an accomplishment!! She was competing with some of the best so it really speaks a lot for her fiddling. But what I want to know, 'Did
she smile?' !!!

Again my compliments to Hannah for a job well done!! Anxious to hear her play... it's been some time since I last heard her.

Gordon McCann
Springfield, Missouri

3rd Place @ Walnut Valley Festival

Besides a trophy & an 8x10 photo, Hannah was awarded a Gama Elite Stradivari Birdsey-maple, hand-made Rumanian violin, carbon-fiber bow & Bobelock hard-shell case worth over $1500! This incredible prize was presented by James Hanson, owner of the Beautiful Music Violin Shop, Lawrence, Kansas.

KY3 News Report

American Heritage Music Festival
Grand Lake National Fiddle Fest
June 2012 / Second Place - Junior Division
June 2013 / 8th Place - Open Division
Grove, Oklahoma

Branson Fiddle Festival & Contest
August 2011 / Fourth Place - Junior Division
August 2012 / Fourth Place - Junior Division
Branson, Missouri

Dick Logan Memorial Youth Fiddler's Competition
September 2011 / Second Place
Appleton City, Missouri

Snyder Park / Old-Time Fiddler's Contests
June 2005 / First Place - PeeWee Division
June 2006 / Fourth Place - PeeWee Division
June 2007 / Second Place - PeeWee Division
June 2008 / First Place - PeeWee Division
Lawrenceburg, Missouri

Branson Fiddle Festival & Contest / August 2011 / Fourth Place - Junior Division

Dick Logan Memorial Youth Fiddler's Competition
September 2011 / Second Place / Appleton City, Missouri

2nd Place Winner!


Hannah playing her fiddle break on "Colleen Malone"

2010 Youth in Bluegrass Competition @ SDC

Dad, Mom, Hannah & Daniel... with Benjamin concentrating in the back!

May 2009 @ Silver Dollar City, Missouri

Fiddle Tune: Backup & Push

Bluegrass & BBQ Festival ~ Silver Dollar City, Missouri / May 2010

Hannah likes to play lots of other fiddle tunes, some of which include:

  • Apples in Winter (Irish)
  • Arkansas Traveler
  • Ashoken Farewell
  • Clarinet Polka
  • Canadian Waltz
  • Cotton Patch Rag
  • Devil's Dream
  • Faded Love (1950)
  • Leather Britches
  • Liberty
  • My Darling Asleep (Irish)
  • Ook Pik Waltz
  • Red Wing (1907)
  • Richmond Polka
  • Shamus O'Brian
  • Silver Bells
  • Snow Deer
  • Soldier’s Joy (late 1700’s)
  • That's a Plenty
  • Tammy
  • Tennessee Waltz
  • Turkey in the Straw
  • Tug Boat
  • Westphalia Waltz
  • Whup the Devil Around the Stump

Hannah, now 15 years old, has been practicing & studying Fiddle with Ricky Boen since her first lesson circa September 2003. Hannah handles a good percentage of the instrumentals for our family band, playing old favorites such as Clarinet Polka, Liberty, Red Wing, Leather Britches, Soldier's Joy, Ashokan Farewell and many others. She also sings some traditional bluegrass & sweet gospel songs. She has added many Irish tunes learned while our family attended O'Flaherty's Irish Music Retreats in Midlothian, Texas in 2009 and again in 2011... <more below>

In June of 2005 she participated in her first fiddle competition. We were bowled over when she took "First Place" in the Pee-Wee Division for the 13th Annual Old-Time Fiddler's Contest at Snyder Park near Lawrenceburg, Missouri. She placed 4th in 2006... and came in 2nd in 2007, and then 1st Place again in 2008! And she's kept on practicing...

June 21, 2008 - Time for the 16th Annual Snyder Park Fiddle Contest... and, Yahoo! Hannah did a great job and took "First Place" again this year. We reckon a little practice may have contributed to that, plus she's been getting more experience playing music with her family.

As a result of her fine fiddle playing at Snyder Park, Hannah received her first Fan Letter! We're so thankful for all our children, but Hannah has a special place on earth for her talents. See what we mean after you read Hannah's Birth Story.

Hannah's fiddle teacher, Ricky Boen, is an excellent, classically-trained musician with over 30 years of teaching experience. You can catch his band, Texas Mud, in Branson sometime, and he also plays fiddle at Shepherd of the Hills with the Sons of the Pioneers.

October 2009: Along with her entire family, Hannah recently returned from O'Flaherty's Irish Music Retreat held in Midlothian, Texas. She was introduced in a rather sudden way to some of her Irish Musical Heritage (on her mother's side). Attending on a family scholarship, she participated in an intense 3 days of exposure to Irish fiddling consisting of approximately 9 hours of instruction by the premier Irish-American Sligo-style fiddler, Mr. Brian Conway. As a result, Hannah is very excited about adding more traditional Irish tunes to her fiddle playing repertoire!

August 2011: Out of the 22 contestants in the Junior Division, our sweet Hannah placed 4th in the 23rd Annual Downtown Branson Fiddle Festival & Contest...


View Farnum Family Résumé Here

Academia: About the Fiddle or Violin

"The violin is the best known of all Western orchestral instruments. The smallest in a family that includes the viola, cello, and double bass. The violin developed in the 16th Century and descended from the Medieval fiddle and rebec. All the members of the violin family have four strings, a tailpiece, a bridge, a waisted body, f-shaped sound holes and an arched top. The design has changed little since formalized by the great 16th Century Italian makers Stradivari and Guarneri."

Click Here for a more complete article regarding the Fiddle.

Click Here for an easily printable version about this article about the Fiddle.

For additional and more exhaustive information, take a look at the Wikipedia page on Fiddle.

Protrait: Hospitality House Stage

Hannah knows the difference between a fiddle and a violin... about Ten Thousand Dollars!

May 2006 @ Silver Dollar City

Sam Davis Youth Camp

Harriet, Arkansas / July 2006

Local Family Attends Walnut Valley Festival

41st Annual Walnut Valley Festival Logo

Old-Time Fiddle Contest
September 2012 / Third Place Winner!
Winfield, Kansas

September 20, 2012

Local Family Attends Walnut Valley Festival

Our family recently attended the 41st Annual Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. We traveled there on Wednesday, Sep 12th, to take in some of the instrument & singing workshops offered on Thursday, but primarily for the purpose of participation in the Mandolin and Old Time Fiddle contests. Other than an automotive breakdown about 30 miles from Augusta, Kansas (due to a distributor failure), and lots of rain & resultant mud on Thursday, we enjoyed an exciting time at the festival. It is one of the largest in the Midwest and offers attendees non-stop access to some great professional and semi-professional bluegrass & folk music, and good ol' fashioned jamming for about a week-long (for those able to attend for that duration). Due to some other commitments, our family was only able to attend the two days (to participate in the two contests). Others who come to this event are there for the whole weekend or longer, and one or more of the many contests, which include: the International Autoharp, the International Finger-Style Guitar, the National Mountain Dulcimer, the National Flat Pick Guitar, the National Hammered Dulcimer and the National Bluegrass Banjo Championships, and as already mentioned: the National Mandolin and the Walnut Valley Old Time Fiddle Championships. Many folks are there to hear headline acts, compete in one or more of the contests, or to just plain ol' "jam", or any combination of activities. The yearly event attracts over 20,000 attendees, many of whom return year-after-year! This was our very first time ever to attend, primarily due to the encouragement of some friends, David & Lorna Switzer, who live in Augusta, and has attended the event the last 35 years as a vendor of fine leather craft.

Here's a summary of our weekend adventure:

Our son Benjamin (17 years old) competed in the National Mandolin Championship @ 1 pm on Friday. There were 35 contestants from all over the country, and the contest lasted about four hours! Benjamin drew #18 in the line-up, and on his turn performed "St. Annes Reel" and "Home, Sweet Home". Although he did not place this time, he hopes to return again next year for a chance at one of the grand prizes & associated recognition.

Our daughter, Hannah (15 years old) competed in the Walnut Valley Old Time Fiddle Championship. The contest was scheduled for 6 pm that same evening, but started late (due to the late completion of the mandolin contest). There were 25 total contestants, one of whom was the currently reigning, two-time Missouri State Junior Fiddle Champion, Trustin Baker, from Birchtree, Missouri. A little background here: Hannah & Trustin have competed in three other events (2011 & 2012 Branson fiddle contests and the American Heritage Music Festival, in Grove, Oklahoma), and Trustin has placed ahead of her at each event… so we knew this would be an especially challenging contest. All the contestants drew numbers to determine each performance appearance, Hannah drawing #22, and Trustin #20. The contest started and each contestant played a hoedown, a waltz and a tune-of-choice (in that order). Winfield only offers one division – Open – of playing, so children, teens, adults and seniors all compete against each other. The judging is done anonymously: neither the contestants nor the judges can see each other, nor can the judges hear anything other than the fiddle performance (as even the accompaniment is not included in the judge's booth). Only the contestant number is known to each judge. 

All contestants gave the audience & judges all they had. Everyone played well - we heard some great fiddling! Trustin played his heart out & so did our Hannah, accompanied by her brother Benjamin. She gave old-time renditions of "Billy in the Low Ground", "Wednesday Night Waltz" and "Black and White Rag". After all the contestants had played their tunes, the time came to announce the five finalists: they included Andrew Wilson, Roger Netherton, Jake Duncan, Trustin Baker, and our Hannah! Next came the finals. Each would play another hoedown & waltz. Hannah played "Leather Britches" and the beautiful "Roxanne Waltz". All five finalists played extraordinarily well and we knew the judges would have a tough decision to make. We were all thrilled & surprised when our Hannah was announced Third Place amongst the top contenders! The award ceremony followed with Jake & Trustin both receiving a nice plaque, and Andrew & Roger awarded 1st & 2nd place titles, trophies & a new violin for each! Andrew chose the German-made and Roger the Colorado-made violin. Our Hannah was awarded the 3rd Place title, a beautiful trophy, an 8x10 photo and a new Romanian-made violin, carbon-fiber bow & Bobelock hard-shell case! To date, this represents Hannah's most prestigious contest, and prize-winning (her prize valued at almost $2000). Hannah has been taking fiddle lessons for nearly nine years from champion fiddler Ricky Boen, who performs with the Sons of the Pioneers. Her 8 year year-old sister, Maggie, also takes lessons from Mr. Boen.

Hannah and all the Farnum Family would be pleased to share music – bluegrass, folk, gospel, Irish, western – for your church or any special occasion. See our family website (www.FarnumFamily.org) for additional information and to book the Farnum Family.

Submitted by Norm Farnum / Galena, Missouri

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Colossians 3:16

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