Leah Cluff, 18, has taken lessons and played the Fiddle since she was 7 years old. She practices the Fiddle every day for about an hour. “I do read music but I prefer to pick up the music by ear. I especially like Blue Grass and Celtic to listen to and to play.”
She placed 1st at the Wheeler Farms Old Time Fiddlers Competition in 2009 and Second Place at the State Old Time Fiddlers Competition in Richfield in 2010. And was able to go to the national fiddle competition in the summer of 2011. “Performing is fun for me. It’s not nerve-wracking for me now, compared to how it was at first. I especially like interacting with the people. Music is a stress-reliever for me,” said Leah. In fact music is high on her list of hobbies as well as sports. She enjoys playing volleyball, and softball.
Sarah (Cluff) Riggs, 22, started playing the Mandolin at 12 years of age. She especially enjoys playing on the stage in front of an audience. “The Mandolin is an absolutely fantastic instrument to play, especially for Blue Grass music. I love competing. Sometimes I’m a little nervous and yet it is so much fun,” Sarah said.
Competition, whether individual or with the band, is always exhilarating for Sarah. She has won First Place, twice on Mandolin and once on Guitar at the Utah State Old Timers Fiddlers competitions in Richfield, Utah. She has always played with bands at the Fiddle Fest, in Provo, and has won or placed in the top three every year.
Sarah toured with Clog America to Italy and Poland. She has played in the folk music program at BYU for three years. She has spent a week in Ireland studying celtic music and attended a celtic workshop in British Columbia. She enjoys reading, going on walks, rock climbing, and of course, playing music, all with her husband Dan.
Dan Riggs, 25, toured with the folk band and dance company, Clog America, since he was 15, representing the United States in Germany, England, Romania, Hungary, China, and Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, Greece, and Portugal . He has played with jazz, country, rock, and bluegrass bands, but his favorite songs to play are the hot fiddle tunes.
When he was two years old he started asking to play the violin, but his mother made him wait until he was 5 years old to start lessons. Dan began playing with the All City Children’s Orchestra in 3rd grade, and soon joined the Utah Old Time Fiddlers, and a fiddle orchestra. He played with the school orchestra in Jr. High and High School, and also played the electric bass in Jazz Band during this time. He has placed 1st in many fiddle competitions all over Utah. What he enjoys most about playing music is the audience’s response, “the bigger the crowd the better” says Dan.
He recently graduated from Weber State University, with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering Technology. His hobbies are extreme sports, rock climbing, BMX biking, flying stunt kites, windsurfing, paintballing, snowboarding, scuba diving, and restoring old trucks.
Emma Cluff, 16, started playing the electric bass at age 9 when her older brother, Daniel, left to go on an LDS Mission. She can now play the bass fiddle as well. “Performing on stage in front of people the first time was really scary to me, but after a while it got to be really enjoyable,” said Emma. Emma enjoys drawing, writing and is the “Just Dance” family champion.
Sheri Cluff mother of 8 and grandmother of 8, took piano lessons as a child. She played the flute in band and orchestra from the 5th Grade through high school. She danced down the streets of Disneyland in their parades, and taught dance classes for several years. She now enjoys playing guitar, bohdran, and Irish Flute. In her spare time she draws portraits of her children and dances with her husband.