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Rockwall fiddler among National Heritage Fellowship award winners

Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. WASHINGTON — Legendary fiddler Jim “Texas Shorty” Chancellor of Rockwall was one of the nine honorees recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts on Wednesday evening for his contributions to American folk art — and the appropriately folksy Chancellor, the first fiddler to get the National Heritage Fellowship award, couldn’t stop smiling about it.

“I’m kind of in shock over it,” Chancellor said. “I got a call a couple of months ago. I was like ‘what?’ I’ve just played old-time music all my life for the fun of it.”

In presenting the award to Chancellor, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman said at the Library of Congress ceremony, “Tonight, we are here to celebrate a master of the intricate and ornamented style of fiddling known as the Texas style. A fiddler from Rockwall, Texas, who could fill a trophy case with the local, state and world championships he has won. A patient and skilled teacher of a new generation of fiddle artists across the country, but one who will remain always a sincere student of the tradition he loves.”

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