Roberta Rast, originally from Idaho, lives in Austin, Texas. A member of the Texas Oldtime Fiddler’s Association (TOTFA), she enjoys teaching fiddle lessons and traveling to fiddle competitions around the U.S. She started at age five, after watching her older sisters having so much fun with fiddling around. For years, the family reunions have taken place at the National Fiddling Competition in Weiser, Idaho, because of the family dedication to fiddling. Roberta was inspired as a girl mostly by the possibility of screwing up at the upcoming contest, or not getting to go at all because of not practicing enough!
She must be practicing now, looking at her list of accomplishments. To name just a few of her triumphs: in 2005, Roberta was named Grand Master Fiddle Champion in Nashville, Tennessee, and the year before won First Place at the World Fiddle Championship in Crockett, Texas. She has won the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Championship six times, and has played on the Grand Ole Opry.
Roberta has learned from, and been influenced by, such fiddle standouts as: Matt Hartz, Carl Hopkins, JD Bates, Ricky Turpin, and Wes Westmoreland. She credits Boise State’s Craig Purdy with teaching her more than can ever be put down on a list.
In addition to the players above, Roberta continues to collect recordings by some of her favorite artists, gaining inspiration from: Johnny Gimble, Randy Elmore, Daniel Carwile, Buddy Spicher, Larry Franklin and the late Texas Legends Normon Solomon, Terry Morris, and Benny Thomason.