President’s Remarks

Contributed by Tom Bailey

REMINDER: This Friday, April 5th, there will be a business meeting at the jam session. No, this is not a lengthy regular business meeting; this will a presentation of the new website for the Fiddlers of the Genesee!  Mike Deniz has done a great job of converting the website into a more current format. The new website is easy to use and covers just about everything a member would want. The new website isn’t going live yet, as we want more folks to try it and provide feedback to the Board. The Board wants your input on the content and ease of use. I hope you can join us! Jack, thank you for all you have done to keep the present website up and running, a job well done!

It has been a great COPs gig season. Thank you to all who have made this so special. We have received many favorable comments from recreation directors about the performances, such as our music being “high energy”, really “together” and “sounding fantastic”.

More COPs events are coming up soon.  First off, we have the Fiddlers Spring Picnic, which will be held May 5th at the Ellison Park Pavilion Lodge, located in the northwest corner of the park. Please check out the flyer included in this newsletter. In June we have the opportunity to play at the Macedon Public Library again. We played there last year and that was one great audience. July 20th we have been asked to play two sessions at the Friendly Home, in two different buildings. This is also a repeat performance from last year, as the residents asked that we come back. New this year will be playing for the Macedon Erie Canal Celebration on July 27th. We need to learn to play Erie Canal for that one! In August we have the annual Mumford Fiddlers Fair.  September brings the event at the VA Hospital — Bob Hyder’s favorite — and the Palmyra Canaltown Days. Somewhere in all this, Ferris Hills wants to bring us back out for a big party, but we aren’t sure when.

The Board has voted to be one of the main sponsors of Golden Link’s Turtle Hill Folk Festival in September. With this, we will be running a jam tent during the day for folks to come out and play between activities. We are in the process of locating a tent for the jam session, similar to Mumford, but we won’t be performing on stage. I think we should send Jay and Molly an invite to come jam while they are there. Fiddlers of the Genesee will have a full ad in the program and will be listed as a sponsor in all the publicity.

We have been talking about this for a while but the Board has pulled it together: we are holding a series of workshops that will be taught by Michelle Younger, who recently returned from playing in Thailand. As of now, there are three workshops scheduled, each building on the previous one:

  1. Clawhammer Banjo (beginner/intermediate) – May 18
  2. How to make a tune your own. Introduction to variation and improvisation in old-time music (all levels, all instruments) – June 8
  3. Playing with other people and learning tunes on the fly (all levels, all instruments) – June 22

The clawhammer course will be focusing on the strong rhythm that the clawhammer banjo brought to the original music in the early 1800’s. I am hoping we can get a few fiddlers to come in for the last 30 minutes to play with the banjos. Maybe all instruments can come in and jam afterward.

The descriptions of the other two workshops are self-explanatory. We will send out an email blast with details very soon. Non-members will be invited to help defray costs. The sessions will be held at one of the storefronts in BayTowne Plaza, at the intersection of Empire Blvd and Bay Road in Webster. There is a tradeoff for this: the DiMarco Group (plaza owner) is putting up a 40’x 80’ tent for weekly entertainment, from May until October, and they want us to help find groups. I am contacting school bands and other groups that I know, to see if they would be interested in playing. DiMarco will be also holding car shows, fireworks, even cookouts – any type of activity that could entertain community residents. I would hope FOG might take this opportunity to play for an audience that normally wouldn’t have a chance to hear us. Maybe some of the smaller groups would play?

For now, please mark your calendar for April 5thto see the new website presentation!

Until next time … Play nice!

2018 Annual Meeting

Below are the minutes of the Annual Business Meeting, which was held December 7, 2018 at the Fairport-Perinton VFW. Please take the time to read through the minutes to learn what’s going on behind the scenes at Fiddlers of the Genesee. Be an informed member!

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM with 12 members present. President Tom Bailey read the FOG Mission Statement.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting: Jane Reetz reported that a copy of the draft minutes from the 12/8/17 Annual Business Meeting had been published in the November Fiddletter. The minutes were approved unanimously. (BH/GR)

Treasurer’s Report: Greg Roat presented the treasurer’s report for the eight months January 1 – November 30, 2018.  Cash assets – Ending Balance 11/30/18 – $9695.44.  The inventory has been devaluated.  Some items had been sold at a reduced cost because of condition, some unusable items were disposed of and some items are being stored by Mica Schmidt.  Tax returns are still being filed. Membership renewals are due; after March, the website password will be changed and the “members only” section will no longer be available to members who have not renewed.  The report was approved unanimously. (BH/JR)

Membership Report– Mike Deniz reported that there are currently 108 active memberships. 20 memberships did not renew for 2018. A survey from non-renewing members showed 50/50 that the reasons for non-renewals were conflicts with schedules and distance to jams and new members were unable to keep up with the tempo of the music.  The board has approved a change in the policy of “slow jams.”  Instead of a one-hour slow jam two times/month, a 30-minute slower tempo start will begin the session every week as determined by those in attendance.  This will afford members the opportunity to request tunes at a slower tempo.

 Annual Election for 2019:  Jane read the Slate of Candidates that had been presented in an email blast to the membership as follows:  President-Tom Bailey, VP-Kathy Schwar, Treasurer-Greg Roat, and Secretary-Jane Reetz.  Directors-At-Large 2019/20: #1-Ray Eddington – serving remaining one year of term; #2-Elaine Chandler – serving remaining one year of term.  #3 – Pat Fink – returning for another two-year term; #4 – B.J. Cunningham – new two-year term; #5 – Bill Kraft – new two-year term. There being no other nominations from the floor, a motion was made to accept the slate. (BH/GR)  The 2018 FOG secretary, Jane Reetz, cast one vote on behalf of the membership and the slate was elected.

 Music Committee Report:  Deb Abell distributed copies of the repertoire so that members could give their input on which six tunes they would like to see retired from the list.  Core Tunes and recently introduced tunes cannot be voted off.  The music committee will make the final decision on removing tunes and updating the list.  Anyone can forward a suggestion for a new tune or “tune fixes” to the Music Committee. “Tune fixes” may include intros and harmonies.  It was suggested to slow down the introduction of new tunes to four new tunes/year.  Also, send suggestions to the Music Committee for additional tunes to add to the “Core List.”  Work still needs to be done on the “Erie Canal” song.

Old Business: None

New Business

  • Membership Coordinator– A replacement for Mike needs to be found.  It might be helpful to divide this position into a “membership committee” consisting of three parts:
    1. A Follow-Up Person – Get in touch with members who have stopped coming to jams – possibly due to illness (themselves or family members). B.J. Cunningham volunteered to head this up.
    2. E-blast Contact Person – Take on the task of sending out e-blasts to the membership as requested by the President.
    3. Member Information Database – Take charge of maintaining the database containing all the membership information
  • New Webpage/Newsletter/Facebook

Webpage (Mike Deniz) – Our current webpage is outdated. An updated webpage would have the capability to contain links to other areas including recordings, videos and photos. This would take it in a new direction. Mike is currently working with the basic application of “WordPress” which is free.  The BOD approved an upgraded version, which would greatly enhance the capabilities available.  Plans are to run the old and new webpages simultaneously to eliminate any problems before deleting the old webpage.  Fiddletter (Susan Cady-White) – Susan has taken over as editor of the Fiddletter. This is also being done in “WordPress” and will tie in with the new website.

Facebook(Deb Abell) – Send any information you would like to see included on the FOG Facebook page to Deb.  This can also be linked to the new webpage.  More social media might eventually result in more paying gigs for FOG!

  • Advertise need for more Fiddlers– We need to get the word out that we need more fiddlers.  Social media will be used to spread the message.  A suggestion was also made to run an ad in the Pennysaver to come play music with us.
  • Tunes at jams– The board would like to see more time spent on the core tunes as well as the news tunes that have been recently introduced by the music committee.  This will give all of us (old and new members) the opportunity to go over tunes that are not played that often.
  • COP gigs– Tom is currently taking requests for COPs. There will be one in January, two in February and March and one in April.  Last year we had to cancel because of a lack of fiddlers – we need to bring more fiddlers into the club.
  • More new CD’s– An order for an additional 100 CDs has recently been placed.  The board made a decision to spend $200 on fixing the variations in the level of the sound on the CD.  This was due to the original recordings being done in four different locations.  A profit will still be made on each CD.  The shipment should arrive before Christmas. Plans are to advertise FOG in the following ways: placing copies of the CDs in local libraries; selling them on the “local musicians” rack at Bernunzio’s Music; and sending copies to local radio stations for program usage.
  • Spring “picnic”– Tom asked if members were interested in having a spring picnic similar to the one held in November. It would take place before or after the Easter break.  The members were in agreement.  Tom will look into renting a facility.

Adjournment: There being no further business, the meeting was officially adjourned at 8:10PM. (BH/GR)

Respectfully submitted, Jane Reetz, Secretary, 12/13/18

Quarterly Meeting and FOG Website Overview 

A quarterly business meeting will be held on Friday, April 5th. The meeting will begin at 7 pm, or as soon as we have a quorum.  Members are encouraged to attend and to bring up any issues that they may have.  After addressing all of the agenda items, Mike Deniz will present an overview of the new FOG website that he has recently completed. Come and learn about the new website and all the features that it includes.  A regular fiddle music jam session will begin immediately following the presentation.

FOG Tune of the Month: St. Anne’s Reel, with Harmony

Contributed by Deb Abell

St Anne's Reel

Click here for a Printable PDF of St. Anne’s Reel.



Susan Cady-White, editor

Wow,  so much information in this month’s Fiddletter! As with all organizations, there’s lots of behind the scenes activity, on an ongoing basis, that keep the group going strong. If you haven’t read the minutes of the Annual Meeting held in December, please scroll back up and have a look, you will learn something. And come to the jam this Friday night to see the launch of the new website!

I haven’t been in this Editor’s Chair long at all, but each month member contributions come in that make this job — and this publication — interesting and fun. This is YOUR newsletter! If you attend an event, come across an interesting article, have a great fiddle experience, have a not-so-great fiddle experience, have newsletter suggestions — please share! Please email me at scadywhite@gmail.com.

Happy Spring to all! Despite the snowfall that blanketed much of the area this morning, spring is officially here and it’s time to get out and enjoy the sun and warmer weather.