February 2019 Fiddletter

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President’s Remarks

Contributed by Tom Bailey

pixabay-3136544-1 degree with -20 degree wind chill … welcome to winter in Rochester! But it will be 40 in 5 days. What do they say – just wait for tomorrow and the weather will change?

The board would like to reach out to all the new members who have come out to the jam sessions in January – welcome! It’s great to have you join us. I would also really like to thank the members who haven’t been able to play with us for a while and are now able to come out and add to the jam sessions

We have a great start on preparing for our first COPs gig coming up February 9that Solstice (formerly Maplewood) on Ayrault Rd. Mike distributed the 2019 COPs List a couple weeks ago using tunes we all know pretty well.

FOG members sharing their music!

Sounds great but we would sure welcome more members to come out and be part of reaching out to seniors, entertaining them with music many of them grew up with in years past. It would really be great if you can come out and join us. Two weeks after Solstice we have another gig on the 23rd.  An event list was developed for dates and locations we know of at this time. More will be added soon. Thinking of gigs – are you interested in being the MC for any of the events? We are always looking for folks interested in leading our presentations.

It seems like forever that we have been talking about updating the FOG webpage and now, after Mike working for months on the new format, it is close to becoming a reality. The webpage is built on a new platform, one that connects directly to the newsletter. The webpage will have similar sections as the existing one but it will also have sections to click on to see event photos, to listen to recordings of gigs, maybe videos of workshops, almost anything members want. A couple clicks and the webpage articles will be on the FOG Facebook page. Didn’t know we have a Facebook page? We do! Just follow this link: Fiddlers of the Genesee But we don’t have anyone to keep it updated. Are you interested in helping with the Facebook page? The new webpage is easily updated because of the new program. Mike – thanks for setting up the newsletter and all your hard work on the Webpage. I also want to thank Susan Cady-White who is stepping in to take over the Fiddletter so Mike can focus on the Webpage. What great members we have!

There are a lot of possible activities that your Board is considering now, which are hopefully coming up in the near future if we can pull them together. But the bigger question is what would you like for FOG to put together? I am sure you have ideas that the Board hasn’t thought about, such as things to do at jam sessions? A special event that you would like? Please let one of your Board members know your thoughts.

As you are out playing at various gatherings you might think about inviting the folks either side of you to the FOG jams. Kathy Schwar reached out to several folks at a recent bluegrass jam and got a lot of interest. Kathy even had business cards on hand to pass out. Part of our Mission Statement is to share our music with others. What a great way to “pass it on”. Thanks Kathy!

Hope to see ya at a jam session real soon.

Until next time … Play nice!


FOG Tune of the Month: The Erie Canal

Contributed by Deb Abell

music notes


This is a simplified version of The Erie Canal and should replace the version that was released in June 2017. This link takes you to a PDF of the music. The Erie Canal, Revised 2019

The Erie Canal Song, as it is commonly known, was written in 1905, by Thomas S. Allen, under the title Low Bridge, Everybody Down. The song has also been known over the years as: Fifteen Years on the Erie CanalMule Named Sal and Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal. Around 1905, mule powered barge traffic had converted to steam power and diesel power was about to take over.  The Erie Canal Song was written to commemorate the history of nearly 100 years of life along the Erie Canal.

The Erie Canal Song is the most recognized of all the Erie Canal folksongs. Its interestinglowbridgeeverybodydown to note that the cover depicts a boy riding a mule leaned down to fit under a bridge, but in actuality the song is about the people in the boats. Travelers would typically ride on the roof of boats when the conditions allowed, but the low bridges along the route would require that they either duck down or get off the roof to fit under bridges.

Thomas S. Allen (1876-1919) was an early Tin Pan Alley composer with many popular songs not related to the canal life. His first major hit was Any Rags in 1903, only two years before that of the Erie Canal Song.

Graphic and content: www.eriecanalsong.com



New FOG Website Under Development

Contributed by Mike Deniz

The current http://www.fiddlersofthegenesee.org site, with Jack Metzger’s attentive support, has faithfully served us for almost 20 years now.  That is nothing short of miraculous given there have been no upgrades available to the software code itself to keep up with the lightning pace of upgrades and advancements to browser, operating system, and other web-based technologies over the years.

A test page from the new FOG web site, being developed in WordPress.

WP logoThis past fall the BOD approved the development of a new FOG website. The goals of this endeavor are 1) get ahead of the day when our site may suddenly not be supportable under current technologies; 2) avail ourselves of new features and functionality that are not supported by our current web platform; and 3) give our online presence a fresh new look. The site will be built and hosted using WordPress, a 3rd-party open source content management system. WordPress is the tool that is used to publish 30% of all websites now, and affords many advantages compatible with our organization’s mission:

  • The site can be developed and supported without having to write code. It is highly configurable. Future members can continue to upgrade and evolve the site without having to start from scratch.
  • The website supports all manner of multimedia platforms. In just minutes we can post the latest file formats of photos, videos, audio, documents, maps, and more to our site.
  • Our website will easily integrate with social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).
  • We can even add e-Commerce if we decide to go that route someday (i.e. selling CD’s, downloading music, accepting payments for gigs, membership, etc.).
  • There are hundreds of free “canned” programs (called plugins) for nifty features that can be bolted on to the site with just a couple clicks.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) tools. We can “juice” the website to increase the likelihood that we come up in Google searches for terms like “fiddling” or “old time music”.
  • The programs are regularly updated and debugged.
  • The website automatically scales for optimal viewing on computers, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Great real-time technical support.
  • The annual cost to FOG for a WordPress website and hosting is roughly equal to our
    current cost for just hosting via GoDaddy.
The new FOG web site will be easier to navigate and will allow for increased functionality and integration with current technology.

I have volunteered to develop the new FOG website. My guiding criteria, with blessing from the BOD, are that the site at a minimum:

  1. Be intuitive. Avoid reliance on icons or graphics to navigate. Menus should be prominent and if possible should not scroll off the screen as you scroll down a webpage.
  2. Be simple and clean; no busy color schemes or page layouts.
  3. Utilize as much of the width of your computer screen as possible to reduce scrolling.
  4. Preserve the content from our current website.
  5. Require member login credentials to access tunes and other proprietary content.
  6. Display the FOG logo and appropriate visuals on every page to set the tone for who we are and what we offer.
  7. Support two purposes: 1) provide content and info relevant to members; 2) attract new members or those interested in having us perform.
  8. Be able to print posts to hardcopy or to file (i.e. Fiddletter).

Once the new website is complete, the plan is to run it in parallel with the existing site for a period of time to ensure it meets all our needs. I can continue to modify/tweak it with member input. My goal is to have the test site ready for action before the end of this winter. Stay tuned! (or logged in).


A Concert with Jenny Lind

Submitted by Bruce “Rosko” Holmquist

On the evening of May 20, 2011, I was delighted and privileged to attend a concert performance by Jenny Lind (Jennifer Gliere), her accompanist on the pianoforte Otto Goldschmidt (Michael Unger), Enrico Belletti (Owen Broder) on the clarinet, and the famous promoter P. T. Barnum (Gerry Szymanski), held at the Lutheran Church of the

Jenny Lind
Image courtesy Forever Swedish

Incarnate Word on East Avenue. Md’lle Lind’s beautiful voice and costumes were very much enjoyed and appreciated by the audience as she performed works by Handel, her good friend Mendelssohn, Rossini, Mozart, Bellini, Verdi, ending the concert with her famous Swedish Melody. This last set was not mostly folk songs but rather contemporary compositions translated and sung in English. Between Md’lle Lind’s performances, Mr. Goldschmitt and Sig. Belletti performed. Mr. Goldschmitt performed, among other pieces, the Jenny Lind Polka for Piano Forte, with at least four variations of this well-known polka. Anton Wallerstein composed this in 1846, before Md’lle Lind’s first American tour, and originally titled it Jenny Lind’s Lieblings-Polka. During his remarks before the second part of the concert, Mr. Barnum sang The Jenny Lind Mania by W. H. C. West. The program notes that, “there has been no classical musician with such universal appeal as that of Jenny Lind.” In popular music only Frank Sinatra or the Beatles could compare. Innumerable objects with Jenny’s image adorning them created quite a market. This
comic song decries the commercialization and marketing of the “Swedish Nightingale”. The chorus goes: “Oh! Manias we’ve had many, and some have raised the wind; but the most absurd of any has been that of Jenny Lind.” One verse goes “My wife has a Jenny Lind bonnet, and a Jenny Lind carte-de visite with Jenny’s portrait on it. My handkerchief looks neat. My wife’s a slave to fashion, against it never sinned; Our baby and the kitten, are called after Jenny Lind.” A portion of the proceeds from Md’lle Lind’s 1851 Rochester concerts, in addition to a private contribution by her, went to the only Lutheran congregation in Rochester, Zion Lutheran Church, for a church bell. The bell was cast in 1870 for Zion and installed in the Incarnate Word church steeple in 1968 where it still rings.



The Bottom Lines

by Susan Cady-White, editor

In my second month of newsletter editing, I’m happy to report I’m picking up speed with the formatting software, feeling a bit less like a fish out of water, less like a somewhat older person in a pool of millennials. But my joy will be fleeting as the new web site and integrated newsletter will likely present a whole new opportunity for learning. And for unlearning. And why is unlearning always the hardest part? I easily forget things all the time; unlearning is a skill I haven’t quite mastered.

Thanks to Bruce Holmquist for the article on Jenny Lind. I took a detour from paragraph-shaping to go online and learn more about Jenny Lind the woman; up until now, I was most familiar with Jenny Lind the baby crib. Maybe a little more digging will explain that connection.

Thanks to Patricia Herberger for her lovely, welcoming email and for suggesting the complete address of the VFW be added to the newsletter. In the GPS era, it’s most helpful.  Complete street names and numbers lead you door to door.

Joe and Me
Joe Dady invited me to play with him last August at the annual Fiddlers Picnic on Conesus Lake.

Many of you know John and Joe Dady. And many more of you have enjoyed their music as The Dady Brothers, who have entertained this region and beyond for well over 40 years. Joe is a dear friend of mine, was my fiddle teacher for a few years, and has continued to be my all-things-music mentor. Late in 2018, Joe was diagnosed with chronic leukemia. He’s been undergoing treatment and the next step is stem cell therapy. Many thanks for keeping Joe in your thoughts and prayers, I know he would appreciate that.






2019 Officers

BOD President: Tom Bailey
Vice-President: Kathy Schwar
Secretary: Jane Reetz
Treasurer: Greg Roat
Directors-at-Large: Bill Kraft, B.J. Cunningham, Elaine Chandler, Pat Fink, Ray EttingtonMembership Coordinator: Mike DenizNewsletter Editor: Susan Cady-White
Webmaster: Jack Metzger

FOG Contact Info

It’s EASY to Contact & Connect with FOG

Call the Fiddle Fone! (585) 234-3582

  • Hear the latest FOG announcements.
  • Leave voice mail messages.
  • Check for last-minute changes in jam locations or gig schedules

Surf the World Wide Web!

Visit the FOG website at www.fiddlersofthegenesee.org

  • See schedules & locations for jams & gigs.
  • Leave e-mail messages.
  • Current FOG members (password required) can download FOG music sheets, midi files and past issues of the FOG Fiddletter.

Mailing Address:

Yes! “Snail mail” still works reliably! It’s just a little slower than the internet….

Fiddlers of the Genesee
Post Office Box 631
Fairport, NY 14450-0631

Friday Night Jams (7-9 pm)

Perinton-Fairport VFW Hall, 300 Macedon Center Rd., 14450

February 1, 8, 15, 22

Penfield American Legion


FOG jam clipart - canstockphoto136796392019 Gig Schedule

  • February 9: 2-3, Solstice, 55 Ayrault Rd., Fairport
  • February 23: 2-3, 80 Parish St., Canandaigua
  • March 9: 2-3, Woodcrest Commons, Henrietta
  • March 23: 2-3, Ferris Hills, Canandaigua

Reminder: Participation at all FOG Gigs is limited to current FOG members!!

You must sign up in the “FOG Gig Book” and attend at least one jam / rehearsal to perform at a FOG gig.

fiddlelgoAbout FOG

“Fiddlers of the Genesee” (FOG) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing together people for the purpose of stimulating, preserving and promoting the tradition of “Old-Time Fiddling” in the Genesee River area of New York State and to play a variety of Fiddle Music with emphasis on the following:

      1. Musical participation
      1. Encouragement of musical development
      1. Non-competitive fellowship
      1. Acoustic instrumentation
      1. Education of members and the public about old-time fiddling

For more information call the “Fiddle Fone” (585) 234-3582; write to us at P.O. Box 631, Fairport, NY 14450-0631; or visit our website at:


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