July 2018 Fiddletter

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fireworksPresident’s Remarks

Contributed by Tom Bailey

For those of you waiting for “Summer” – it’s here! If you are lucky enough to have a pool, I am sure you are enjoying it. The rest of us… it’s a chance to see if our AC is in working order…

A big thank you to those who came out and participated in the Make Music Day on June 21st. The setting under the trees was one of the nicest places I have played. Besides FOG, there were representatives from Golden Link, Mountain Dulcimer folks, some bluegrassers, a flutist and a good number of listeners. Dave Chandler even talked one of the listeners into singing with the group. Your music touched a lot of folks – that is what the day was about – bringing folks together through music.

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With the warmth comes the “paying” gig season. So this is a call for all you FOGgers out there – we need your help. We have the first paying gig on the 14th of July at the Macedon Library at 2:00. That means they are paying us to be there and we need YOU to join in to help FOG raise the roof. See the gig list for dates for Grand Vie, Palmyra Canaltown Days and Ferris Hills. But before those gigs comes the Fiddlers’ Fair in August – the 19th and 20th. I know everyone is really busy this time of year, but if you are in town, PLEASE try to come out and support FOG. It is FOG’s opportunity to share the fiddle music with others.

We have mentioned/asked folks to report on attending one of the many events that occur this time of year. Well – thank you to Bill and Loretta Kenyon for the article included in this issue of the Fiddletter. They attended one of the largest, best known, music camps in the Country and it sounds like they came away with a great experience. Steve Kaufman presents several week long camps during the summer covering whatever genre of music you are pursuing. Has anyone been to a concert at the Jazz Fest or at one of the local festivals? To me it is always interesting to really see how the performers entertain – how they develop the relationship with the audience. There is an art to it. Maybe that’s why they are called artists?

The Board is making some headway in organizing a list of music teachers as a reference for all members. We are looking for names of folks who teach fiddle or mandolin or guitar or bass, or, …………… the banjo? Pass the names and contact info along with the instrument they teach to any board member. It is interesting to find out how many members teach many different instruments at different levels. We would like to provide the first list in the August Fiddletter.

Maybe on one of these hot evenings you can give out a shout to other FOGgers and get together to play some of the new music that the music committee has offered up. There are some really great tunes!….don’t forget – Play Nice

FOG Tune Lyrics: Lanigan’s Ball

Contributed by Ray Ettington & Mike Deniz

music notes

The lyrics are about a party thrown by a hard working young man, Jeremy Lanigan, who has inherited a “farm and ten acres of ground” on the death of his father. The events occur in Athy, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Jeremy decides to have the party for friends and relations who supported and helped him out when he didn’t have any resources: “friends and relations Who didn’t forget him when come to the wall”.

The lyrics of the song describe the people who attended the party and the food and drink that was available. In the chorus of the song, the narrator describes his time spent at “Brooks Academy” in Dublin learning to dance in preparation for the ball: (1)

In the town of Athy one Jeremy Lanigan
Battered away ’til he hadn’t a pound.
His father he died and made him a man again
Left him a farm and ten acres of ground.
He threw a grand party to friends and relations
Who didn’t desert him when it comes to the will,
And if you’ll but listen I’ll make your eyes glisten
And spin you a tale of Lanigan’s Ball

Lanigans Ball 1(CHORUS)
Six whole months I spent in Dublin,
Six whole months doing nothing at all
Six whole months I spent in Dublin,
Learning to dance for Lanigan’s ball
I stepped out and he stepped in again
He stepped out and I stepped in again
I stepped out and he stepped in again
Learning to dance to Lanigan’s ball

Myself to be sure got free invitation,
For all the nice girls and boys I might ask,
And just in a minute both friends and relations
Were dancing as merry as bees ’round a cask.
There were lashings of punch and wine for the ladies,
Potatoes and cakes; there was bacon and tea,
There were the Nolans, Dolans, O’Gradys
Courting the girls and dancing away

They were doing all kinds of nonsensical polkas
Around the room in a whirligig
But Julia and I, we banished their nonsense
And gave them a taste of a real Irish jig.
Oh, how the girls got all mad at me
Danced ’til we thought that the ceiling would fall.
For I spent three weeks at Brooks’ Academy
Learning new steps for Lanigan’s Ball.

(1) Wikipedia contributors, ‘Lanigan’s Ball’, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 23 May 2018, 09:13 UTC

A Week at Band Camp

Contributed by Bill Kenyon


For those of you who may remember the movie, a week at the Steve Kaufman Acoustic Kamp is not at all like that Band Camp in the movie.  There are actually 2 camps, an old time camp and a bluegrass camp.  The 5 day camps are held at Maryville College in Maryville Tennessee.  Maryville, Tennessee is about 15-20 miles south of Knoxville.  The college was originally chartered in 1819.  The campus is stunningly beautiful with old vine covered brick buildings and stately trees.

We arrived for orientation on Sunday evening.  Orientation is primarily for those who stay on campus in the dorms.  Instruction is available for most acoustic instruments, fiddle, guitar (flatpick, rhythm and fingerpickin’), mandolin, dulcimer (both lap and hammer), banjo, uke, double bass, dobro, singing and songwriting.  Students are divided into groups of 3-10 people, hopefully each person will have about the same experience and skill level.   There were 4 groups of 8 or so in the guitar flatpickin’ group that I was in and 3 groups of 3-5 old time fiddlers that Lauretta was in.  Last year the mandolin group had about 10 in my group. Kampers range in age from teenagers to folks in their seventies.

A typical day is:  breakfast at the college cafeteria at 8 AM, a tune of the day or early morning jam from 9-10 AM, class room  with a very skilled faculty member from 10-12, lunch from 12-1 PM, another jam from 1 to 2 PM, class again until 4 PM, master’s class at 4, another jam at 5. The master’s class is great, 8 people sign up for 5 minutes or so and each gets to ask the faculty member for help on a particular problem, double stops, using minor thirds to change mood, lots of interesting things.  Although each student gets to ask only one question (sort of) each question usually relates in some way to your own playing and the master’s reply is helpful even though it was not your question.  Break for dinner until 7:30, then open mic, then a few of the faculty members play on stage until 10-ish.  If you’re still up for it, another jam.  The same schedule is repeated for all five days of the camp.  Campers are also given the chance to get together with other campers to form a little band, work up a few tunes and then perform on stage.  Everywhere you go you can get in a jam. The week is very full and can be exhausting.   Also lots of stuff for “Kompanions” to do.  A Kompanion is that person traveling with the camper but not taking part in the music instructional activities.

There are several vendors that visit the campus.  I spent part of one afternoon between classes playing several guitars and mandolins and had a real good time jammin’ with the young lady working the booth.

The faculty members use a variety of teaching styles, from:  listen to me and then repeat; to let’s play the tab or the sheet music, here are some ways to fill in the spaces in a simple tune; to here are some really good ideas for learning how to get better, faster, with better tone etc.;  to tips on harmonizing or tips on learning to play by ear.  In the 2 years that Lauretta and I attended the Kaufman Kamp, I played with Alan Bibey, Roland White, Emory Lester, Steve Kilby, Steve Kaufman,  Don Stiernberg, John Reischman, Robin Kessinger, Josh Goforth and others.  Lauretta has played with Erynn Marshall, Finn Magill, Annie Staninec and others.  We have seen Ned Luberecki, Jerry Salley, Annie Savage, Becky Buller and many more.  They even have a luthier on campus ready, willing and able to make minor repairs and adjustments.

Just as in the FOG jams, the noodlers drove both of us nuts.  You’re trying to hear the instructor and some fool is either trying to show off or is playing something that was discussed 30 minutes ago.  The instructors actually give out little stick on chits indicating a compulsive noodler.  One lady at lunch had about 4.  Shame.

Certainly, you cannot master it all during that one week.  However, I have enough “stuff” to keep me going for the next several months.  The Kaufman Kamp is a great opportunity to really dive deeply into your instrument, play with some really great  professional folks, meet interesting people from all over the world, learn new things,  and get tips on learning and playing.  There are several of these week long camps all over the country.  One of Lauretta’s instructors told her that the Kaufman Kamp is one of the very best.  Great instructors, well organized.  We really had a great time and are anxious to go back.


In Memoriam(1)Calla_Lily_Transparent_PNG_Clip_Art_Image

Dr. Hyman M. Freedman, “Hy”, age 99, passed away on May 27, 2018 at the Rose Schnitzer Manor Assisted Living Facility in Portland, Oregon, where he resided for the last eight years, where he enjoyed an active and fulfilling life, and where he received excellent care when he was terminally ill.

A memorial service will be held in Portland on September 14, which would have been Hy’s 100th birthday.

Memorial contributions may be made to Begin Again Horse Rescue, P.O. Box 28, Honeoye, NY 14471.

Hy resided in Canandaigua from 1990 to 2008. While Hy lived in Canandaigua, he enjoyed sailing on Canandaigua Lake and was a proud member of The Precious Few, The Fiddlers of the Genesee, the Fort Hill String Band, and the Finger Lakes Symphony Orchestra. Hy was a member of Temple Beth-El in Geneva.

Hy was a  World War II veteran. He retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel. A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Hy was a dentist in Sharon, Massachusetts for several decades. He enjoyed the 18 years he lived in Canandaigua. He cherished the friendships he established during his Canandaigua years.

He is survived by his children Joel Freedman, Dr. Sheira Freedman, Jonathan Freedman and Charles Freedman; and by several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Adeline; by his daughter, Ellen Margolis; and by four siblings.

Condolences, which will be shared with other family members, can be sent to Joel Freedman, 329 N. Main St., Canandaigua, NY 14424. No flowers or plants, please.

(1) From www.legacy.com/obituaries

2018 Officers

BOD President: Tom Bailey
Vice-President: Kathy Schwar
Secretary: Jane Reetz
Treasurer: Greg Roat
Elaine Chandler
Mike Deniz
Ray Ettington
Pat Fink
Diana GreenNewsletter Editor: Mike Deniz (temp)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 – Rte 31F
(also known as the Macedon Ctr. Rd.)
  • July 13
  • July 20
  • July 27

Penfield American Legion Hall
1797 Old Penfield Road

  • July 6

musician-clipart-92018 Gig Schedule

  • July 14, Macedon Library, 2pm

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
      2. Encouragement of musical development
      3. Non-competitive fellowship
      4. Acoustic instrumentation
      5. 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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