Contributed by Tom Bailey
Greetings FOGgers! I don’t know about you, but for me it is a welcome change to be driving to work with the sun rising. Feels like the start of a new day, although more days have been cloudy than sunny! Thanks to all who came to our “business meeting” on April 5th. Mike Deniz did a great job of presenting the new website. The site is easy to use and includes everything the Board asked Mike to cover. Mike sent the link to all members; have you looked at it yet? Very few comments have been received but the Board does want your input before we go “live” with this website. Barring additional input from the membership, the new site will become the official FOG website around the end of May. Maybe we should have a party for taking down the old website?
If you’ve read the past couple Fiddleletters you know we have the FOG Spring Picnic coming up May 5th at the Ellison Park Pavilion Lodge, located in the northwest corner of the park. The information is in this edition of the Fiddleletter as well. I hope you can join us, as there will plenty of food, music and camaraderie beginning at 2:00. We don’t have to be out until 8:00, if anyone is so inclined to stay until closing. Great weather is forecasted, so we can play on the patio.
Please see the latest listing of upcoming events. These have been discussed in this column before, with the exception of the June 27 event. On June 27th Bernunzio’s Uptown Music is sponsoring a 2-hour cruise on the Erie Canal aboard the Colonial Belle, sailing out of Fairport. This has been a bluegrass cruise in the past but we are adding fiddle music to the cruise this year. We will probably have the fiddles on the upper deck and the bluegrass folks in the cabin. Nothing to say we can’t intermix, since a lot of the music at bluegrass jams is fiddle music. Maybe you would like to play some bluegrass? Please pass the word to everyone you know. Usually about half the people on the cruise don’t play the music, they just like to listen and watch the wildlife (including other folks) on the banks as we go gliding by. In the past we have boarded around 5:30 for a departing time around 6:00. We will have more info in an email blast around mid-May.
Many of you have been asking about the set lists for this summer. There will actually be two: one for Saturday and one for Sunday at Mumford. During the course of playing our summer gigs we will add several tunes to either list to make up a 1 hour set list. Mumford is roughly 40 minutes playing time each day. The set lists will be handed out this Friday at the jam session. There will be a short discussion to review the lists and get your input. After that the set lists will be emailed out to all members. Come see the different tunes on this year’s list.
Don’t forget that FOG is holding a series of workshops that will be taught by Michelle Younger. Originally it consisted of 3 workshops, each building on the previous one. They were:
- May 18 – Clawhammer Banjo (beginner/intermediate)
- June 8 – How to make a tune your own: Introduction to variation and improvisation in old-time music (all levels, all instruments)
- June 22 – Playing with other people and learning tunes on the fly (all levels, all instruments)
We have added a fourth one, a Mandolin Workshop with none other than Ron Perry. It will be held on Wednesday May 29th. The Saturday workshops will start at 2:00 pm and will cost $5 for members and $12 for non-members. There will be a big discount for attending two workshops and an even larger one for attending all three Saturday workshops. There will be no charge for the Wednesday evening Mandolin workshop, which will start at 6:30. An email will be sent with details on the workshops, which will be held in a storefront at Bay Towne Plaza.
Hope to see you at the picnic!
FOG Tune of the Month: Lonesome Moonlight Waltz
Contributed by Deb Abell
Susan Cady-White, editor
At this time last year I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of May 1, the opening of online registration for FiddleStar Adult Beginner Fiddle Camp, which I had I learned of while reading Strings magazine. The camp is held at the Ridgetop, Tennessee home of Megan and Adam Chowning. With a maximum of 15 students and the ability to lodge on site in one of two bunk rooms, the camp sounded perfect for me and I was thrilled to land a spot on the roster. Camp was held in September and my husband and I decided to hit Nashville together for a few days before I went off to camp. On our first morning, we walked to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. When we arrived at the Hall, bluegrass musicians – including an amazing fiddle player – were jamming on an elevated deck. When we asked how we could get closer to them, it was explained that the players on the deck were rehearsing and we could see them and others inside, because the second and final day of the Grand Masters Fiddle Championship was taking place in the auditorium. We walked inside, past a very long line of sweaty tourists waiting to buy tickets to the museum, and into the cool – and free — auditorium to have a listen. And stayed all day, right to the champion-announcing end. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning and still can’t believe our luck in stumbling upon the event. Missouri’s Trustin Baker was the champ.
After three fun days in Nashville it was time for camp. I had registered as a lodging-on-site camper, but over the summer the notion of bunking in a room with five strangers and sharing one bathroom with up to 14 others lost its charm. I booked an Airbnb 20 minutes from camp, a scenic commute that provided a welcome respite at the end of the day when my fingers were sore and my brain was full. Eleven students registered for camp. Several of us fell into the 3-5 year playing range, but most had played less than a year, including the guy who bought a fiddle the week before so he could come to the camp with a buddy, all the way from Alaska. That’s brave!
Eleven campers were split into three groups, each group composed of students with a range of playing experience as well as one or two instructors. For two full days we worked within our small groups, as well as during workshops with everyone, on tunes our groups would play during a recording session Sunday morning. The recording session was the real deal: Chownings have a state of the art recording studio in their home. A recording engineer came in Sunday morning to record our performances, and then digitally tweaked the outcome to make us sound the best we could. We were all nervous prior to the recording session, which turned out to be tons of fun and left us all with a sense of achievement as we incorporated all we’d learned about bowing, intonation, rhythm, bass notes, arpeggios, chops, group dynamics and more.
The highlight of camp time was Saturday night’s jam session. About 20 musicians — the guy who had played his fiddle for two days, professional musicians who record and tour with big names, and everyone in between – gathered in the living room and jammed. Fiddles, guitars and mandolins; a magical time that went on for hours. Adult Beginner Fiddle camp was hard work and a lot of fun. I met the most warm and wonderful people. Some of us have stayed in touch and plan to attend future camps together. Campers eat well too! Adam’s parents, Miss Lela and Mr. Randy, fed us in true southern style each day, as well as being present to offer southern hospitality and support. In addition to fiddle camps, Megan and Adam host a number of camps for guitar, mandolin, dobro and banjo. Learn more about camp offerings at Nashville Acoustic Camps.
|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 Ettington
Membership Coordinator: Mike Deniz
Newsletter 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
Surf the World Wide Web!
Visit the FOG website at www.fiddlersofthegenesee.org
Yes! “Snail mail” still works reliably! It’s just a little slower than the internet….
Fiddlers of the Genesee
Friday Night Jams (7-9 pm)
Perinton-Fairport VFW Hall, 300 Macedon Center Rd., 14450
May 3, 17, 24, 31
Penfield American Legion, 1707 Old Penfield Rd.
2019 Gig Schedule
No gigs scheduled for May.
June 15, Macedon Public Library
June 17, Fairport Canal Cruise
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.
“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:
- Musical participation
- Encouragement of musical development
- Non-competitive fellowship
- Acoustic instrumentation
- 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: