November 2019 Fiddletter

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5710735 - violin and vegetables as thanksgiving day decoration

President’s Remarks

Contributed by Tom Bailey

Terry Baucom’s bluegrass tune Around the Corner contains some great and very fitting lyrics: “You never know what’s waiting ‘round the corner.”  Please take a few minutes to listen to it on YouTube. It seems like that should have been FOG’s theme song for this

FOG Large Group BVT
FOG members entertained at Bristol Valley Theater on October 13.

year. I have decided it will be mine! How many times did we have things planned out (set lists, gigs, meetings) and then something happened that wasn’t expected? The good thing is we made it through all the trials and tribulations very well.  On behalf of the Board, I want to thank you all for supporting FOG and what it stands for.

We’ve made it through the gigs for the year, and I think everyone who was at the Bristol  Valley Theater gig would consider it to be one of the best FOG performances in memory. There was great response from the audience, which Mike has included on the website. Now it’s time to enjoy autumn and the upcoming holiday season. What if we start a new tradition for FOG and have a holiday music jam? That has been a big no-no in the past, but we seem to have broken several of those unwritten rules this year, so …?

The Board is looking at breaking some other standing “rules” that have been followed in the past. One we are looking at is making jams for jamming, instead of spending so much time preparing for gigs. If folks come to a jam expecting to play, but we spend all the time rehearsing for a gig, they are disappointed if they aren’t going to the gig. The Board is still working on the gig preparation details. The set lists, with alternate tunes, for the COPS gigs will be out in early November. So there will be plenty of time to start learning the tunes. The Board is looking at making slow jams a worthwhile time for folks, whether a FOG newcomer or someone who is working on a tune and needs to play it with others, but slowly. Maybe one of the directors could be a slow-jam coordinator? The Board is considering organizational “jobs” for the directors-at-large so the Board can better serve FOG members. Pipe dream? Maybe so, but “you never know what’s waiting ‘round the corner”!

This is the time of year the Board looks for folks to join in the fun activities as others rotate off the present Board. There is a listing in this newsletter for positions where help is needed. What we really need is a fiddler to join the board. When Ray stepped down

Female Fiddler
FOG is seeking additional fiddlers for its membership, for COPS gigs, and to join the Board.

during the year, the Board became fiddler-less. The Board of a fiddle club with no fiddler? Is there not one fiddler who wants to keep the Board from being taken over by mandolins? Is this on the edge of blasphemy? Think about it – please – we need your help.

Also mentioned in this newsletter are two upcoming business meetings. The first is in December, when nominations are taken from the floor in addition to the proposed slate of officers, and then members will vote. There will also be an informational session. The next business meeting will be held in the spring. This will be a financial meeting to inform members of the year-end financial status of FOG, as well as taking care of some audit procedures.

See ya’ at the jams!

Until then … Play Nice!

Notice of 2019 Annual Business Meeting

Slate of Candidates for 2020

Contributed by Jane Reetz, Secretary

The annual business meeting will be held on Friday, December 6th. (Editor’s note: For your review, minutes of the 2018 Annual Meeting follow this notice.)  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 they have.  After addressing all of the agenda items, we will hold this year’s elections for the open posts on the FOG Board of Directors.  A regular fiddle music jam session will begin immediately following the meeting.

Various members of the Fiddlers of the Genesee BOD of 2019 have identified the following people who have stepped forward to serve on the 2020 BOD. We appreciate all who considered accepting positions as well as those who offered to serve in other, non-BOD capacities. The slate of candidates is presented below:

President: Tom Bailey

Vice President: Kathy Schwar

Secretary: Jane Reetz

Treasurer: Bill Kraft

Director-at-Large #1: Elaine Chandler

Director-at-Large #2: Greg Roat

Director-at-Large #3: ?????       (This will be for the remaining one-year term to replace Bill Kraft who will run for the Treasurer position.)

Each of the five Director-at-Large (DAL) serves two-year terms.

The two other DAL positions are currently filled by incumbents who will be serving their second years in 2020. They are B.J. Cunningham and Pat Fink.

If any FOG member would like to still be considered, please contact any BOD member. A Board vacancy may occur during the year and knowing which members have an interest in serving on the board will make it easier to fill such a vacancy quickly. Further, if a member cannot make a one year or two year commitment required of those who sit on the FOG Board of Directors and would like to help out in some other way, they should contact any of the current board members or consider one of the Critical Function Leader positions.

Minutes of 2018 Annual Meeting

Fiddlers of the Genesee

DRAFT       –        Annual Business Meeting Minutes      –        DRAFT


Fairport-Perinton VFW

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 Website/Newsletter/Facebook –

Website (Mike Deniz) – Our current website is outdated.  An updated website 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 would greatly enhance the capabilities available.  Plans are to run the old and new websites simultaneously to eliminate any problems before deleting the old website.  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 website.  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.


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

Respectfully submitted,

Jane Reetz, Secretary


Duties of Club Officers, Directors-at-Large

and Critical Function Leaders for 2020

Club Officers


  • The president shall preside at meetings of the membership.
  • The president shall be the chairman of the board of directors and as such shall preside at meetings of the board, and shall perform such other duties as the board shall from time to time determine.
  • The president shall have general and active management of the corporation, and shall see that orders and resolutions of the board are carried into effect.
  • The president shall execute contracts requiring affixing of the seal of the corporation, except where the signing and execution thereof shall be expressly delegated by the board of directors to some other officer or agent of the corporation.
  • The President shall listen to the opinions and concerns of the membership and bring those viewpoints to the Board meetings.
  • The President’s term is for one year.


  • The vice-president shall, in the absence or disability of the president, perform the duties and exercise the powers of the president, and shall perform such other duties as the board of directors shall prescribe.
  • The Vice-President shall listen to the opinions and concerns of the membership and bring those viewpoints to the Board meetings.
  • The Vice-President’s term is for one year.


  • The secretary shall attend all meetings of the corporation and record all votes and the minutes of all proceedings in a book to be kept for that purpose and shall perform like duties for the standing committees when required.
  • The secretary shall give, or cause to be given, notice of all meetings of the corporation, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the board of directors or president.
  • The secretary shall read the minutes of previous meetings at all formal corporation meetings, process all corporation membership registrations, maintain the list of corporate members, and maintain the list of agents appointed by the board.
  • The Secretary shall listen to the opinions and concerns of the membership and bring those viewpoints to the Board meetings.
  • The Secretary shall maintain a record of FOG policies incorporating any policy changes or additions decided by the board.
  • The Secretary’s term is for one year.


  • The treasurer shall have the custody of the corporate funds and securities and shall keep full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements in books belonging to the corporation and shall deposit all monies and other valuable effects in the name and to the credit of the corporation in such depositories as may be designated by the board of directors.
  • The treasurer shall disburse the funds of the corporation as may be ordered by the board, taking proper vouchers for such disbursements, and shall render to the president and directors, at the regular meetings of the board or whenever they may require it, an account of all his or her transactions as treasurer and of the financial condition of the corporation.
  • The treasurer shall be responsible for the prompt preparation and submission of all financial forms required by governmental agencies.
  • The Treasurer will maintain an official list of FOG assets.
  • The Treasurer will prepare an annual report.
  • The Treasurer’s term is for one year.


  • Listen to the opinions and concerns of the membership and bring those viewpoints to the Board meetings.
  • Serve in one of the positions listed under Critical Function Leaders listed below.
  • Assist any officer, or fill in for an absent officer such as collecting jam donations and obtaining receipt for same.
  • The Director-at-Large term is for two years.

 Critical Function Leaders

In addition to FOG Board Officers and Directors-at-Large (9), many other individuals provide leadership to a number of critical functions and activities that keep the organization productively and efficiently humming along. Some members have volunteered for the positions; their names are listed below. The Critical Function areas are:

Newsletter Editor:  Susan Cady-White

  • Obtain information from members to include in the monthly “Fiddletter”
  • Edit the information and produce the newsletter with the software package
  • Deliver the final document to the Membership Chairman and Communication Coordinator for distribution to the membership

Website Manager:  Mike Deniz

  • Update the Website as needed to include recent events, new tunes, event schedule, newsletter, etc.

 Gig Coordinator:  Tom Bailey

  • Once the date and location of the gig is set, produce a set list for the members
  • Contact the venue for information on audience size, warm-up space, case storage, etc.
  • Publicize the event in the newsletter
  • Have members sign up form for gig
  • Distribute directions to venue to members
  • Communicate with Sound System Coordinator as necessary

Gig Contact:  Denny Brunner and Tom Bailey

  • Contact venues for possible gig sites
  • Coordinate dates, venues and contacts with Board of Directors

Jam Site Procurer:  Kathie Brunner

  • Set up jam locations and update Fiddle Fone recording

Slow Jam Coordinator:

  • Devise new ideas for an established Slow Jam and present to the Board for approval
  • Set up jam leaders
  • Distribute information on Slow-Jam to members through Communication Coordinator (e-blast)
  • Assist in running a jam as necessary
  • The Coordinator can be a general member of FOG; Board membership is not required

Jam Coordinator:

  • Set up jam leaders
  • Ensure info to be distributed to members is available (e.g. new music, set lists, sign-up sheets)
  • Have “visitor” music binder available at jam
  • Assist in running a jam as necessary
  • The Coordinator can be a general member of FOG; Board membership is not required

 Sound System Coordinator:

  • Know available equipment and how to set it up
  • Communicate with Gig Coordinator for gig venues
  • Determine system requirements for gigs based on venue size and number of players
  • Set up system at gig venues – enlist assistance as needed
  • The Coordinator can be a general member of FOG; Board membership is not required

 Membership Coordinator:  Teresa Gianni

  • Receive new or renewal membership information from the Treasurer;
  • Add or update member information in an Excel spreadsheet (roster);
  • Add or update member information in an e-mail distribution list and send to Communication Coordinator
  • Inform the Newsletter Editor of members who do not have e-mail;
  • Send monthly “Fiddletter” and associated files via e-mail to the Communication Coordinator.
  • Send an edited membership roster via e-mail to all members once/year
  • The Coordinator can be a general member of FOG; Board membership is not required

 Communication Coordinator:

  • Send info from the FOG Board to the general membership via e-mail (e-blast).
  • Distribute monthly “Fiddletter” by email (e-blast).
  • The Coordinator can be a general member of FOG; Board membership is not required

 Music Committee:

  • Maintain tunes in FOG repertoire – review for corrective updates
  • Distribute tune revisions as developed by the committee
  • Introduce new tunes on a committee determined basis
  • Distribute new tunes as adopted by the committee
  • Review repertoire at end of year to determine if any tunes should be removed
  • Review FOG “Core Tunes” list to determine if new tunes should be added
  • The Committee can be a general members of FOG; Board membership is not required

Let’s Jam!


November 1, 15, 29 jams will be held at Fairport/ Perinton VFW

November 8, 22 jams will be held at Penfield American Legion

Happy Thanksgiving

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