November 2020 Fiddletter

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President’s Remarks 

by Tom Bailey 

Well, we made it to November and based on the colors all over the ground, we are well into fall. In the passage of time, we have gone through nine months of a lifestyle for which no one was prepared. For many, getting together to play music has added a bit of sanity to our existence. But with the season’s change, the comfortable outdoor days are going away with the leaves, so we now need other diversions. We must thank B.J. for her Thinking of You emails: all lighthearted, funny notes that I  have enjoyed passing on to other musicians.

As we are all somewhat limited in getting out to play with others, I have heard from many folks turning to online workshops, pre-recorded YouTube lessons, or some even taking private lessons online. All say they have enjoyed the escape, as well as growing through the musical challenges. Some have taken to learning new tunes and some have found help playing new arrangements to tunes they already knew, improving the accuracy of how they had been playing and also learning new harmonies. Seems as though having these interludes once or twice a week gives folks something musically specific to look forward to. Many of these lessons, especially on YouTube, are free, which makes it even better.

Last month we talked about holding smaller, indoor,  jam sessions in various locations as a response to cooler, darker, days. But we soon realized that would significantly limit member participation. An alternative approach the Board is considering is a hybrid Zoom jam. Small groups safely gathered at members’ homes, individuals in their own homes, and possibly one larger group at the Legion, would connect on Zoom. One location will be the main point for the jam, the Zoom host. Other locations, as well as any member joining from their own home, would receive the Zoom log-in link well before the jam and would sign in at a set time. Any FOG member could participate. The host location would start the first tune, and everyone could  play along with their mics muted. If you happen to be with others in a small group, you would be playing along together. Anyone signed in plays along but just the host group would be heard initially. Then the next group starts a tune with everyone else muted. And then the next, like going around the circle. Anyone logged into the online jam could start a tune. But the best part is, if you are by yourself, you can play harmonies or anything you want and nobody else can hear you. This would present the first opportunity ever for the “home” players to comfortably participate in a FOG jam. What a milestone!

The Board has invested in an upgraded Zoom license. Now we just need someone who understands the ins and outs of the program, a Zoom Coordinator. If you are out there, we need your help!

Elsewhere in this newsletter a slate of officers has been proposed. Please feel free to nominate anyone you would like to have on the Board, including yourself, then we can start our own campaigns! Voting will take place in December at the annual meeting.  To be decided yet is whether the meeting will be held via Zoom or whether reports will be included in the December newsletter, with voting taking place via online survey. Watch your email for updates.

Some of you had the opportunity to play in small groups at Genesee Country Village & Museum at the beginning of August. The activities director mentioned at that time that they wanted to hold a Yuletide Open House and asked if FOG was interested. GCV&M wants FOG, in small groups, to play on the first three weekends in December, both Saturdays and Sundays. There would be three 45-minute sessions on Saturdays and two on Sundays, in the Church and the Town Hall. Groups are limited to 4 musicians, since we will be entertaining indoors. How many of you want to form small groups for the 5th & 6th , 12th & 13th, and 19th & 20th ? Altogether there will be 30 sessions, so groups can play as many days as they want and as many sessions, on Saturday or on Sunday, or both. And an even more unique idea, which really lends itself to this music, is to have some duets! We need to let GCV&M know by November 14 as they will start advertising Fiddlers of the Genesee “back by popular demand”. It has been a slow year for paying gigs, so GCV&M will be giving FOG a stipend for helping out. We had a lot of fun in August and the visitors really enjoyed it, so let’s get some folks together once more. The only catch is they want tunes from the late 1800’s. They sent us a list of tunes known by many: Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Deck the Halls, I Saw Three Ships, Ding Dong Merrily on High, Jingle Bells, O Christmas Tree, Jolly Old St, Nicholas, and 30-plus others. We need you hammered dulcimers and mountain dulcimers on these tunes!

There were several other things to bring up, but I will be called out for being too wordy already, so please: Stay Warm, Stay Healthy, Stay Safe and play some music!

Until next time … Play nice!

Slate of Candidates for 2021

Contributed by Jane Reetz, Secretary

Various members of the Fiddlers of the Genesee Board of Directors of 2020 have identified the following people who have stepped forward to serve on the 2021 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:

President: Tom Bailey

Vice President: Kathy Schwar

Treasurer: Bill Kraft

Secretary: Jane Reetz

Director-at-Large #1 (2021/22): B.J. Cunningham

Director-at-Large #2 (2021/22): Pat Fink

Director-at-Large #3 (2021/22): Tom Hollar

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 2021. They are Elaine Chandler and Greg Roat.

If any 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.

Click here  for a printable PDF of Board of Director and non-board positions and duties.

Thinking of You

Contributed by B.J. Cunningham

Know that I continue to think about you and all the music that we have shared over the years, and that I  miss it and you.  I’m not sure that when I started sending these messages I imagined an end date but, as we finish a seventh month, I am sometimes surprised that we are still impacted by the pandemic.  As the cases rise across the country, we need to remain careful.  Do your best to stay well and healthy. -B.J.

🎻 Me: please bring me a screwdriver.  Wife: Flat head, Phillips, or Vodka.  And that’s when I knew she was the one.

🎻 Husband and I went grocery shopping with masks, got home, and took off masks.  Brought home wrong husband!  Stay alert people!

🎻 I don’t think anyone expected that when we changed the clocks earlier this year, we’d go from standard time to the twilight zone.

🎻 Do you know that awesome feeling when you get into bed, fall right asleep, stay asleep all night and wake up feeling rested and ready to take on the day?  Me neither.

🎻 You said everything would be back to normal after June.  JULYED!

🎻 I never called you stupid, but when I asked you to spell “orange” and you asked me the color or the fruit, it kinda caught me off guard.

🎻 I was thinking about old age and decided that old age is when you still have something on the ball, but you are just too tired to bounce it.

🎻 Employment application blanks always ask who is to be called in case of an emergency. I think you should write, “An ambulance.”

🎻 The older you get the tougher it is to lose weight because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.

🎻 The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

🎻 Have you ever noticed: The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are XL.

🎻 The sole purpose of a child’s middle name is so he knows when he’s really in trouble.

🎻 Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

🎻 Some people try to turn back their “odometers.” Not me. I want people to know why I look this way.

🎻 I’ve traveled a long way and a lot of the roads were not paved.

🎻 Ah, being young is beautiful but being old is comfortable.

🎻 Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

🎻 May you always have: Love to share, Cash to spare, Tires with air, and friends who care.

November Jam Sessions

All Friday night jam sessions for November have been cancelled. The Board is working on the logistics for holding Zoom jam sessions. Watch your email and the monthly Fiddletter for further details. For the latest schedule changes, please see the Jam Sessions  page on the FOG website.

November Gig Schedule


All gigs for November have been cancelled. Small groups are being formed to play weekends in December at Genesee Country Village & Museum. Please contact President Tom Bailey if you are interested.


For the latest schedule changes and maps to gig locations, please see the Event Calendar on the FOG website.


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