Contributed by Tom Bailey
Welcome all FOGgers to the October Fiddletter. It has been a busy spring and summer. And it’s not letting up for another month. Some folks have asked why we have accepted all the gig requests. For the last several years FOG has had few paying gigs and that really affected the coffers. Unfortunately, the large majority of FOG’s income is generated by paying gigs. We have been going through the treasury holding workshops, supporting other events like the Fiddlers’ Fair, paying for our jam meeting locations when we don’t have enough donations, etc. But the board wants to continue to provide the activities for the members. By taking on the paying gigs we do help rebuild our funds for future activities. To that end, the board thanks all the members who have come out and played at the gigs making them successful.
We are down to two more paying gigs. The next one is Ferris Hills where we have been asked back by popular demand. We are scheduled to play there on Saturday the 6th of October at 2:00 in the afternoon – in the dining room this time as they are a expecting a big turnout. The last paying gig we have is Bristol Valley Theatre on Sunday the 21st of October at 2:00. We found out last week, and I visited the Theatre on the way back from Elmira today to confirm, the set from this summer’s production is still up and we now have about half of the normal stage area really limiting the number of folks who can play the gig. More on this later.
With the help of Ron Perry and Greg, FOG will be holding a special workshop for mandolins to learn how to play those strong mando rhythm “chops”. We also will have some time for guitars by reviewing what Greg put together for the rhythm section a couple months ago. We hope to have this together in the next couple of weeks. There will be an e-blast going out, hopefully next week.
Last year was the first time for FOG to play at Pioneer Day at one of the schools in Brockport. Pat is the one who set this up last year and has again this year. It is a lot of fun playing for kids and seeing the joy and excitement on their faces. This year it will be during the day on 26th October at the Fred Hill School. Last year there was one group that played the morning sessions and another for the afternoon. We would like to do the same again – who knows, there may be one student that really wants to get involved with this music. Sharing the old time fiddle music is one of the elements in our Mission statement.
The annual FOG fall party will be on 11 November at the Lodge at Ellison Park – same as last year. A flyer for the event is included in this newsletter – start planning now! This is a great way to celebrate the friendships we have in FOG.
A couple months ago I mentioned an article by a neurosurgeon who presented nine steps for good practicing an instrument. I have been trying his program and it does work. I came across another article tying the playing of musical instruments to a book by Norman Vincent Peale that I am sure everyone has seen – The Power of Positive Thinking. Ah –how does that affect our playing? Who says, or thinks, oops when they make a perceived mistake? “The word oops, especially when verbalized, is negative energy that detracts from righting the ship and getting on with the song.” The shaking the head from side to side motion detracts from the muscle movements needed to play. Instead, when making a mistake, shake your head up and down and think “I can move on and play this tune”. The author goes on to say that EVERY pro makes mistakes in their performances but they keep on going and the time spent with the “mistake” is so momentary it is unnoticed by the audience. Another problem when we think we make a mistake is we tense up trying to really “get it.” The muscles in the hands and arms are the first to tighten and those are the ones we need the most to play our music. We have to think RELAX when we are practicing or playing with each other. We are harder judging ourselves then others are, so we just need to relax and enjoy the great music we share!
THINK POSITIVE and Play Nice…
September Gigs Photo / Audio Gallery
Contributed by Kathy Schwar and Pat Fink
Below are audio clips of the Legacy at Grande’Vie Performance. Click on the captions to hear us play!