SEPTEMBER 2019 FIDDLETTER
Contributed by Tom Bailey
It is so hard to believe that a month ago we were welcoming summer and now September is here. August was a good month for FOG. The Genesee Country Village Museum’s Fiddlers Fair on August 17 & 18 was very rewarding, in spite of torrential rain that showed up just as things were starting off right on schedule. As always, the jam tent was active and well attended each day, starting before 11:00 and going past 4:00. Thanks to the folks that kept it going all weekend as it is one of the highlights of the event. As always, the sound system in the Exhibition Barn was superb; Bruce always makes everyone sound fantastic whether a duet or a big group, like FOG. FOG sounded great both days; 19 folks played on Saturday and 14 played on Sunday. Thanks to everyone who helped entertain the audiences. And even more thanks to those who helped at the information/sales table. Attendance was down due to rainy weather but there was still a lot of activity at the table. Please make sure you look at the FOG website, as Mike has posted a great photo-spread from the weekend.
Every year FOG has the opportunity to entertain the veterans at the Canandaigua VA Hospital. Did you know it is also a pizza party for the veterans and FOG members? For many this is the highlight of the year, having the opportunity to give back to the veterans who have given so much for us. This year it is on September 5th. The pizza starts at 5:00 and the music will start at 5:30. A map to the location of parking and playing is on the website.
FOG is proud to be one of the sponsors for the Turtle Hill Festival held by Golden Link, September 6-8, which is this coming weekend. FOG members can get in for the same cost Golden Link members during the day Saturday and Sunday and the concerts Friday and Saturday nights. Workshops are being presented by the some of the concert musicians, including Jay Ungar and Molly Mason. The schedule includes several fiddle workshops, mandolin, songwriting, making tunes your own and even two banjo workshops! A complete schedule is posted on the Golden Link website.
The other major activity of September is Palmyra Canaltown Days. This year FOG will open up the activities on Sunday, September 15, at noon in the Town gazebo. For those who have been there before you know about the craft and food vendors. For those who haven’t played there before … well, there are food vendors and craft booths! And the food is good. It is a fun day and the audiences are always very appreciative.
Is there anyone out in member land who wants to help out by volunteering for FOG? We really need someone who likes money, as in counting it. We need a person interested in being treasurer. Greg has let us know that he will not be able to continue as treasurer. He has done a great job simplifying the work of the treasurer by revising the records and reports. On the other side, we get to welcome Teresa Gianni as the new FOG Membership Coordinator. Thank you, Teresa, for giving your time to help keeping FOG going strong. Here’s to a fun September!
Until next time, Play Nice!
Canandaigua VA Gig Info
Contributed by Mike Deniz
The information below is from the gentleman at the VA coordinating the gig on September 5. We are short players, so please email Tom Bailey at Banjobailey2@gmail.com to let him know if you can attend.
The overhead door at Building #5 should be open for big equipment fiddlers may have, so they can drive through to the pavilion. Others can park in Building #7 and walk through to the courtyard.
4:00 VFW arrive, set up food & tables in Pavilion
4:30 Start Transporting the residents
5:00 Pizza arrives & start to serve and Fiddlers of the Genesee arrive, set up
5:30 “Fiddlers of the Genesee” play until 6:30. Here’s the Canandaigua VA Set List , which was updated August 23rd.
7:00 Take residents back to unit and clean- up
A Soggy but Spirited Fiddlers Fair
Contributed by Tom Bailey
What a weekend at the Genesee Country Village and Museum’s Fiddlers Fair held this past Saturday and Sunday. That had to be the worst weather I can remember for this event, as most folks were soaked by continuous rain on Saturday. But the musicians’ and the audience’s spirits were not dampened, judging by the ongoing activities. The jam tent
kept going through the thunder and lighting and the entertainment on the Barn stage was, as usual, superb and well-received by the audience. Folks even made the long walk over to the church in heavy rain to see some really good musicians offering up true old-time entertainment, just like folks would have done decades ago.
Sunday dawned with more rain. But by the time activities got going, all the workers were ready, musicians were ready and the audiences were filling the venues. GCVM did a good job of lining up music groups but – at the risk of being biased — FOG presented the best entertainment of the day, leaving the audience yelling for an encore. Great job! And a big thank you for the hard work. An even bigger thank you to the volunteers who kept the jam tent going in not the best conditions, and those who kept the sales and information table going both days. That really does make a big difference to the audience. The weather kept the attendance down on Saturday, so sales were not that good, but sharing music with the audience makes it all worthwhile. Sunday was much better as the Barn was full again.
What the planning and hard work is all about was summed up by an older gentleman who came up to me as soon as I got off the stage: “I am from Amherst and I want to tell you, the music I just heard made this trip worthwhile! You all brought JOY to all the folks here, and we could tell the group was having so much fun playing for us”.
What more can one say, isn’t that the reason for what we do?
Northern Neighbors are GCVM and FOG Fans
Contributed by Tom Bailey
Below are excerpts from a Fiddle and Square Dance newsletter sent by Ralph Price of Ontario, Canada. Ralph and his wife, Sandy, had a great time at the recent GCVM Fiddle Fair and clearly enjoyed their time with FOG.
The highlight of the Summer for Sandy and me was attending the Genesee Country Village Fiddlers Fair. We had been in touch with the organizing people at the Village before we went and arranged for Sandy to do a 30-minute performance of Canadian fiddle tunes on Sunday afternoon in the Exhibition Barn. The organizers had put Sandy in touch with the Fiddlers of the Genesee (FOG), a local fiddle club with about 100 members. Tom Bailey on guitar and Fred Viera on stand-up bass agreed to back her up. I acted as the MC and told the audience the tune names and who had written them. It went very well! Thanks Tom and Fred.
We spent a fair bit of time talking and jamming with the FOG members, who are really nice people. When FOG was performing in the Exhibition Barn, we made it a point to be there and when they played danceable music, we danced! Nobody else did, but who cares we were the crazy Canadians there for a fun weekend.
On Sunday, Bill Gregg gave a fiddle workshop. We only got to part of it because it overlapped with a FOG performance. Gregg provided an excellent handout sheet on Rhythm, Tone and Heart. Bill gave me permission to include the handout in the bulletin and all you fiddlers take a look at it. There is some good stuff there. Thank you, Bill.
Also on Sunday, I got to call a square dance at the Main Stage. Apparently, most of the callers in that area do singing calls, so I had to instruct everyone on my dance which was a patter call. The dancers had fun and I had fun. That’s what it’s all about.
Sandy and I were impressed with how well the weekend was organized by the Country Village staff and the contribution FOG made to the weekend. Thank you and well done folks. All being well, the Fiddlers Fair will be on our calendar for 2020.
Susan Cady-White, Editor
I agree with Tom: summer has flown by! With June being as cool and rainy as it was, it feels like we were just getting started and now it’s come to an end. That back-to-school smell is in the air! I live in Groveland and the neighboring town of Geneseo undergoes a big transformation each year at this time. The arrival of the college students greatly increases the area population, greatly reduces the number of available parking spaces, alters the shopper demographic and products offered at Wegmans, and in general infuses the area with the great energy youth brings.
How about Irene selling all those fiddles at the Fiddlers Fair? I thought of maybe buying one of the fiddles, as I am interested in adding a fiddle to keep cross-tuned. I haven’t played in cross-tuning yet, but it’s interests me.
Thanks to Tom for providing so much of this month’s Fiddletter content! It’s greatly appreciated. I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend. See you in October!