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Fiddle Day, September 2009

On Saturday, September 12, 2009, MD/DC Chapter, supported by the Music Department of Anne Arundel Community College, presented its first “Fiddle Day.” In 2008, this topic was voted one of the top three activities desired by chapter members. Jaque Lyman and Kimberly McCollum organized the event, which was held at the AACC Cade Fine Arts Building, in Arnold, Maryland.

A perfect mix of students, classroom teachers, and private teachers attended.

After coffee, tea, and introductions in the morning, guest clinician Ellen Jacobs presented her workshop, which included fiddle demonstrations by two high school students. Ellen explained how she incorporates fiddle music into her private studio, and demonstrated some of the scale patterns and ornaments used in Irish fiddle music. All the attendees had a chance to play a sampling of fiddle music from her handouts.

Following this, our second guest clinician Andrea Hoag led everyone through the process of learning a completely unfamiliar Swedish fiddle tune. This was all done completely by rote. First she told everyone to put down their instruments, and she hummed the tune repeatedly, asking us to join in whenever we sort of knew how it went. Then as the music gradually grew more and more familiar to us, we picked up our bows and air-bowed along with our humming. Then everyone added their own violins, and we continued to progress with learning the tune, eventually incorporating a few ornaments and harmony parts.

Lunch was included in the workshop cost. Everyone had a chance to get to know each other a little better.

An informal concert followed lunch. Adam Bern, one of the high school students, gave a brief talk about different types of fiddle music, and played some examples, all polished to perfection, and with completely convincing style.

Adam Bern















The final portion of the workshop was another lecture/recital given by Andrea Hoag, who took us on a musical tour of several regions of Sweden, playing tunes typical of that region. She even ventured across the Atlantic for a brief visit to North America and we heard a few examples from Canada and Appalachia.

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