It’s been a great summer so far (except I can’t believe it is half over)! Our family has already gone to visit my grandmother, aunt and uncles, and cousins in Nova Scotia and we spent a week at a cottage where I did a lot of kayaking. We have also been to Toronto and Niagara to see family and friends. I have really liked my time fishing and have also biked and canoed this summer. And for the last week of the summer, my family is meeting up with my Godfather to have fun at a cottage in the 1000 Islands!
I have also enjoyed playing my fiddle through the last couple of months. I finished my school year performing with both intermediate and senior ensembles and with the orchestra for Canterbury Music Nights. In July, I had fun playing a benefit set for Diabetes Ottawa with Marley and Molly Mullan at the Ottawa Market Irish pub Mother McGinty’s (photo above). A week later I was performing at the Greely Country Music Festival – fiddling crowd favourites Pat’s Country, Tennessee Waltz, and Cajun Fiddle among other traditional and Ottawa Valley tunes.
Still to come this summer: I am very honoured to be playing both classical and traditional fiddle music at a friend’s wedding reception. Later in August I am looking forward to attending the Canadian Grand Masters’ Music Camp. Finally, on Labour Day Weekend, I will be competing at the Pembroke Fiddle Competition.
But, honestly, this summer is going by far too fast – before I must return to my Grade 11 year at Canterbury High School.
Here is a great picture of me with my Grandmother and brother at a family gathering at Shortt’s Lake, Nova Scotia.
Though not as prepared as I have been in past years, I entered the Ottawa Fiddle Competition in Richmond this weekend in the 18-and-under fiddle and twin fiddle categories. I enjoyed myself through the competition and did well to place second in both of my performances. With the twin fiddle, I have Marley Mullan to thank because she convinced me at the very last minute to enter the category. We have been playing a lot together, at school and at performances – so we are familiar with each other’s playing.
Here are some photos – my performance both Saturday and Sunday nights, and Marley and I performing in the twin fiddle finals on Sunday night.
I will now be looking at some other competitions later this summer and, likely, Marley and I will take the time to develop our numbers and to again try our hand in the twin fiddle category.
Through the last week, I have had a great time promoting and performing for National Fiddling Day. First, last Wednesday, there was a Parliament Hill reception hosted by Senator Elizabeth Hubley where I was pleased to perform a few solo numbers. Then, on Friday morning I was interviewed and played on CBC Radio Morning with my friend Marley Mullan.
On Saturday morning, I joined fiddlers from Ottawa, Gatineau and the Ottawa Valley in a giant jam session at Ottawa City Hall. Again, this was a great event promoting fiddle music and the traditions of fiddling that have evolved along with our country’s settlement. I am very proud representing this traditional music of Canada – and had a chance to say just that at the National Fiddling Day ceremony.
To learn more about National Fiddling Day and the country’s fiddle celebrations, visit the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Association website dedicated to this day. This website has a fantastic photo gallery page you are sure to enjoy.
What a great show and I am so happy to have been part of the program Dennis Harrington put together for 98.7 Valley Heritage Radio’s Fiddle Night. Here are a few photos of the night on the radio station’s stage.
A big thank you to Sherryl Fitzpatrick who was my accompanist and played a lively keyboard for the fiddlers throughout the night.
At the end of the two hour show, many of the night’s fiddlers took the stage to join Dennis and Renfrew’s own Fireman Fiddler Randy Foster for a “kitchen party” segment.
My set included: the traditional reels Mason’s Apron / Frank’s Reel / Big John MacNeil; Pat’s Country; For the Love of Tara; jigs La Torment into Golden Rod; my favourite Willow Springs; Reel du Point au Pic and 24th of June; and, Cajun Fiddle.
I urge you to consider making a donation to this radio station for it does so much to support Canadian fiddle music and the talent of the Ottawa Valley. Go to their website to find out how you can donate: 98.7 Valley Heritage Radio.
I am really looking forward to being part of 98.7 FM Valley Heritage Radio’s live show “Fiddle Night” this up-coming Wednesday, April 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. Host Dennis Harrington was kind enough to include me in showcasing fiddlers in the Valley. I will be doing a 15-minute set, accompanied by pianist Sherryl Fitzpatrick, and then I will take part in a Valley Kitchen Party segment at the end of the show.
The great thing for my family in Nova Scotia and southern Ontario and my friends in Ottawa is that this show will be carried over the Internet on the Valley Heritage Radio website. I will post more information as it comes available in the next few days, but you can listen to this radio station at any time by CLICKING HERE or copy and paste this URL: http://valleyheritageradio.ca/
Check back here for more details on the weekend…
Hey, the last time I was at Valley Heritage Radio I performed on their stage with the Clyne Brothers – back in the Fall of 2013. Here are a few photos of that show (and I look to be about 6 inches shorter).