National Fiddling Day

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.

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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.

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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.

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Fiddle Night on Valley Heritage Radio

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.

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A big thank you to Sherryl Fitzpatrick who was my accompanist and played a lively keyboard for the fiddlers throughout the night.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Tune in this Wed Night to 98.7 FM

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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.

332The 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).

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Country Gospel Bluegrass Night

This past Saturday, April 2nd, I performed to an audience of 300 or more at the Country Gospel Bluegrass Spring Concert in Perth.  It was a great show and I had a lot of fun with my set and with backing up some of the other performers.

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Aside from a traditional old time fiddle set, I also played Hallelujah and Amazing Grace.

I really enjoyed myself with singer and guitarist Lloyd Clyne.  In late March, he dropped by our house to prepare for the show. It was great jamming with Lloyd – he’s a wonderful musician. Here’s a picture of us practicing together and another of Lloyd on the Perth stage.

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St. Patrick’s Day Fun

Marley and Molly Mullan invited me to play with them at a very fun pub event – St. Patrick’s Day at Brigid’s Well in the Ottawa Market, sponsored by the Irish Society of Ottawa. It was a great time! Marley step-danced when we weren’t playing dual fiddle; Molly played cello and mandolin (and step-danced!) when she wasn’t accompanying us on the piano; and, I even got in behind the keyboards for one number.

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3 Highlights from 2015

There were many memorable moments from this past year, and it is hard to pick just three highlights. But here it goes… playing on Parliament Hill for Members of Parliament at a committee meeting to pass legislation to recognize National Fiddling Day; selecting a new fiddle with luthier Micheal Wrona (a beautiful instrument he finished making in April this year); and, being selected as a finalist in the U18 fiddle category at the Pembroke Fiddle Competition.

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I look forward to playing my way through 2016!

Great times to end the summer

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The last few weeks of my summer was excellent and full of fiddle music! Through the last week of August I attended the Grand Masters Fiddle Camp where I had Calvin Vollrath as an instructor. I learned so much that week and immensely enjoyed my lessons and the time jamming with my instructors and friends! The camp was truly awesome this year.

On Labour-Day Weekend, I competed at the Pembroke Fiddle and Step Dance Competition – the largest fiddle contest in Canada (accompanying photo). I competed in the 18-and-under category, which is an extremely tough category with its 23 registered entrants. I was very pleased with my results – being 14 and at the younger end of this age bracket, and making it to the finals. Despite being incredibly nervous, AND breaking a string 30 seconds before going on stage, I pulled off what I thought was a solid performance, coming home with a finalist “top ten” trophy and $100!

These events combined to make a great end to the summer! Now I’m looking forward to immersing myself back into my music classes and academic studies at Canterbury High School.

 

Puppet fun on Almonte streets

IMG_9861 (2)This past weekend I had the pleasure of playing with my Mom at the Puppets Up! Festival in my home town of Almonte. We were street entertainers and performed for a total of four 45-minute sets entertaining people as they made their way from one puppet show to another. I had a great time playing and meeting the families who travelled to town to see the puppets!

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