Nov. 3, 2019 – Fiddle Workshops and Concert in Maberly
James Stephens & Kate Weekes / Emilyn Stam & John David Williams in concert on November 3rd
Fiddle Workshops November 3rd in Maberly, ON
Two workshops, sponsored by Blue Skies in The Community, were given November 3, 2019 at the Maberly Community Center. Both workshops were well attended and from all the comments and responses, they were excellent.
The workshops ran consecutively and each had about a dozen or so people, many of whom attended both. At $15 per person per workshop this was an excellent value. The workshops are described below:
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Emilyn Stam and John David Williams led a workshop featuring traditional music from France and geared toward more beginner players with some experience playing tunes.
3:30 – 5:00 PM
James Stephens taught a couple of intermediate level Quebecois tunes with some bowings and a few style tips.
I attended the 2nd workshop by James Stephens. He has been one of my favourite fiddle players from the time I first heard him at Blue Skies in the early 1990’s. Not only is he a great fiddler, he is also an engaging and knowledgeable instructor and all-round nice guy. We learned two Quebec tunes by ear; sheet music was provided after the workshop. There were times when some of us had a bit of difficulty following along but James was very good at slowing down at those points and bringing everyone along. All in all I had a thoroughly enjoyable time and I think I can speak for the others who attended.
I did not join the 1st workshop given by Emilyn and John David. I arrived about halfway through and did have a chance to watch. I wish I had been able to get there in time for that workshop, as it looked like a lot of fun and the tunes were really quite unique; at least from my vantage point. Everyone I spoke with afterward was smiling and said they had a really good time and learned a lot.
In general, I think these types of events are important for the local community. Not only do they provide affordable, high quality instruction, they help bring musicians together who may not otherwise connect in this type of friendly, collaborative environment. I think this helps strengthen the local community of musicians and community at large.