Fiddle Fever in Belfast March 29

Mar 19, 2019
The Franklin County Fiddlers

Belfast — Lively, foot-tapping music by the Franklin County Fiddlers and the Belfast Bay Fiddlers Friday night, March 29, should go a long way toward relieving March cabin fever. The bands will spread their infectious fiddle fever at a free concert starting 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast, 37 Miller St.

The Franklin County Fiddlers, founded and directed by Steve Muise, is a school music program and a multi-stylistic fiddle band, comprising 12 fiddlers plus flute, cello, piano, guitar, bass and accordion players. The group has delighted audiences throughout and beyond the state of Maine.

The group has performed in Boston; throughout eastern Canada in Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI; and in Nashville, New Orleans and Ireland. In January, FCF had the honor of representing public school music programs by performing at the inauguration of Gov. Janet Mills. It also regularly performs locally for aspiring young musicians; and at nursing homes and veterans’ homes.

The Franklin County Fiddlers is an extension of the stringed instrument program in RSU 9 (the Mt. Blue Regional School District), which includes nearly 400 students. Members learn and perform a wide variety of traditional music styles, preserving music that has often been passed on from generation to generation. They learn mostly by ear, through rote teaching in the folk tradition.

The Belfast Bay Fiddlers is a group of amateur Midcoast musicians who play traditional dance tunes from New England, French and Atlantic Canada, Ireland, Scotland and other regions. Their repertoire includes jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas and waltzes, performed on fiddle, guitar, mandolin, whistle, banjo, bass, piano and other instruments. Belfast Bay Fiddlers evolved from a weekly jam session into a popular group that plays at regional festivals, community events, contra dances, schools and senior centers.

Belfast Bay Fiddlers has performed at New Year’s by the Bay, the Maine Celtic Celebration, Arts in the Park and Harbor Fest. Its weekly 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday jam sessions at Waterfall Arts in Belfast are open to anyone who enjoys playing or listening to traditional music.

Although the Fiddle Fever concert is free, donations will be accepted to offset the cost of the rental hall. For more information about the concert, contact Rick Fitzsimmons at belfastfiddlers@gmail.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

The Belfast Bay Fiddlers
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