The Donegal Fiddlers Orchestra began in 2002 when a group of Norwood area musicians with a passion for traditional old time music coalesced to form a fiddle orchestra. The group met monthly to play for a dance at the Donegal Community Hall near Norwood. Over time the fiddlers added vocalists and rhythm and harmony sections. The orchestra’s repertoire also expanded to include Scottish and Irish jigs and reels, Cape Breton Celtic tunes, big band and country dance tunes and music for pattern dances.
In addition to continuing to host a monthly dance at Norwood Town Hall, the group performs at church and community fundraisers, agricultural fairs, summer concerts and festivals, weddings and other private functions. Highlights of the orchestra’s engagements during the summer of 2012 were outdoor concerts at Campbellford, Brighton, Colborne, Port Hope and Zwick’s Island Park in Belleville. In 2011 the orchestra provided the opening performances for productions at Showplace Theater in Peterborough and at the Westben Theatre in Campbellford and from 2009 to 2011 the orchestra was featured in the refreshment tent at the Cobourg Highland Games. At our December 2012 dance in Norwood, we were delighted to have Ashley MacIssac join us and take part in our program.
St Patrick's luncheon
photo by Sue Dickens Trent Hills Independent
Trent Hills Independent March 27, 2014
The Donegal Fiddlers Orchestra entertained with some Irish music, beginning with the popular tune "If you're Irish come into the parlour", at the St. Patrick's Day celebration hosted by St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. "This is the third year for our soup and sandwich lunch which is a fundraiser for the church," said Betty Leppanen.
For Frances Watson, who was there with her friend Cheryl Brown, it was an opportunity to join in the celebration. "This is my first time coming to the lunch but I go to see the Donegal Fiddlers all the time," she said. "And I'm Irish too ... my grandfather's name was Patrick Finnegan so we're here to celebrate the Irish" she added with a big grin.