The Community Press
Fiddlers Orchestra returns to roots
Asphodel-Norwood – The Donegal Fiddlers Orchestra is coming home.
After four years
of using the old town hall in
The doors to the hall will open at “and the strains of fiddle music will fill the century-old spaces,” says Donegal Fiddlers member Marie Forgrave, of Campbellford, adding that the musicians are looking forward to utilizing the ample space at the Norwood Hall and being able to accommodate the orchestra’s ever increasing monthly crowd.
The fiddle orchestra has added a variety of instruments to its base of 16 fiddles, guitar, bass fiddle, tin flute, mandolin, accordion, keyboard and percussion which resulted in “an ever more interesting sound,” making the orchestra “truly a unique group” that is ready to provide fun and entertainment.
The musicians who later became the Donegal Fiddlers at first came together simply to
practise and socialize. Then people started to drop in to listen, and soon the informal group had a devoted audience. Pushed by founding
members such as Alilee Thompson, the band coelesced and formed an identity and a musical pattern. They adopted the name of a 19th-century
one-room school house southeast of
“We are truly travelling minstrels,” says fiddler and former band publicist Rob Gordon.
The Donegal Fiddlers have also taken their show
east, playing a concert in a small community near
The Donegal Fiddlers have been recognized with a Peterborough Cty. arts award. And they have made three CDs “for our own enjoyment” says bassist Ron Scott, noting that the recording sessions also helped the musicians focus and refine their music.
Member Rob Gordon has summed up the philosophy of the fiddlers by quoting lines from an operetta by Austrian composer Franz Lehar: “For what is more than women and wine, the happy land of music is mine, and all is always well where the music makers dwell.”