Vermont Fiddle Orchestra marks 15th anniversary with two concerts

Vermont Fiddle Orchestra will mark its 15th anniversary with concerts featuring guest musician and founding music director Sarah Hotchkiss and composer/accompanist John Mowad, Woodbury Strings Studio musicians with over 70 years combined teaching experience.

This season's concert features both traditional music of Irish, Breton, southern, and north Atlantic origins, along with a fine taste of original tunes.

"Veefer Swing" by John Mowad, an expert jazz, blues, rock, and country guitar musician, was written to commemorate the orchestra's 10th anniversary, and "Jane Nesbitt's Hornpipe" also by Mowad, was composed in honor of a beloved VFO founding member who passed away this summer.

Music Director David Kaynor will lead the violins, violas, cello, bass, banjo, guitars, flutes, and mandolin in playing his recent composition "Stamey Creek, " which explores the harmonics of the A scale. Inspired by David's memory of collecting stones for jewelry in the North Carolina creek, the Pressley sisters are brilliant young musician/composers David met at the John C. Campbell Folk School. Also inspired by the same musical family, Kaynor's tunes "Pressley Manor" and "Matt's Jig" will be featured.

This year the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra nominated Kaynor for the Country Dance and Song Society's Lifetime Achievement Award. Kaynor has led the VFO for the past five years. They noted his 50-year contribution to teaching, performing, calling for dances, leading jams, and mentoring in the best sense— sharing his fiddle and leadership talent in a way that invites an audience into a fun, joyful experience with traditional music.

Sarah Hotchkiss praises Kaynor, who has led the VFO for the past five years. "He is just the sort of music director I had in mind when I started the orchestra." Her own gentle and patient ability to bring out the musicianship in people with no prior experience is well-matched by Kaynor's participative, no-harm-in-trying invitation to jump into a tune wherever it feels comfortable.

This unique, regionally diverse and multi-talented community group of enthusiasts numbering around 50, welcomes all, without auditions, be it a beginning beginner, someone pulling a long-neglected instrument from the closet, or the seasoned professional. VFO members learn by ear and by reading sheet music, acquiring a vast repertoire of tunes. Strangers soon become friends through carpooling to rehearsals, sub-group potluck/practices in members' homes, and the busy summer schedule of paid and benefit events.

The VFO is a non-profit, using funds raised from members' tuition and concert fundraisers to provide stipends for the director and manager, and to pay for rehearsal and concert spaces.

This year, the VFO will raffle gift baskets full of member-crafted and donated items— especially nice to enjoy on a winter evening: fine chocolate, Chittenden Chutneys, knitted hats & mittens, honey, maple syrup, Grian Herb and Tea Shop gift certificate, candles, maple sugar, greeting cards, Fat Toad Farm Caramel, wine & sparkling cider, Elmore Mountain Farm soaps, homemade pickles, Cabot cheeses, original miniature paintings, Lightfoot Farm black currant syrup and hibiscus tea, breads, cookies, certificates for Eben Bodach-Turner and Vermont Violins bow re-hairs— and more.

Raffle tickets are $5 each or 3/$10, available from VFO members or at the Saturday concert.

David Kaynor, Sarah Hotchkiss, John Mowad, and all orchestra members invite you to bring your neighbors and families to experience one of these December concerts. They promise to be a warm, memorable way to start the winter season.

The Saturday 12/8 concert is admission by donation, made possible by generous grants from Vermont Mutual Insurance Group and Northfield Savings Bank. The orchestra thanks both for their commitments to strengthen communities through fostering youth, families, and education, as they support healthy lives that demonstrate genuine caring for people.

write your comments about the article :: © 2018 Jazz News :: home page