Fiddle Hell Schedule

Fiddle Hell will be on Nov. 3-5, 2017 in Westford, MA.

Click below to see Leaders, Levels (2016), and Rooms (2016), and the day-by-day Schedules (2016).  The more compact grid with just session titles will be available in October, 2017.  

  • 2017 Session Leaders

    For 2017, our 75 leaders include an incredible range of wonderful fiddlers, other instrumentalists, and vocalists. 22 of the 75 are new to Fiddle Hell!

    Click on leaders' names to look at their websites. Those new to Fiddle Hell in 2017 are marked with a '+' sign; they are most welcome!  

    Instrument Codes: F=Fiddle, A=Accordion, B=Banjo, BAG=Bagpipes, BASS=Bass, BODH=Bodhrán, CELLO=Cello, CLAR=Clarinet, D=Dulcimer, G=Guitar, HM=Harmonica, HP=Harp, LYR=Lyra, M=Mandolin, P=Piano, TAN=Tanbur, U=Ukulele, UPIPE=Uilleann Pipes

    Style Codes:
    BALK
    =Balkan, BG=Bluegrass, BLUE=Blues, BRET=Breton, CAJ=Cajun, CAN=Canadian, CB=Cape Breton, CJ=Chili Judge, CL=Classical, CTRY=Country, DALCRZ=Dalcroze Eurhythmics, EEUR=East European, EN=English, FOLK=Folk, GAL=Galician, GRK=Greek, GYP=Gypsy, IR=Irish, IT=Italian, JAZZ=Jazz, KLEZ=Klezmer, MARI=Maritime, ME=Middle East, MTL=Metal, MW=Midwest, NE=New England, OT=Oldtime (Southern), PEI=Prince Edward Island, QB=Québecois, ROCK=Rock, SCAN=Scandinavian, SCOT=Scottish, SWNG=Swing, TURK=Turkish, TX=Texas, VOC=Vocals (at Fiddle Hell), WL=Welsh, WO=World, WS=Western Swing, Y=Yodeling

    Musician Instruments 
    Primary traditional styles
    + Abby Newton CELLO SCOT, OT, FOLK, WO
    Alan Kaufman F, M, G OT, BG, Y
    + Allison de Groot B OT, VOC
    + Amy Beshara F IR, SCOT, CL, JAZZ, DALCRZ
    Andrea Beaton F, P CB
    Andy Reiner F, M OT, IR, BG, CB, SCOT, SCAN, WO, MTL
    Art Bryan B, G, M NE, OT, IR
    Art Schatz F WS, BG, CTRY
    Autumn Rose Lester F, P NE, IR, OT
    Barbara McOwen F, P SCOT
    Becky Tracy F IR, QB, NE
    Bennett Hammond G, B OT, IR, FOLK
    + Beth Bahia Cohen F, LYR, TAN GRK, TURK, ME, EEUR
    Bethany Waickman G, M, P NE, IR, SCOT
    Bob Alessio F, G NE, OT, IT
    Bruce Molsky F, B, G OT, WO
    Cathy Mason F OT, CAJ
    Cindy Eid
    BODH, B IR, OT, BG, SWNG, BLUE, WS, KLEZ
    Clayton March F, CLAR IR, NE, KLEZ
    Darol Anger
    F, M BG, WO, OT, BLUE, FOLK
    Dave Reiner F, M BG, OT, IR, NE, WS, TX, MW, CAJ, SWNG
    David Kaynor
    F, G, M NE, SWED, CTRY
    David Moultrup G, M SWNG, BG, VOC
    David Surette G, M IR, SCOT, BG, BRET, FOLK, SCOT, VOC
    + Don Roy F, CELLO QB, NE, MARI
    + Doug Protsik F, P, A NE
    + Duncan Wickel F,  IR, BG, OT, JAZZ
    Ed Pearlman F SCOT, CB
    Ellen Carlson F BG, CAN, SWNG, IR, CTRY, BLUE
    Ellery Klein F IR (especially), SCOT, CB, CL, OT
    Emy Phelps G VOC, FOLK, BG
    Eric Eid-Reiner P NE, CB, SCOT, IR, OT, SWNG, WS, BLUE
    Eric Favreau F QB, CAN
    + Eric Kilburn M SWNG, JAZZ, FOLK, WO
    + Eugene Friesen CELLO WO, JAZZ
    + Flynn Cohen G, M BG, IR, WO
    Frank Ferrel F NE, IR, QB, MARI, CB
    George Fowler F NE, IR
    Gretchen Koehler F NE, CAN, IR, CL
    Jason Anick F, M, G GYP, JAZZ, SWNG, BLUE
    Jerry Wile
    G BG, OT, WS, BLUE
    John Chambers A, F SCAN, KLEZ, NE, BALK, SCOT, IR. IT
    John Robinson
    G BG, IR, OT, NE, SWNG, BLUE, CTRY, CAJ
    Joy Adams CELLO, B OT, WO, FOLK, VOC, CL
    + Judy Hyman F OT, CL, ROCK
    + Julie Lyonn Lieberman F WO, CL, BLUE, ROCK
    Julie Metcalf F NE, OT, BG, SCOT, TX
    Katie McNally
    F SCOT, CB, G
    + Ken Perlman B, G NE, IR, PEI, OT
    + Laura Orshaw F, M BG, VOC
    Laurel Martin F IR (esp. Clare & East Galway)
    Lissa Schneckenburger F VOC, NE, SCOT
    Lorraine Hammond D, M, B, HP VOC, FOLK (old and new), OT 
    + Mali Obomsawin BASS OT, BG, IR, SWNG, JAZZ, KLEZ, CAJ, VOC
    Mariel Vandersteel F OT, SCAN, WO
    Mark Simos F, G OT, IR, NE, QB, KLEZ, VO, New Trad
    Marshall Racowsky G TX, SWNG, WS, OT, CJ
    Michelle Kaminsky F CAJ, OT
    Oliver Scanlon
    F, M, G OT, SWNG, WO
    + Pam Wiley F CL, OT, BG
    Paul Harty G, F BG, IR, NE, WS, CAJ, OT, BLUE, SWNG
    Pete Anick F, M, G SWNG, BG, GYP, WO, OT, BRET
    Pete Sutherland F, G, ... VOC, OT, NE, much more
    + Richard Brown M BG
    Rob Flax F, M, BASS JAZZ, BG
    + Ron Grosslein F, M NE, CL, EEUR, KLEZ, SCAN
    + Rose Clancy F, M, B IR, SCOT, QB
    Shana Aisenberg F, M, G OT, IR, SCOT, NE, KLEZ, BALK, SCAN, BLUE
    Skip Gorman F, M, G OT, BG, IR, SCOT, VOC
    + Stash Wyslouch G OT, BG, WO, MTL
    Susie Burke VOC VOC, FOLK, SWNG, CTRY
    Tim Rowell B, D, U OT
    Tom Morley F CL, IR, OT
    + Tony Watt M, G BG, OT, VOC
    + Van Kaynor F NE, CL, EEUR, KLEZ, SCAN

  • 2017 Session Levels (New!)

    Fiddle Hell is intended for beginners, intermediates, and advanced players. Please understand that Fiddle Hell is not for novices who are new to the instrument and can't play any tunes yet.

    We've given a lot of thought to how best to describe fiddling experience levels for workshops and jam sessions. Our four levels are approximations that you can use as guidelines to pick your workshops and jams. 

    If you're not sure about your level, contact Dave to discuss it, ask the desk staff or instructors when you check in, or just find the sessions where you're comfortable once you're at Fiddle Hell. There are several very helpful workshops early in the weekend if you've had little experience learning by ear or jamming.

    In addition to fiddlers, mandolin players, violists, and cellists are welcome, and we've added mandolin and cello tracks to the schedule. We have also added guitar and frailing banjo tracks; please contact Dave first to ask about these if you haven't been to Fiddle Hell before.  For musicians playing other acoustic instruments, please contact Dave first to ask about these if you haven't been to Fiddle Hell before.

    We request that any accompanying instruments only play styles and tunes they are familiar with, and ask before joining jam sessions. 

    Please read through these new 2017 levels, and the advice that follows.

    Beg = Beginner.  Knows 8 tunes or more; working on basics of rhythm, tone, intonation, bowing, repertoire, playing by ear; would like to play with others; has fun! In workshops: expecting simple tunes, taught slowly, with help on technique and style. In jams: expecting easy and common tunes, s l o w tempos, and more guidance on jamming basics.

    Low Int = Low Intermediate. Knows 20 tunes or more, can play at a reasonable speed (mainly from memory) in one or more traditional styles, working on technique, on going beyond the basic tune, and perhaps on jamming; has fun! In workshops: looking for simpler tunes, taught more slowly. In jams: expecting well-known tunes, slower tempos and more direct guidance.

    High Int = High Intermediate. Knows 40 tunes or more, can play up to speed (usually from memory) in one or more traditional styles, working on technique, on going beyond the basic tune, and perhaps on jamming; has fun! In workshops: looking for more challenging intermediate tunes, taught more quickly, with a focus on stylistic aspects. In jams, expecting a broader range of tunes, faster tempos and less guidance.

    Adv = Advanced. Knows larger repertoire in one or more traditional styles, plays with nuance (from memory) within these styles, has generally solid technique, has a fair amount of experience playing with others; has fun! In workshops: looking a relatively fast teaching pace, challenging tunes, and a focus on ornaments, variations, and nuances of style. In jams: expecting fast tempos, challenging and wide-ranging tunes, and little guidance. About 10% of FH attendees are professionals, and several of the Adv sessions will focus on career-enhancing skills.

    All
     Levels
     = Appropriate for all musicians or listeners.

    In addition to the tune counts above, there are at least three separate aspects of levels that you may wish to balance in choosing workshops, including technical facility on the instrument, ability to learn by ear, and familiarity with the fiddle style being taught. If you have considerable facility on fiddle, and are fast at learning by ear, but are not familiar with the style being taught, it's reasonable to attend High Int or Adv workshops. If you are very new to learning by ear, or have limited capability on fiddle, stick with the Beg or Low Int workshops to start, even if you're quite familiar with the style.  

    Beginners are invited to sit in the front of Beg workshops; Low intermediates, in the front for Low Int workshops; and so on.

    Occasionally, sessions are for mixed levels, such as Beg - Low Int. In that case, the Beg fiddlers may find some parts of the workshop to be a challenge, and the Low Int fiddlers may find some material to be a bit slow-paced. We ask for your patience here, from both points of view!

    Naturally, the session leaders pay attention to who shows up and how well they're absorbing the material, but leaders do try to teach or lead at the "advertised" levels. To give an example, even if an Adv player joins a Beg workshop, it should remain a Beg workshop. Please speak up if you’d like something explained or repeated, especially in lower level workshops.

    There are often clues to the level of a session in its title or description.  A "slow jam" should be just that; one described as "up-to-speed" or "no holds barred" will be more challenging.

    Of course, if you find a session to be too difficult or too easy or are not enjoying it for any reason, please head off to a different one. Or take a break and relax. 

    In the workshop and jam listings on the schedule, the sessions are listed in order of level for each time slot.  For example, you'll see Beg sessions before Low Int sessions before High Int sessions before Adv sessions.  All Levels sessions are listed first.

    Here are labels you'll see online and in the program:

    KIDS = Primarily intended for kid fiddlers (ages 5-18, say).  Of course, kids are welcome to attend any sessions they want at Fiddle Hell.  Adults may attend kids' sessions, but hang out in the back and play it cool.

    MINI CONCERT = Sit back and listen.  Most of these have three instructors playing, for about 20 minutes each.

    NEW 52 = Teaches one of the New 52 Common Tunes.  We'll be recording a 2CD set of these in April, 2017, and it will be available in June.

    WARMUP = At the beginning of each day is a gentle warmup session led by Ellen Carlson.

    TEACHERS = Addresses how to teach a particular technique or skill (e.g., jamming, improvising), for FH attendees who are teachers or would like to teach.

    TEENS = There are two short teen meetup sessions, which don't conflict with any other sessions.

    MANDO = A session in the mandolin track.  Bring your mandolin.

    CELLO = A session in the cello track.  Bring your cello.

    GUITAR = A session in the guitar track.  Bring your guitar.

    BANJO = A session in the frailing (mainly oldtime) banjo track.  Bring your banjo.  We don't have a bluegrass banjo track (yet).

    SING = A session in the singing track.  Bring your voice.

    FLASH MOB = Gather between regular sessions to play a great tune together.

    FLASH MARCH = Gather between sessions to stroll and play two great tunes.

    FLASH GORDON = = The hero of a space opera adventure comic strip that began in 1934.

  • 2017 Schedule Intro

    Fiddle Hell 2017 will be at the Westford Regency Inn, 219 Littleton Road, Westford, Massachusetts. It will be our fourth year at this new location, which has lots of space, loads of free parking, nice rooms (and a swimming pool) if you wish to stay there, and great food both onsite and nearby. All workshops and sessions, the concert and dance, and the many informal jams will all be under one roof!  For info on Fiddle Hell room discounts ($102+tax), click here and then click on 2017 Overall Logistics.

    Our Saturday night concert, 7:00-9:30PM on Nov. 4, 2017, will feature an amazing lineup of 20+ traditional fiddlers, including Andrea Beaton, Andy Reiner, Bruce Molsky, Darol Anger, Dave Reiner, David Surette, Duncan Wickel, Ellen Carlson, Eric Favreau, Frank Ferrel, Katie McNally, Lissa Schneckenburger, Pete Sutherland, Tom Morley, and six more. The concert is free if you’ve paid for Saturday or the Fiddle Hell weekend; walk-ins are $15.  Tell your friends!

    The concert will be followed from 9:30-11:00PM by a Contra Dance - you can dance or sit in with the band.  The dance is free if you're at the concert; there are no separate tickets just for the dance. New in 2017 is a Friday night dance with The Moving Violations, right before "The Whomp!"

    There will be more than 300 instructor-led workshops and jams in 2017, led by 75 instructors and accompanists. There is no separate signup process for specific workshops; just show up.

    The schedule is subject to minor changes.
    Our goal is to have sessions start and end on time.
    There is usually a half-hour break between each session and the next.
    For an introduction to Fiddle Hell itself, click here.

    Daily recommendations from Andy Reiner:
    Pace yourself
    Drink water
    Listen
    Make friends, have fun, be a human
    Try something new, don't worry

    Audio recording of Fiddle Hell workshops and jams is generally fine, for your own use only.  In other words, don't go posting them online. Of course, you could bring your old tape or minidisc recorder, but the state of the art has advanced, and compact MP3 recorders with integrated microphones can record a lot of material with generally very good fidelity.  Zoom H1, Zoom H2n, Roland R-05, Tascam DR-05, Tascam PR-10, etc. Some people record on their smart phones, although the quality is not as good as it is with the dedicated recorders.

    Video recording
    requires prior permission from the workshop or jam leader, and should also be only for your own use. Please, no video recording of the Saturday night concert and dance, or of the Mini-Concerts. Many of the leaders and performers are professionals who make all or part of their living from music; please respect their wishes about recordings, and take a look at their CDs, books, and DVDs in the Fiddle Hell store in the Arthur Smith Room.

    Thanks to our sponsors! For many years, Fiddle Hell has been sponsored by CodaBow (maker of great carbon fiber bows) and by D'Addario (maker of responsive, fine-sounding strings). During the Fiddle Hell weekend, we will be giving away many sets of Helicore violin strings, a few sets of Zyex violin strings, and quite a few D'Addario EXP74 mandolin strings. We will also give away a gift certificate from Johnson Strings / Carriage House Violins to one of the preregistered musician attendees. CodaBow is giving away a brand new Luma bow (violin, viola, or cello; list price $600-$700) right after Fiddle Hell; you'll have until Nov 8th to sign up for the giveaway on their website, using a code we'll give out at Fiddle Hell.  Just so you know, CodaBow will ask for your email when you sign up. 

  • 2016 Room Locations

    These rooms are all located at the Westford Regency.  They are much larger than the rooms we had at the old Concord location, with more space to spread out. In the half hour between sessions, rooms can generally be used for informal jamming, which can also happen in the hallways of the Fiddle Hell area at designated "Jam Spots."

    You can see that we renamed the rooms after our favorite historical fiddle players in different styles.  Rooms also have numbers, keyed to the map on the cover of your program book.

    There are stairs between the first and third floors. You can also take the elevator between levels, on the far side of the hotel lobby.

    The Fiddle Hell Rooms are separated by walls and partitions.  We try to eliminate or minimize sound bleed between adjacent rooms, and are mostly successful.


    First Floor Rooms

    Room 1: "Mellie Dunham Room" (known as Regency I to the hotel staff)  - Really big room, used for workshops and jams and for the Saturday night concert and dance

    Room 2: "Jean Carignan Room" (Regency II) - Also really big, used for workshops and jams and for the Saturday night concert and dance

    Room 3: "Tommy Jarrell Room" (Regency III) - Also really big, used for workshops and jams and for the Saturday night concert and dance

    Room 4: "Don Messer Room" (Emerson) - Workshops and jams

    Room 5 (Registration): "Arthur Smith Room" (Whittier) - Registration, Vendors, T-shirts, CDs, Books, Lost & Found (Flyers & Message Board are just outside in the hallway)

    Room 6: "Hjort Anders Olsson Room" (Thoreau) - Workshops and jams

    Room 7: "Alonzo 'Lonnie' Johnson Room" (Hildreth) - Workshops and jams

    Room 8: "Benny Thomasson Room" (Art Gallery) - Workshops and jams

    Room 9: [Old Joe] Clark's Pub (next to hotel lobby) - Good food and beverages, jamming is fine there from 9PM - 12:30AM Friday and Saturday nights

    Third Floor Rooms

    Room 31: "Joe Venuti Room" (Westford 2S-4S) - Workshops and jams 

    Room 32: "Kenny Baker Room" (Westford 3S) - Workshops and jams

    Room 33: "J. Scott Skinner Room" (Westford 2N) - Workshops and jams

    Room 34: "Julia Clifford Room" (Westford 1N-3N) - Workshops and jams

    Room 35: "Bob Wills Room" (Amherst) - Workshops and jams

    Room 36: "Sarah Armstrong Room" (Salem) - Workshops and jams

    Room 37: "Buddy MacMaster Room" (Concord) - Mini-concerts, presentations, small workshops and jams, sound system workshops

    Room 387: "Vassar Clements Room" (Hotel Room 387) - Very small drop-in workshops, teen meetups, jams

    Room 388: "Dewey Balfa Room" (Hotel Room 388) - Very small drop-in workshops, teen meetups, jams

  • 2016 Friday Schedule

    November 4, 2016 (Friday)

    Fiddlers - plan ahead so you can take Friday off from work and come to Fiddle Hell!

    11:00 AM
    Fiddle Hell On-Site Registration Opens for the Weekend or for just Friday. Go to the Registration Desk in the Arthur Smith Room 5  near the right front entrance of the Westford Regency Inn. Sign in, get a stylish wristband and nametag, pick up a Program Book, perhaps buy a Fiddle Hell T-shirt ($15 or 2 for $25). Then, look around for your fellow fiddlers everywhere around you.  To see Fiddle Hell fees for the weekend and individual days, click here. Saturday and weekend registrations include the Saturday night concert and dance for free.

    T-shirts ($15 or 2 for $25), CDs, DVDs, books, fiddles, bows, minor fiddle setups, accessories, and Lost & Found are also in the Arthur Smith Room 5.

     
    11:30AM - 12:15PM
    WARMUP First Thing Warmup: Scales, Fingers, Bow, Head & Body [Beg-Int] Mellie Dunham Room 1  Ellen Carlson - Get ready for the full day of fiddling by warming up your body and mind.

     
    12:00 noon - 6:00PM
    Hungry but no time to sit down? Snacks available for purchase outside the Arthur Smith Room 5, including water, soda and coffee; candy bars, bags of chips, granola bars, whole fruit, and homemade cookies.
     

    12:30 - 1:30PM
    Gentle Welcome Jam [Beg] Mellie Dunham Room 1  David Kaynor (fiddle) - Welcome to Fiddle Hell, beginners and anyone who wants to ease into the weekend!  Nice straightforward tunes, relaxed tempos, and a sociable atmosphere, with a fine teacher to lead the way.

    Drop-In Beginner's Help on Fiddle [Beg] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Julie Metcalf (fiddle) - Right hand, left hand, intonation, tone, tunes, and more (drop in for just a few minutes or stay the whole time).

    Southern Fiddle My Way [Beg] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Pete Sutherland (fiddle) - Pete says: "The first fiddling I fell hard for was Southern. Loved the groove, the swing of it, the simple melodies that seemed to grow out of the bowing. I love sharing the ingredients that make this happen."

    Learn a Simple Cape Breton Jig with Bowing & a Few Ornaments [Beg] Kenny Baker Room 32  Andrea Beaton (fiddle) - We’ll learn "Ryan Lamey’s Jig" and work on the Cape Breton jig dance rhythm. This is an AB original tune in A minor. We're delighted to have Andrea back for the second year.

    How to Participate in a Jam Session [Beg-Int] Joe Venuti Room 31  Cathy Mason (fiddle) & Tim Rowell (banjo) & Art Bryan (guitar) - Cathy will teach effective social and musical jam participation strategies. Learn how to play along with tunes you've never played before and make friends at the same time. Tim and Cathy co-lead monthly jam sessions and often perform together.  Check out their CD with The Hi-Tone Ramblers in the FH Store. Also, check out Fiddle Hell's Jamming Guidelines.

    Practical Tips to Refine Your Sound [Beg-Int] Benny Thomasson Room 8  Gretchen Koehler (fiddle) - Not sounding exactly the way you'd like?  Understanding the relationship between bowing speed and weight, and between finger pressure and placement, will help you improve your overall tone and clarity.  With slight playing adjustments, Gretchen will help you expand your "tone bank" and will offer practice techniques to continue working on at home.

    Learn a Traditional Scottish Strathspey "Waulking of the Fauld" [Beg-Int] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Katie McNally (fiddle) - We'll learn this dark yet elegant 18th-century strathspey in A minor, focusing on playing it with both sophistication and intensity. The strathspey is said to have originated from the strath or broad glen of the River Spey in NE Scotland. In 4/4 time, but slower than a reel, it contains dotted rhythms, including the Scotch (Scots) snap.

    Picking Techniques for Mandolin (Bring Mandolin) [Starts Beg, goes to Int on Mandolin] Bob Wills Room 35  David Surette (mandolin) - David will cover the critical downs and ups of picking techniques for reels and jigs. If your goal is to pick more cleanly, more consistently in rhythm, and with better tone, this is the session for you. Look for David's acclaimed CDs in the Fiddle Hell Store. 

    Great But Little-Known Shetland Tunes [Beg-Int] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  Ed Pearlman (fiddle) - Many people know Shetland tunes such as Willafjord, Sleep Soond Ida Moarnin, and Da Slockit Light, but there are so many great tunes from Shetland that most of them fly under the radar.  You'll get to choose your favorites to learn from a variety of samples Ed will play; sheet music and recordings will be available afterward.

    Learn a Gutsy Irish Tune with Ornaments [Beg-Int] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Tom Morley (fiddle) - Tom has a real talent for communicating the ideas and techniques behind traditional Irish melodies.  Dig in to a jig "The Price of my Pig" and a hornpipe "Tomorrow Morning" if time permits.

    Learn "Le Reel des Barguineux" [Int] Don Messer Room 4  Éric Favreau (fiddle) - Begin the weekend with a nice Québecois tune from the Verret Family. It's in Bb and F and is a good starter if you never played in these keys. You might find barguineux (bargains) at the marché aux puces (flea market). Éric is a super player and a fun teacher.

    Learn a Favorite Irish Tune That's Also a Great Dance Tune [Int-Adv] Julia Clifford Room 34  Becky Tracy (fiddle) - I’ll teach a tune I learned this year that has great drive called "The Road to Glountane." It’s written by “cuz” Teahan, an Irish immigrant to Chicago, and is now played back in Ireland.

    Learn “Reel Les Blés D’Or,” a Tune Composed by Canadian Fiddling Great Calvin Vollrath [Int-Adv] Jean Carignan Room 2  Frank Ferrel (fiddle) - Calvin Vollrath is one of Canada’s fiddling greats. If there's time, we'll learn a second tune of his, the "One-Step Two-Step."

    Welcome Multi-style Jam [Int-Adv] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Andy Reiner (fiddle) & Joy Adams (cello, banjo) - New England, oldtime, Irish, bluegrass, Scottish, and the unexpected.  Mix and match to start your Fiddle Hell weekend. Says Darol Anger: "Andy Reiner is an exceptional creative presence in this rapidly evolving Fiddle world, and he stands tall among his peers as an agent of positive change."

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots, Vassar Clements Room 391, Dewey Balfa Room 392

    2:00 - 3:00PM
    How to Learn Tunes by Ear Workshop [All Levels] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Dave Reiner (fiddle) - Effective strategies and tips to make learning by ear easier, with time to try them out during the workshop.  This will help you at Fiddle Hell and for the rest of your life.


    Singing for the Joy of It [All Levels] Mellie Dunham Room 1  Susie Burke (voice) - The title truly sums up the spirit of the class. Susie will lead you through many songs, ranging from rounds both simple and sublime, to folk songs as diverse as "What a Wonderful World" and "My Sweet Forget Me Not."

    Learn "Marie Sauce Ton Pain," an Easy Fiddle Tune from Québec [Beg] Jean Carignan Room 2  Éric Favreau (fiddle) - "Marie Dip your Bread" is simple, funny, and easy.  Eric's here all weekend to teach tunes in the French Canadian style of beauty, feeling, rhythm, and excitement.

    Cello Workshop (Bring Cello) [Beg] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Joy Adams (cello) - Learn how to become a cello chameleon! Shred the melody like a fiddler, groove like a bass, and chop like a drummer. We will also discuss modifying fiddle tunes to suit the cello.

    Learn a Haunting Irish Jig from a Session in County Clare [Beg] Julia Clifford Room 34  Becky Tracy (fiddle) - Jigs can be driving or bouncy, but "The Humours of Kilclogher" is an especially sweet and enigmatic tune. This workshop is for all levels, so we'll take it slow, but you'll go away being able to play the tune, and the more advanced players will get more of the bowing and (spare) ornaments. Becky studied Irish fiddling styles with Brendan Mulvihill and Eugene O’Donnell, and is a fantastic teacher.

    Easy Oldtime Fiddle Workshop [Beg] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Bruce Molsky (fiddle) - If you’re new to oldtime fiddling, or newish to the fiddle, Bruce will lead you through the basics, including what to listen for and how to find your way into a simple tune. Bruce has a number of wonderful DVDs and CDs in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Drop-In Help for Fiddlers [Beg] Dewey Balfa Room 392 Rob Flax (fiddle) - Drop in for a few minutes or stay for a while. Technique, style, tone, improvisation. Rob will help you out.

    How to Learn a Fiddle Tune on the Fly for Banjo Players (Bring Banjo) [Beg-Int on Banjo] Vassar Clements Room 387  Tim Rowell (banjo) - This is a critical skill for banjo players, especially for oldtime tunes.  Tim knows the secrets and will share them happily.

    NEW 52 Learn Oldtime Southern Reel "Kitchen Girl" (from new 52 common tunes) [Int] Joe Venuti Room 31  Alan Kaufman (fiddle) - "Kitchen Girl" is a striking tune from the first two notes. It was recorded by the Hollow Rock String Band on their 1968 Traditional Dance Tunes album as learned by Alan Jabbour from his mentor Henry Reed, and from there the tune has found its way into the repertories of many oldtime fiddlers.

    The Mechanics of Irish Ornamentation [Int] Kenny Baker Room 32  Clayton March (fiddle) - Cooley's Reel (from the original 52 common tunes) will be the canvas.  Cuts, rolls, spitting triplets, and serpentine bowings will be the paint.  Get in to the nitty gritty of Irish ornamentation with a focus on how to use your fingers and hands to create a vibrant masterpiece.

    Swedish Tune Workshop [Int] Benny Thomasson Room 8  David Kaynor (fiddle) - Interesting, yet accessible tunes from a staggeringly rich tradition where fiddle is the most important instrument.  We’ll work in detail on an easy schottische or march and a melodically and rhythmically mysterious polska.

    The Dark Art of Singing with the Fiddle in Harmony [Int] Don Messer Room 4  Pete Sutherland (fiddle) - Not a dark art at all, really, but undeniably magical, even when it's not all that technical. Pete likes getting fiddlers of all kinds to go beyond their limits, to get tight with both their fiddling 'voice' AND their singing voice and connect them. "[Pete's performances] shine with a pure spirit, which infuses every bit of his music and cannot fail to move all who hear him." - The American Festival of Fiddle Tunes.

    Learn a Stirring Scottish Pipe March [Int] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Katie McNally (fiddle) - We'll learn one of my favorite 6/8 pipe marches, "Kenny Gillis of Portnalong Skye and discuss how to incorporate piping sounds and ornamentation into our fiddle playing. Look for Katie's CDs in the Fiddle Hell Store, including "The Boston States."

    Learn Tunes from Canadian Masters Don Messer and Ward Allen [Int] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  George Fowler (fiddle) & Art Bryan (guitar) - Messer and Allen were big fiddle stars in mid-20th c. Canada and have left us an incredible legacy of great dance music.  We’ll present a lively reel in D from Don Messer and a jig in A from Ward Allen. Look for George's CDs (including The Montville Project) in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Learn a Couple of Favorite Tunes from the Beaton and McMaster Families of Mabou [Adv] Hjort Anders Olssen Room 6  Andrea Beaton (fiddle) - Says Andrea: "The Beaton tune will be a tune written by my grandfather, Donald Angus Beaton. The MacMaster tune will be a tune that was played often by my uncle, Buddy MacMaster."  Andrea came down from Cape Breton just for the Fiddle Hell weekend; look for her solo CDs in the Fiddle Hell Store.                  

    Some Really Challenging New England Tunes [Adv] Bob Wills Room 35  Lissa Scheckenburger (fiddle) - The traditional music of New England can be as warm and comforting as a winter fire or as potent and exhilarating as a summer thunderstorm. Lissa is a master of both moods; she'll teach Lady Walpole's Reel in Bb major (from her Dance CD, one of several in the Fiddle Hell Store). As with most Fiddle Hell classes, notation is not provided, so it's a good idea to bring a recording device.

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots

    4:00PM - 12:30AM (a little after midnight)
    Hungry? Fine food and drinks available all day at Old Joe Clark’s Pub off the Lobby. There are special lunch and dinner menus for Fiddle Hell of items that can be prepared rapidly.  There are some vegetarian choices, too.

    3:30 - 4:30PM
    MINI CONCERT "Distinctive Fiddle Styles" [All Levels for Listening] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Katie McNally, Tom Morley, Frank Ferrel - Relax and enjoy some fine fiddling in Scottish, Irish, New England and related styles from three internationally-known fiddlers. 

    The Secrets of Backing Up a Singer [All Levels] Sarah Armstrong Room 6  Dave Reiner (fiddle) & Paul Harty (singer, guitar) - Hear and see exactly how it's done, and try it yourself. Examples in multiple styles, from bluegrass to other styles. Helpful handout on back-up approaches and on chords.

    Drop-In Help for Beginning Fiddlers [Beg] Vassar Clements Room 391  Gretchen Koehler (fiddle) - Drop in for a few minutes or stay for a while. Left hand, right hand, style, tone, technique - Gretchen will help wherever you'd like.

    Learn an Easy Mariachi Tune for Fiddle [Beg] Kenny Baker Room 32  Julie Metcalf (fiddle) & Marshall Racowsky (guitar) - We'll learn a charming Mariachi tune with harmonies. Mariachi originated in Guadalajara, in Jalisco, Mexico. Don't miss Julie's CDs in the Fiddle Hell Store and Marshall's Fiddle Hell Chili recipe in the program booklet.

    An  Introduction to Bluegrass Fiddling [Beg-Int] Mellie Dunham Room 1  Pete Anick (fiddle) - Here’s a jumpstart for beginners through intermediates on a time-honored and fun fiddle style, from tunes to songs. Pete Anick and Dave Reiner have played in many bands together over the years, including Hot Off the Frets.

    The Power of Pentatonic Scales [Beg-Int] Don Messer Room 4  Shana Aisenberg (fiddle) - How far can you go with just 5 notes? Quite a ways, it turns out. We'll explore both major and minor pentatonic scales, and learn how to use them to improvise solos in various styles such as blues and bluegrass, even if you've never improvised!

    Mandolin for Fiddle Players  (Bring Mandolin!) [Beg-Int on mandolin] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  David Surette (mandolin) - Mandolin is a great instrument for fiddlers to double on. This session will focus on the aspects that can be vexing for fiddlers: chords and pick technique.

    Oldtime Jam - Somewhat Slow [Int] Joe Venuti Room 31  Alan Kaufman (fiddle) & Tim Rowell (banjo) - Southern oldtime tunes are hypnotic, rhythmic, and sometimes highly modal. They come around enough times at a jam that you can learn some of them on the fly. Alan leads many local oldtime jams with high enjoyment levels; look for his new CD or original tunes in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Cajun Fiddle Workshop on "J'étais au Bal" [Int] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  Cathy Mason (fiddle) - Through the magic of the seductive Cajun rhythm, learn to play and back up a rollicking traditional tune. "J'etais au bal hier au soir, j'irai encor' ce soir, si l'occasion se présent', j'vais y r'tourner d'main soir."

    It's a Blues Jam! [Int] Dewey Balfa Room 392 Rob Flax (fiddle, guitar) - Who says you have to wait until late at night for some 12-bar blues? Space is limited to first 10 musicians. 

    Drop-In Cello Help and Workshop [Int] Benny Thomasson Room 8  Joy Adams (cello) - How do I survive all these fiddle tunes in A major? Am I holding my bow right? What's a Block Strap? Bring in any question you may have about your cello.

    Bringing Trad Irish Tunes to Life - Deceptively Simple [Int] Julia Clifford Room 34  Laurel Martin (fiddle) - We will explore bowing techniques and simple variations that bring nuance and musicality to traditional Irish tunes. We'll learn a simple barn dance by ear, and will apply the new techniques to the tune. Says Fiddler Magazine about Laurel: "... a gift indeed. Straight-up trad in a Clare kind of way, and very well done."

    Bowing  Secrets for an Oldtime Sound [Adv] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Bruce Molsky (fiddle) - The bow is the engine that powers melody and phrasing in oldtime fiddling. Bruce will break down some specific bowings and show how they give tunes the unique oldtime feeling. "Molsky is easily one of the nation's most talented fiddlers...he transports you ... geographically, historically, and most of all emotionally" - Mother Jones.

    New Tunes from Scotland [Adv] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Ed Pearlman (fiddle) - The vibrancy of Scottish music today is unbelievable and yet little of it makes it over the ocean.  Learn a few contemporary favorites by today's fiddlers. Ed played a central role in creating the Boston Scottish music scene, and he's a great teacher.

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots, Bob Wills Room 35

    4:30-5:00PM
    Running Sound 101 [All Levels] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Oliver Scanlon (sound) - Microphones, mixer, speakers - what's it all about? How do you make musicians sound good individually, and mix several of them together? Right after the mini-concert, Oliver will show you a few of the basics.  Ideally, we'll have a volunteer instrumentalist or two to experiment on, and there'll be time for a few people to try some hands-on mixing. Also offered at 3PM on Sunday.

    5:00 - 6:00PM
    Making Sense of Chords [All Levels] Sarah Armstrong Room 6  Dave Reiner (fiddle) & Marshall Racowsky (guitar) - This will help you to harmonize, play double stops, back up a tune or song, and play along with tunes you've never heard before.
 Look for Dave's Oldtime Fiddling Across America book/CD in the Fiddle Hell store. Helpful handout included.

    Ergonomic Fiddling & Technique [All Levels] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  Lissa Scheckenburger (fiddle) - Lots of musicians experience technical stumbling blocks that get in the way of their musical expression, and sometimes even give them pain. We’ll look at how good technique can help us play fiddle pain-free and sound better than ever.

    Effective Practicing - What Gets In Your Way?  [All Levels] Don Messer Room 4  Becky Tracy (fiddle) - Exploring some best practices to improvement, pitfalls we encounter, and brainstorming ideas to make practicing more effective.

    NEW 52 Learn an Easy Irish Tune "Egan's Polka" [aka "Kerry Polka"] in D (from new 52 common tunes) [Beg] Kenny Baker Room 32  Tom Morley (fiddle) - Around the world, a very common, easy and cheerful beginners' tune. If listeners love it, tell them you learned it at Fiddle Hell!  If they don't love it, tell them the exact same thing.

    Easy and Beautiful Gaelic Melodies from Scotland [Beg] Benny Thomasson Room 8  Ed Pearlman (fiddle) - The Highlands and Islands of Scotland have given rise to some of the most beautiful of Celtic melodies, some haunting, some upbeat.  Some of the best are uncomplicated and easy to learn.

    Learn a Simple Cape Breton Waltz with Bowing & a Few Ornaments [Beg] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Andrea Beaton (fiddle) - Andrea will show you a nice waltz commonly played in Cape Breton that may have came from a Gaelic Air. And, she'll help you make it sound Cape Breton-esque.

    What Can Fiddlers Learn from Playing Mandolin (Bring Mandolin)? [Beg-Int on mandolin] Bob Wills Room 35  Rob Flax (mandolin) - The violin and the mandolin are tuned the same  so anyone who knows how to play fiddle can learn to play mandolin too! Rob will lead you through the nuts and bolts of picking up a new instrument, including left and right hand technique (and what that will do for your violin playing!), various chord voicings, and a deeper look at how to groove (on both instruments!).

    Oldtime Southern Jam [Int] Julia Clifford Room 34  Bruce Molsky (fiddle) & John Robinson (guitar) - All instruments welcome! Tunes will be at a moderate tempo and we’ll play each one for a while.

    Learn a Swing Rag in Three Keys & Improvise on It [Int] Joe Venuti Room 31  Ellen Carlson (fiddle) & Dave Moultrup (guitar) - Panhandle Rag is a classic, with smooth lines, gritty chords, and syncopation. The three alluring keys are E, A, and D.

    New England Jam [Mostly Int] Mellie Dunham Room 1  David Kaynor (fiddle) & Eric Eid-Reiner (piano) - Share, request, learn, listen, record, ENJOY! Both Eric and David have CDs and more in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Learn "Shingling the Roof," a Cross-Border Tune Common to Maine and Canada [Int] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Frank Ferrel (fiddle) - Since most of Maine is in Canada anyway (look at a map), we’ll learn a tune common to fiddlers on both sides of the border.

    Drop-In Technique Questions Answered [Int] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Julie Metcalf (fiddle) - You're not a beginner, but you might still have questions on fiddling technique involving bowing, left hand, intonation, tone, tunes, and techniques across multiple styles.  Drop in for just a few minutes or stay the whole time; Julie will make you welcome.

    Oldtime Indiana Tunes from Lotus Dickey [Int-Adv] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Pete Sutherland (fiddle) - Indiana is a crossroads of fiddling. Lotus was a true treasure of American music and fiddling was just one of his talents. It was privilege for me to have spent some of the 1980's in his company, I in my 30's, he in his 70's. I love sharing his music and stories. I'll teach a couple of his pieces.

    Québecois Gaspésie Style Workshop on "Le Bedeau de L'Enfer" [Adv] Jean Carignan Room 2  Éric Favreau (fiddle) - Éric plays with Tidal Wave and is a master instructor of traditional Québecois tunes and techniques. "The Beadle of Hell" is from "Beggar" Thomas Pomerleau.  From the Gaspé Peninsula of Québec, this tune goes on different crooked ways but never goes outside the road!

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots, Vassar Clements Room 391, Dewey Balfa Room 392

    6:30 - 7:30PM
    Fiddle Tune Composition Lab for All Instruments [All Levels] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Alan Kaufman (fiddle) - We'll listen to and analyze several classic "prototypes" of fiddle tunes, and dissect them into their component parts ("riffs").  As a group, we'll decide on a prototype to experiment with and collectively build the tune.  The goal is to help you with creating your own tunes.  Look for Alan's CDs in the Fiddle Hell Store (including a new one with original compositions).

    Drop in Help on Mandolin [All Levels] Bob Wills Room 35  Shana Aisenberg (mandolin) - We will focus on your mandolin questions on scales, arpeggios, pick direction, tremolo, chord shapes up the neck, and more. Drop in or stay for a while; Shana will also teach some exercises for developing and refining technique.

    Explore Jig Bowing while Learning an Easy Jig from Maine [Beg-Int] Joe Venuti Room 31  George Fowler (fiddle) & Art Bryan  (guitar) - Using “Off She Goes,” a tune you may already know (but easy to learn if you don’t), we’ll show you a few ways to make your jig bowing feel more comfortable, rhythmic and flowing.

    Learn a Fine Bluegrass Tune "Shenandoah Valley Breakdown" and How to Fancy It Up [Beg-Int] Kenny Baker Room 32  Ellen Carlson (fiddle) & John Robinson (guitar) - Ellen will start by teaching a basic version of this tune and then explore typical little things to spice it up and make it sound “bluegrassy.”  Ellen is an inspiring and clear teacher as well as a fine fiddler in multiple traditions.

    Irish Really S l o w Jam [Beg-Int] Julia Clifford Room 34  Tom Morley (fiddle) & David Surette (guitar) - Tom leads many slow jams, from Alabama to Ireland. Some common seisiún tunes, at a  s l o w pace.
 Look for Tom's Irish fiddle books and David Surette's CDs in the Fiddle Hell Store. David joins us at Fiddle Hell for the very first time this year.

    NEW 52 Learn "Trip to Moscow" (Northumbrian March from new 52) [Int] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Julie Metcalf (fiddle) - Trip to Moscow was composed by Ian Ball in 1995. The Reiner Family Band learned this dynamite tune from Rachel Maloney many years ago at the Meadowlark Music Camp; it's just one tune from her eclectic repertoire. The tune will likely show up at the Whomp at 9:30PM tonight..

    Try Some Western Swing [Int] Vassar Clements Room 391 Art Schatz (fiddle) - Drop in for a few minutes or stay for a while to try out some Western Swing tunes. It's a style that combines hot fiddling and improvising with a great dance beat, on classics like Take Me Back to Tulsa. Space is limited in this room.

    Learn "Midnight on the Water" and "Bonaparte's Retreat" via Their Components & Bowing [Int] Don Messer Room 4  Frank Ferrel (fiddle) - We’ll learn one or two tunes from the ground up by their component parts, adding all the elements as we go with an emphasis on bowing and intonation. We'll break down the classic Benny Thomasson versions of these two tunes using Benny's unique tuning and bowing.

    Introduction to Galician Fiddle (Spanish Celtic tradition) [Int] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Katie McNally (fiddle) - We'll learn a muiñiera (a 6/8 dance tune) in this class, layering on traditional bagpipe harmonies and Galician rhythms as we learn a little bit about the music and dance of northern Spain. Isto debe ser divertido para todos!

    Learn "André à Toto" from a Young Vermont Fiddler [Int] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  Oliver Scanlon (fiddle) - Multi-instrumentalist Oliver Scanlon plays with Pete Sutherland in Pete's Posse and The Clayfoot Strutters, and has a long history of awesome fiddling.  At Fiddle Hell, he's happy to pass along that tradition to you, with this catchy Québecois tune.  Look for Oliver's debut CD in the Fiddle Hell Store; he's also essential to the Fiddle Hell sound crew.

    French Canadian Jam [Int-Adv] Mellie Dunham Room 1  Becky Tracy (fiddle) & Gretchen Koehler (piano) - Bring your favorite French Canadian tunes to share, and Becky will share some of hers. Should be a rocking good time.

    No Holds Barred Oldtime Jam [Int-Adv] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Andy Reiner (fiddle), Tim Rowell (banjo) & Joy Adams (cello) - Pull those chairs in until you're knee to knee, change keys once in a while, and you're off.  Shakin' Off the Acorns? Garfield’s Blackberry Blossom? 
Benton's Dream? Cellosaurus Stomp? Grasshopper on the Fiddle Case?

    Learn One or Two of Paddy Fahey's Compositions (Irish) [Adv] Benny Thomasson Room 8  Laurel Martin (fiddle) - Born in 1926, Paddy Fahey from East Galway, Ireland, is an exceptional composer and fiddler of tunes in the Irish tradition.  He has never recorded professionally or released a tune book, but his tunes are known far and wide for their "draíocht" (soul). We will learn one or two compositions of his and will explore the fluid style of bowing and the lugubrious sound that his tunes encourage.

    Open for Jamming:  Hallway Jam Spots, Buddy MacMaster Room 37, Dewey Balfa Room 392

    7:30 - 8:00PM
    TEENS Teen Meetup (Ages 13-18 only) Vassar Clements Room 391 - Informally meet a few others your age at Fiddle Hell.

    8:00 - 9:00PM
    Yodeling 101 Workshop [All Levels] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Alan Kaufman (voice) - Learn the basics of yodeling. No experience necessary; just bring yourself and your sense of humor :-).  Alan was one of the three yodelers and yodel composers in this much-loved YouTube video.

    Learn an Easy New England Jig: "Stool of Repentance" [Beg] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  Julie Metcalf (fiddle) - Julie's a fine teacher and very patient with beginners. This is an accessible, instant-gratification tune that has been played since 1734 or even before.

    Scottish Workshop [Beg] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Lissa Scheckenburger (fiddle) - We will learn a simple Scottish march or jig together by ear at a relaxed pace. You are encouraged to bring a recording device and notebook. Says Sing Out magazine about Lissa: "World-class fiddler... far from just offering one dance tune after another, [her] simple settings allow the true beauty of the music to shine through." We will lean a simple Scottish march or jig together by ear at a relaxed pace. 

    Learn a Neat Tune from The Connecticut River Valley [Beg-Int] Julia Clifford Room 34  David Kaynor (fiddle) - There's a rich heritage of tunes and contra dancing in this Valley, which covers parts of Western MA and southern VT. David hails from that area and will transport you there with one challenging tune or perhaps two more accessible tunes from this fertile valley of the earth and mind.

    Oldtime Fiddle Workshop on a Regional Tune [Int] Tommy Jarrell Room 3 Bruce Molsky (fiddle) - We’ll hone in on a particular regional style and focus in first on melody, then phrasing, and how to move the bow and then maybe a little ornamentation. Participants can build the tune up to the level that's comfortable for them.

    Klezmer 101 for Fiddlers [Int] Joe Venuti Room 31  Clayton March (fiddle, clarinet) & Shana Aisenberg (fiddle) - Klezmer is a rich musical tradition, with the fiddle (aka fidl) playing a prominent role in late 19th and early 20th century Eastern European ensembles. We'll explore scales such as freygish; learn to play an easy tune or two from the traditional repertoire of freilachs, bulgars, khosidls and horas; and discuss fiddle accompaniment. No previous knowledge of klezmer music is required. Don't forget the Klezmer jam at 12:30PM on Sunday.

    Québecois Quadrille Workshop on "La Valse Clog Guillemette" [Int] Don Messer Room 4  Eric Favreau (fiddle) - The Waltz-Clog is a kind of step dance tune, different! For a good match with the dancers' movements you need to have a nice balance inside your playing. This is one of the must beautiful traditional waltzes in the Québec tradition. Look for Eric's recordings and transcription book in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Tunes from the Repertoire of Franco American Fiddler Louis Beaudoin [Int] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Pete Sutherland (fiddle) - Says Pete: "As a young buck who didn't know one style from another, I was unbelievably fortunate to be introduced to this ex-cop and radiator repairman living a mile from me in Burlington, VT. Louis and his music influenced me tremendously, and some of his tunes are deservedly well-known. I'll teach a couple more."

    Slow Motion Irish Ornamentation [Int] Bob Wills Room 35 Gretchen Koehler (fiddle) - Ever wish you could slow down a player to see exactly what was happening during those lightening fast ornaments? Gretchen will break down a variety of left and right hand ornamentation, offering tips on speed and weight (bow/finger) during rolls, turns, flicks, cuts, grace notes, triplets and more. Check out Gretchen's CD "The Waxwing" (Irish Fiddle & Jazz Piano), featured on Thistle and Shamrock, Best New Sounds) at the FH Store.

    Helpful Ways to Improvise in Jazz [Int] Benny Thomasson Room 8  Rob Flax (fiddle) - Know a few tunes, and feel okay about taking a solo, but still sometimes get confused about where you are in the form? Do you hear a harmony player playing juicy chords, but can’t figure out how to react in time? Do you want to build a solo that has a satisfying narrative arc? This session is for you.

    Secrets for Improvising over Chords on Western Swing Tunes [Int-Adv] Kenny Baker Room 32  Art Schatz (fiddle) & Marshall Racowsky (guitar) - We'll use a few well known Western Swing songs to explore ideas for playing jazzy solos over the chord changes.  We'll start with a simple blues-based song to review basic swing chords and find interesting ways to move among them while soloing.

    Learn Ear-Catching Variations on Devil's Dream [Adv] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Dave Reiner (fiddle) & John Robinson (guitar) - Sure, a lot of people play this tune, but why play what's written in a 200 year old tune book when there are so many more possibilities?  Dave will lead you through variations, inversions, double shuffles, double stops, and dramatic departures to make this tune come alive.  This is a practical demonstration of how to think about variations so that you never play a tune the same way once.  Er, twice.

    Wild Cape Breton Jam [Adv] Mellie Dunham Room 1  Andrea Beaton (fiddle) & Eric Eid-Reiner (piano) - Join in with traditional fiddle music, laughter, smiles, and maybe some dancing.  On Cape Breton island, they add up to a wild ceilidh.

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots [and Old Joe Clark’s Pub 9:00PM-12:30AM], Dewey Balfa Room 392, Vassar Clements Room 391

    9:30 - 10:30PM
    THE WHOMP!  Gathering of the Groove for All Instruments (Join at any time; goes until 11PM) [Level varies by tune, Int + a Few Beg] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Rachel Maloney (fiddle), Andy Reiner (fiddle, octave mando), Joy Adams (cello, banjo), John Robinson (guitar), Rob Flax (bass) - A primal gathering of the groove, with tunes and songs from oldtime, blues, world, intergalactic and other traditions. Participatory, with the emphasis on spirit and community more than technique. Echoes of Meadowlark and Rustic Roots, now right here at Fiddle Hell for the very first time!

    New England Slow Jam [Beg-Int] Mellie Dunham Room 1  Lissa Schneckenburger (fiddle) & Art Bryan (guitar) - We can’t wait to jam with you! Tunes will be common repertoire similar to what you might find in The New England Fiddlers Repertoire book, but anyone is welcome to join whether familiar with the New England style or not. Bring your instruments, jokes, and favorite tunes to share. Since it's a slow jam, tunes are played 30-50% slower than usual. Lissa’s fiddling is uplifting and lively; look for her many excellent CDs in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    From Page to Stage: A "Note Reader's" Guide to Basic Oldtime Ornamentation [Beg-Int] Don Messer Room 4  Gretchen Koehler (fiddle) - Players with note reading skills quickly notice that notated music leaves much to the imagination. Gretchen will show many great techniques such as shuffles, drones, slides and more that can be layered on the basic tune to give it a more authentic old time sound.

    The Circle of Fifths is Your Friend Forever [Int] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Shana Aisenberg - Understanding the Circle of Fifths can help to unlock many music theory mysteries. Shana will discuss the types of major, minor and seventh chords found in any key; some typical chord progressions in a key; and look at swing progressions that use backwards cycling through the circle.

    Western Swing Jam [Int-Adv] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Paul Harty (guitar) & Art Schatz (fiddle) - Try some hot breaks on fiddle or just play melody and backup as Paul and Art lead you through classic tunes like Take Me Back to Tulsa.

 Do you think Time Changes Everything?  Sorry, no Bubbles in My Beer, but maybe we'll try some twin or triple fiddling on Faded Love.

    A Tune or Two from Michael Coleman's Repertoire [Int-Adv] Julia Clifford Room 34  Laurel Martin (fiddle) - Coleman (1891-1945) was a wonderful Irish fiddler from County Sligo, known for his melodic variations.  He spent years in New York City, and recorded around 80 records, which influenced many other fine Irish fiddlers of the time.

    Waltz Playalong 1-2-3 (Music Provided) [Int-Adv] (Dancers welcome!) Joe Venuti Room 31  Bob Alessio (fiddle) & David Kaynor (guitar) - A warm, welcoming, waltz wonderland. Play by ear or read the music to drift along through a 3/4 landscape for an hour. Dancers welcome. More waltzes on Sunday afternoon.

    Open for Jamming: J. Scott Skinner Room 33, Kenny Baker Room 32, Bob Wills Room 35, Lonnie Johnson Room 7, Buddy MacMaster Room 37, Benny Thomasson Room 8, Hallway Jam Spots [and Old Joe Clark’s Pub until 12:30AM]

    10:40PM
    Registration and Fiddle Hell Store close until 8:00AM Saturday morning.

    11:00PM - Midnight
    Singing Irish Ballads [All Levels] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Paul Harty (guitar) - Bring the day to a rousing close by singing some classic ballads, led by Paul. Irish ballads have simple melodies and great refrains, and sometimes there's even Whiskey in the Jar.

    Join Laurel for an Irish Jam Session [Int-Adv] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Laurel Martin (fiddle) & David Surette (guitar) - Laurel Martin's fiddle playing moves with the joyful, lilting rhythm and the soulful nuance that she hears in the music of Clare and East Galway. Join Laurel and David for this energetic late-night jam.

    Lonesome Moonlight Waltz and More (Bluegrass) [Int-Adv] Don Messer Room 4  Art Schatz (fiddle) - With the moon waxing crescent tonight, it's a good time for a soulful bluegrass waltz in Dm. Art will teach this classic Kenny Baker / Bill Monroe tune with flowing lines and sweet double stops.  Then what?  Perhaps another iconic tune, or a fun bluegrass jam, depending on the flow.

    Oldtime Jam [Int] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  No Leader - As the first day of Fiddle Hell draws to a close, there's still time for an OT tune or two.  Or ten.

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots [and Old Joe Clark’s Pub until 12:30AM], Bob Wills Room 35, Tommy Jarrell Room 3, Lonnie Johnson Room 7 (until 11:45PM)

    Midnight - 3:00AM
    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots [and Old Joe Clark’s Pub until 12:30AM], Don Messer Room 4, Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6, Bob Wills Room 35, Sarah Armstrong Room 36  - Sleep is optional (but pace yourself, it’s only Friday!).

  • 2016 Saturday Schedule

    November 5, 2016 (Saturday)

    7:00-10:00AM
    Start the day with the Westford Regency's breakfast buffet ($12.95 + tax + gratuity) in the Stony Brook Café.

    8:00AM
    Fiddle Hell On-Site Registration Opens for the Weekend or for just Saturday. Go to the Registration Desk in the Arthur Smith Room (aka Whittier Room) near the right front entrance of the Westford Regency Inn. Sign in, get a stylish wristband and nametag, pick up a Program Book, perhaps buy a stylish T-shirt ($15 or 2 for $25).  Then, look around for your fellow fiddlers everywhere around you.  To see Fiddle Hell fees for the weekend and for Saturday only, click here. Saturday and weekend registrations include the Saturday night concert and dance for free.

    T-shirts ($15 or 2 for $25), CDs, DVDs, books, fiddles, bows, minor fiddle setups, accessories, and Lost & Found are also in the Arthur Smith Room.

    8:30 - 9:15AM
    WARMUP First Thing Warmup: Scales, Fingers, Bow, Head & Body [Beg-Int] Mellie Dunham Room 1  Ellen Carlson - Get ready for the full day of fiddling by warming up your body and mind.

     
    10:00AM - 6:00PM
    Hungry but no time to sit down? Snacks available for purchase outside the Arthur Smith (Registration) Room, including water, soda and coffee; candy bars, bags of chips, granola bars, whole fruit, and homemade cookies.
     
    12:00PM noon - 12:30AM (a little after midnight)
    Hungry? Fine food and drinks available all day at Old Joe Clark’s Pub off the Lobby. There are special lunch and dinner menus for Fiddle Hell of items that can be prepared rapidly.  There are some vegetarian choices, too.  They promise fast service.

    9:30 - 10:30AM
    Drop in Help on Fiddle Technique [All Levels] Dewey Balfa Room 392  Gretchen Koehler (fiddle) - Bowing questions? Intonation and tone? A tricky part of a tune you’re working on? Not sure where to start with a new technique? Gretchen can give your playing the "once over," offering a fresh set of eyes and ears to help answer your fiddle playing questions. Drop in for just a few minutes or stay the whole time.

    Drop in Help on Oldtime Banjo [All Levels] Vassar Clements Room 391  Tim Rowell (banjo) - Drop in for just a few minutes or stay the whole time. Right hand, left hand, basic frailing, double thumbing, slides, different tunings, and whatever else is on your mind. Tim welcomes you to the rhythmic land of oldtime banjo.  Look for his CDs with Jubilee Mule and the Hi-Tone Ramblers in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    NEW 52 Learn "Cock O' the North" (Easy Scottish Jig from new 52) [Beg] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Katie McNally (fiddle) - We'll break down this simple but classic jig into digestible phrases and learn some basic Scottish style. Sometimes known as “Auntie Mary,” it's a nice jig in A mixolydian favored by pipers and fiddlers alike.

    Easy New England Jam Session with Tips for Jamming [Beg] Don Messer Room 4  Pete Sutherland (fiddle) & David Surette (guitar)
    - Some doggone great traditional Yankee dance music is quite easy to learn and play. We're going THERE, with some helpful suggestions on jam etiquette, fitting in when you don’t really know the tune, and more.

    How to Learn Tunes by Ear All Instruments [Beg] Jean Carignan Room 2  Lissa Scheckenburger (fiddle) - Back by popular demand! We’ll go through a series of exercises designed to help strengthen your ears over time, and improve your ability to learn tunes on the fly. No experience necessary, all instruments welcome. Bring a recording device and a notebook!! You'll hear Lissa's fine playing on the concert tonight.

    Learn an Easy Appalachian Waltz “Staying the Course” [Beg] Kenny Baker Room 32  Alan Kaufman (fiddle) - Here’s a lovely waltz that Alan wrote just this year. It’s a spare, minimalist melody with intriguing and beautiful chords behind it. Check out Alan’s All in Good Time CD/tunebook of original tunes with Don Stratton in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    KIDS Kids' Québecois Step Dancing Tune Workshop [Int] Benny Thomasson Room 8  Éric Favreau (fiddle) - Éric will show you "Le Reel des Colons," a wonderful and energetic tune from the Gaspé area that is really good for step dance or square dance, or contradance. C'est une belle façon de commencer la journée pour les jeunes violoneux!

    Learn a Fine Cape Breton Tune [Int] Mellie Dunham Room 1 Andrea Beaton (fiddle) - "Listen to her play, the power of her bow, the drive and swing of her timing, the crispness of her attack. [Andrea] has made a name for herself in dance halls, concerts, ceilidhs, and festivals throughout North America and the UK." A good workshop to start your Saturday at Fiddle Hell.

    Learn a New Favorite Keith Murphy Tune for Contra Dancing [Int] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  Becky Tracy (fiddle) - Here is a crazy tune in the Key of Bmaj. called "If Fish Could Fly." It’s not hard to get if you learn it in pieces (that’s how we’ll do it), but the effect is slightly middle-eastern, driving, and wild sounding. Look for Becky's solo and band CDs in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Learn a Traditional Cajun Two-Step [Int] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Michelle Kaminsky (fiddle) - One of the lovely and distinctive things about Cajun music is having twin fiddles, exchanging leads and back-up or seconding. We'll learn about the rhythm patterns and chord shapes that will give your fiddling that Cajun feeling. Can you hear the combined influences of music from Louisiana, Texas, Québec, and Cape Breton? Thought so; now please pass me une tarte à la bouillie.

    NEW 52 Learn "Chinquapin Hunting" (Oldtime reel from new 52) in Cross Tuning [Int] Joe Venuti Room 31  Bruce Molsky (fiddle) - What a great, driving tune to start the day! Bruce will cover the style, the notes, the bowing, the rhythmic groove.

    Learn an Irish Reel as Played by Kevin Burke [Int] Julia Clifford Room 34  Tom Morley (fiddle) - Tom channels one of the most influential modern Irish fiddlers, who performed and recorded with The Bothy Band, Patrick Street, and the Celtic Fiddle Festival. Tom's own fiddling “evokes memories of players in the rich fiddling hotbed of western and northern counties in Ireland…” - Manus McGuire.

    Playing the Old-Time Fiddle Tunes on RHYTHM Guitar (Bring Guitar) [Int-Adv] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Bennett Hammond (guitar) - Be there, but don't be in the way. Every tune has its own rhythm.

    A Couple of Iconic Bluegrass Fiddle Breaks [Int-Adv] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Darol Anger (fiddle) - In Bluegrass, quoting performance on the original recording is considered not only a good idea, it's a badge of belonging and a way of connecting past with present. Quoting can develop into subtle and nuanced commentaries on the original solo and other solos in the style. We'll learn a couple of iconic "breaks" and see how they can be used in other contexts as well.

    Awesome Tunes and Techniques to Play for New England Dances [Adv] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6   David Kaynor (fiddle, bassoon) - We’ll learn a solid “workhorse” tune and develop some melodic and rhythmic variations that relate to contra dance choreography. David, who will once again be calling for the Fiddle Hell Dance tonight, promises to reveal all (well, several) of his secrets and techniques. Just kidding about the bassoon.

    Start Your Morning Off Right: Learn a Crooked Oldtime Tune [Adv] Bob Wills Room 35  Mariel Vandersteel (fiddle) - Add a spark of variety to your repertoire by diving into this delicious world of tunes with a missing or extra bar. It’s easier than you think! SingOut says: "It would be easy to lump Mariel Vandersteel in with many other young fiddlers but the maturity of her playing…places her in a wholly different category." Look for Mariel’s CDs in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots

    10:30-11:00AM
    TEENS Teen Meetup (Ages 13-18 only) Vassar Clements Room 391  - Informally meet a few others your age at Fiddle Hell.

    11:00AM-Noon
    KIDS Drop in Help for Kids - Fiddle Techniques and Styles [Any Level] Vassar Clements Room 391  Rob Flax (fiddle) - Ask a question, get an answer! Want to know how to play chords on one of the Common Tunes? Want to learn how to count to ten in South Indian rhythmic solfege (konokol)? Want to learn how to play a bluegrass lick? Interested in using electronics with your fiddle? Want to talk about how nature and dragons and magic and mathematics relate to the fiddle? Drop in; it’s first-come, first-served.

    Drop in Help on Irish Fiddling [All Levels] Dewey Balfa Room 392  Tom Morley (fiddle) - Come for the whole time or just drop in. Bowing, tunes, cuts, rolls, trebles, slurs across the beat, and other ways to bring your Irish fiddling to the next level. Ask away!

    Traditional Oldtime Singing [All Levels of Singers] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Bruce Molsky (fiddle) - All are welcome! With lyric sheets in hand, we’ll sing through some good old songs, maybe work up a few harmonies and listen to some recordings of some very old pieces.

    Easy Québecois Jig Workshop "Set de Valcartier" [Beg] Don Messer Room 4  Éric Favreau (fiddle) - From the Corrigan family, this easy jig was used for the dance "The Lancer.’’ The swing inside the jig needs to be relaxed and stable for the dancer, but still solid.

    Learn an Easy Traditional Cajun Waltz [Beg] Bob Wills Room 35  Michelle Kaminsky (fiddle) - Laissez les bon temps rouler! Michelle’s got a fine Cajun waltz to show you, with the elusive Aieee! factor. She’ll start with the skeleton or vocal line of the tune, and then add the ornaments that give it a Cajun flavor. Michelle plays with the Magnolia Cajun Band as well as others.

    Friendly Intro to Modes, For All Instruments [Beg-Int] Kenny Baker Room 32  Mark Simos (fiddle) - Ever wonder why some tunes get called “modal”? The secret behind the mysterious sound of those cool archaic tunes? The modes are a rainbow of scales and chords opening many moods and colors between conventional major and minor. In this workshop we’ll listen, sing, wave hands in the air and—yes, even play!—to explore the sounds of varied modes in different traditional styles. Come thou and gaze upon the Mode Star!

    NEW 52 Learn "Slider's Reel" (Driving Bluegrass Breakdown from new 52 common tunes) [Int] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  Dave Reiner (fiddle) & Paul Harty (guitar) - Says Dave: "I wrote this two-part tune about 20 years ago, and it’s been played at the White House (the real one, in Washington, D.C.) and recorded a few times. In addition to the tasty slides in each part, there are easy double stops and useful bowing patterns that you’ll be able to apply to other tunes as well."

    Essential Scottish Bowing Techniques [Int] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Katie McNally (fiddle) - We'll learn a classic strathspey, which will serve as a platform for applying what we learn about snaps and the up-driven bow.  Did you know that J. Scott Skinner's Guide to [Scottish] Bowing was first published in 1900?

    Southern Fiddle My Way [Int] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Pete Sutherland (fiddle) - Says Pete: “First fiddling I fell hard for was Southern. Loved the groove, the swing of it, the simple melodies that seemed to grow out of the bowing. I love sharing the ingredients that make this happen."

    Twin Fiddling Workshop [Int] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Jason Anick (fiddle) & Peter Anick (fiddle) & David Moultrup (guitar) - They’re not actually twins; Pete’s the dad and Jason’s the son. The two have a great feel for harmony fiddling after many years of playing together, and they’ll demonstrate and teach some of the key techniques that you can apply to a variety of tunes.

    How to Play a 12-Bar Blues: The Blues Ain't Nothin' [Int] Julia Clifford Room 34  Ellen Carlson (fiddle) & Bennett Hammond (guitar) - We will explore the 12-bar blues form and blues scales and how this form relates to other styles of music. Wear blue??

    Mandolin Fills, Clichés and Riffs To Use Behind Vocals (Bring Mandolin) [Int on Mandolin] Benny Thomasson Room 8  Skip Gorman (mandolin) - In the context of a bluegrass song with three chords, Skip will get you playing some mighty fine fills and riffs from Bill Monroe and others.

    Doubling Down on Double Stops [Int-Adv] Joe Venuti Room 31  Darol Anger (fiddle) - Double Stops [notes played together on two strings] are considered the Final Frontier in Bluegrass and Swing fiddling; The oldest and greatest fiddlers obsess over them. Organizing our thoughts on this difficult technique is paramount. We''ll work through the different flavors and explore simple techniques for practicing them.

    Learn Two Favorite French Canadian Tunes that Work So Well for Contra Dancing [Int-Adv] Jean Carignan Room 2  Becky Tracy (fiddle) - I’ll teach "Maxime LeBlanc" and "La Petite Chappelle du Bois." We’ll learn these in a slow session style, with less breaking down of the tunes, since there are two tunes here. So prepare yourself mentally and have your recording device at the ready..

    Cape Breton Set Workshop: March to Strathspey to Reel [Adv] Mellie Dunham Room 1 Andrea Beaton (fiddle) - We’ll start with a Cape Breton setting of "Killiecrankie" in C and go into a common traditional strathspey and reel from Cape Breton.  These ratchet up the excitement as the tempo increases. Look for Andrea’s CDs and tune book in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Irish Tunes from Charlie Lennon [Adv] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Clayton March (fiddle) - Fiddler Charlie Lennon (b. 1938) is one of the most prolific living Irish tune composers, who has published two books of his tunes. Clayton will teach Charlie Lennon’s no 4, one of his best known tunes, and if time permits also The Dawn Chorus.

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots

    Noon-5:00PM
    Snacks available for purchase outside the Arthur Smith Room, including coffee, water and soda; candy bars, bags of chips, granola bars, whole fruit, and homemade cookies.

    Noon-12:30AM (a little after midnight)
    Hungry? Fine food and drinks available all day at Old Joe Clark’s Pub off the Lobby. There are special lunch and dinner menus for Fiddle Hell of items that can be prepared rapidly. There are some vegetarian choices, too.

    12:30-1:30PM
    MINI CONCERT "Mix and Match" [Listening for All Levels] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Skip Gorman, David Surette, Ellen Carlson - Relax and hear tunes across a variety of styles - Western, Irish, Bluegrass, Western Swing and more - from these three fine players. Then wend your way to their wonderful workshops later on.

    NEW 52 Learn to Play, Sing & Dance "Cellosaurus Stomp" (from new 52 common tunes) All Instruments [All Levels, All Ages] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Joy Adams (cello, fiddle) - Cosmic! Dinosaurastic! If you miss this session, you'll find the music, words and dance in the program booklet. Try to learn them in time for the Cellosaurus Stomp Flash Mob at 3:10PM this afternoon.

    Singing for the Confidence Impaired For Non-Singers [All Levels] Benny Thomasson Room 8  Lorraine Hammond (singer) - Shy about singing in public? Come have fun with simple songs, vocal warm-ups and easy techniques that will help you find your voice. Pressure? No. Fun? Yes, indeed. Participatory for all levels. Also offered Sunday at 12:30PM.

    Drop in Help on Oldtime Banjo or Guitar [All Levels] Vassar Clements Room 391  Tim Rowell (banjo, guitar) - Right hand, left hand, rhythm, chords, and much more. Drop in with a question, stay for a while if you like.

    Learn "Ah! Les Femmes," an Easy Down East Tune as Played by Tommy Doucet [Beg] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Frank Ferrel (fiddle) - Legendary Boston fiddler Tommy Doucet (1902-1992) played some deceptively easy tunes. Look for Frank's great CDs and books in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Learn an Easy Scottish Reel: “The Corrie Man” [Beg] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Jenna Moynihan (fiddle) - We'll get this nice traditional tune under our belts, all learning by ear, and talk about what makes Scottish music different from other Celtic styles. Stovies and beetroot, anyone?

    NEW 52 Learn "Chez Seychelles" in D (Cajun Waltz from new 52) [Easy Int] Bob Wills Room 35  Michelle Kaminsky (fiddle) - Expressive, haunting, relaxed. Occasionally played in the key of F, but we like D and find it easier. Michelle will lead you through the tune until it becomes yours as well.

    Trad Irish - East Clare Sweetness [Int] Kenny Baker Room 32  Laurel Martin (fiddle) - Laurel will discuss distinctive characteristics of East Clare music, and give guidance for listening to help you further explore this Irish regional style. You’ll learn one or two traditional tunes from the region. Take a look at Laurel's excellent CDs and books in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Give Your Jigs Personality! [Int] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  Autumn Rose Lester (fiddle) - We’ll take a simple jig and explore how to give it different feels (smooth, bouncy, mysterious) by learning and applying certain bowing and emphasis techniques. Focused on intermediate fiddlers (though advanced are certainly welcome as well).

    Twin (Harmony) Fiddle Playing [Int] Julia Clifford Room 34  Lissa Schneckenburger (fiddle) - What rules, tricks, heuristics, and ideas can help you to work out harmony parts when playing with other fiddlers? Lissa knows (have you ever heard her with Halali?) and she’ll be your guide today to twin fiddling.

    Bowing Patterns & Rhythms That Bring Life to Appalachian Tunes [Int] Joe Venuti Room 31  Alan Kaufman (fiddle) - From anticipation to syncopation, from bow rocks to slurs, Alan will show you the details of how it's done, in the context of a classic oldtime tune, “Ride Old Buck to Water.” Alan wrote the book Beginning Old-Time Fiddle and he’s a patient and experienced teacher.

    Learn "San Antonio Rose" [Int] Jean Carignan Room 2  Art Schatz (fiddle) - James Robert (“Bob”) Wills was the primary founder of Western Swing. He and his band the Texas Playboys were known for jazz-like arrangements and great dance music. Bob wrote San Antonio Rose as an instrumental and later added lyrics to make it “New.” A dramatic melody, sweet chords, and a key modulation in the bridge add to the allure of this tune for Western Swing players.

    Super Guitar Backup Techniques (Bring Guitar) [Int-Adv on Guitar] Dewey Balfa Room 392  Bennett Hammond (guitar) - Non-generic guitar accompaniment knows one tune or song from another. Late night guitar wisdom from Bennett.

    Quintessential New England Jam [Int-Adv] Mellie Dunham Room 1 David Kaynor (fiddle, ektara) & Bethany Waickman (guitar) - Westford’s the perfect place for your favorite New England tunes, and a few that might be new to you. Spend a happy hour with David and Bethany, having great fun with great tunes.

    Chasing Down Ed Haley’s “Forked Deer" (Oldtime) [Adv] Don Messer Room 4  Mark Simos (fiddle) - Blind Kentucky fiddler Ed Haley is considered by many the finest old-time fiddler for whom a recorded legacy remains— certainly one of the most inventive, and in some respects a transitional figure between older solo fiddling traditions and the modern era. In this bows-on-strings workshop we’ll tackle a monumental tune: Haley’s many-parted version of the well-known “Forked Deer,” comparing his setting to older versions and marveling together at his inexhaustible wealth of sleight-of-note “slurs and insults.” Mark, the 2003 Clifftop 1st place Trad Fiddle winner, may even share a few Haley-esque twists and turns of his own (Cliffhangers) version, by way of demonstrating how to “work up” a tune in your own way. Look for Mark's many oldtime CDs in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Hot Techniques for Swing Mandolin (Bring Mandolin) [Adv on Mandolin] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Jason Anick (mandolin) & Peter Anick (guitar) - We will work on the essential elements of soloing within a swing setting, including rhythm, picking technique, phrasing, dynamics, and more. Says Mike Marshall: “Jason Anick's playing has a wonderful clarity and creativity and his compositions offer a modern jazz approach to our instrument which is truly refreshing and inspired.”

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots

    2:00-3:00PM
    Healthy Musical Attitudes [All Levels] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Andy Reiner - Andy's practical and sage advice will help you make progress on your instrument while keeping sane! This has been described as "transformational" by several prior attendees.

    Backing Up a Singer on Fiddle [All Levels] Julia Clifford Room 34  Pete Sutherland (fiddle) & Lorraine Hammond (singer) & Bennett Hammond (guitar) - "I'm a singer myself, and so as a fiddler I love to figure out how to move around a singer, between, behind and through the lines of the song, to reflect, comment, hopefully enhance the line, and magnify the mood. You need a little basic street theory, but mostly open ears and eyes. Bring a fiddle - we'll try some ideas. Great to have Lorraine and Bennett to help with this workshop!

    NEW 52 Learn "The Merry Blacksmith" (Irish Reel from new 52 common tunes) [Beg] Jean Carignan Room 2  Tom Morley (fiddle) - This popular reel dates back to the O’Neill collection, and is quite cheerful. Like Tom (the cheerful part, at least; he’s not that old). The B part draws a lot from the A part, making the tune an easy one to learn.

    Easy Oldtime Fiddle Workshop [Beg] Don Messer Room 4  Bruce Molsky (fiddle) - If you’re new to oldtime fiddling, or newish to the fiddle, Bruce will lead you through the basics, what to listen for and how to find your way into a simple tune.

    Essential Bowing Patterns Workshop [Beg-Int] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Dave Reiner (fiddle) - The rhythmic drive, flow of notes, and liveliness of a fiddle tune owe much to the often intricate patterns woven by the fiddler's bow. Dave will impart this essential knowledge in a very approachable way, as he does every year. Helpful handout.

    Slow Airs and Ornamentation Ideas in Scottish Playing [Beg-Int] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Ed Pearlman (fiddle) - We’ll work on two beautiful slow airs: one in 4/4 and one in 3/4 that can serve for listening or as a waltz. Beginners will get a sense of the tunes, while intermediates will also get tips on enriching the tunes with ornamentation.

    Ornaments in Irish Fiddling [Int] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Becky Tracy (fiddle) - Let's learn "Gregg’s Pipes," sometimes called "Craig’s Pipes" - a three part Irish reel - to explore these various ornaments and bow techniques in Irish fiddling: slides, cuts, bowed triplets, serpentine bowing, and rolls. Becky will be your "roll model" and more!

    NEW 52 Learn "Minor Swing" in Am (swing tune from new 52) [Int] Joe Venuti Room 31  Jason Anick (fiddle) & Pete Anick (guitar) - Written by Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli, this is a Gypsy jazz anthem. Apart from the brief introduction and final coda or playout, there is no discernable melody, just a repeated sequence of chord changes over which players improvise continuously until by some mutual agreement the end is decided and the playout performed. Jason will show you the way.

    The Blues: North America's Musical Language [Int; Beg may listen] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Darol Anger (fiddle) - The Blues, as a musical idiom and common language, pervades EVERY style of American music and is an essential communication tool for every musician who lives here. Like the fugue, waltz, and sarabande, it's a musical form. It's also a harmonic and melodic system with a very specific set of moves and skills. We will analyze and PLAY the Blues, focusing on the form, and the three crucial Blue Notes in the Blues scale and how to use them.

    DADGAD Tuned Guitar 101 (Bring Guitar) [Int on Guitar] Vassar Clements Room 391  Bethany Waickman (guitar) - DADGAD is an alternative guitar tuning most associated with Celtic music. This open tuning is neither intrinsically major nor minor; it facilitates moveable chords and drones. Try it!

    KIDS Amazing Kids' Session Any Instrument [Int-Adv] Dewey Balfa Room 392  Joy Adams (cello, banjo, fiddle) - Learn an aquatic old-time tune with funky lyrics. Then we'll play rhythm and groove games and get our jam on!

    Learn a Traditional Bluegrass Tune "Bill Cheatham" [Int-Adv] Kenny Baker Room 32  Ellen Carlson (fiddle) & John Robinson (guitar) - This great tune comes up a lot in jams. A few tasty slides and double stops in the A part combine with string crossings in the B part to power the tune. Ellen might have a few variations and bluegrassy bowings to add once you know the basic tune.

    Québecois Jam [Int-Adv] Mellie Dunham Room 1 Éric Favreau (fiddle) & Gretchen Koehler (piano) - Not too far to the north of Boston is a wonderland of Québecois fiddling. Let’s recreate it at Fiddle Hell; come to share your favorite French Canadian tune.

    Learn "The Graf Spey," a Powerful Irish Reel as Played by Clare Fiddler Bobby Case [Adv] Benny Thomasson Room 8  Ellery Klein (fiddle) - The Graf Spee was a German battleship in WWII - but this tune’s name may come from a distortion of the word “Strathspey.” Ellery will teach this great fiddle reel - 5 parts meander from the G string to the E across a dramatic and lilting Irish melody. Bobby Casey’s Clare style featured elegant rolls and clever variations - we’ll give a listen to his tune and try a few of his tricks ourselves after we learn the tune.

    Learn "Reel du Pom Pom" a Fine Tune by Oliver Tremblay of the Boston Franco Fiddling Tradition [Adv] Bob Wills Room 35  Frank Ferrel (fiddle) - A look and listen to the rich mid-20th century Franco fiddling tradition as exemplified by players Tommy Doucet, Emil Melanson, Oliver Tremblay, Romeo Lemay and others. Hear some original home recordings and learn Trembley's composition Reel du Pom Pom.

    Scottish Phrasing and Dynamics [Adv] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  Jenna Moynihan (fiddle) - Tunes tell a story that goes beyond the notes. Jenna will help you to explore the power of the bow and breath -- two integral aspects to finding one's voice on the instrument. She’ll talk about ways to experiment with phrasing and dynamics through some exercises. Sorry, no cranachan or clootie dumplings served this year.

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots

    3:05 - 3:20PM
    FLASH MOB Andy Reiner (fiddle) & Joy Adams (cello): Cellosaurus Stomp Flash Mob [All Levels] Mellie Dunham Room 1 - Play it, sing it, dance it! Or just listen. We'll meet in Dunham and step into the hallway when we're ready. The music and words and dance steps are in the Fiddle Hell program book.

    3:30-4:30PM
    MINI CONCERT "Diary of A Fiddler" [Listening for all levels] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Darol Anger (fiddle) & Andy Reiner (fiddle) - This highly improvised session is named after Darol’s extraordinary CD of duets with other fiddlers in any musical abode the fiddle can enter, be it bluegrass, classical, jazz, Celtic or those still undiscovered. Chopping, swapping, chords, harmonies, counterpoint, syncopation, spontaneous improv, dynamics, phrasing, and more are part of Darol’s and Andy’s arsenals. There will be time for some Q&A to demystify techniques and strategies.

    Ergonomic Exercises - Play Without Tiring or Hurting [All Levels] Don Messer Room 4  Ed Pearlman (fiddle) - You can be a good fiddler if you love it and play enough, no matter how "correctly" you play, but if you gain awareness of how your joints and muscles actually do their jobs, and do some simple exercises to teach your muscles to be efficient, you can relax and play a lot longer without getting tired or injured. Video support available afterward.

    Easy Tunes from the Maine Fiddle Camp [Beg] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  George Fowler (fiddle) & Art Bryan (guitar) - Maine Fiddle Camp welcomes players of all levels. We’ll teach tunes from our classes and from beginner jams during those wonderful summer music gatherings in Montville, Maine. Look for classic New England CDs from George and Art in "The Montville Project" in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    KIDS Kid's Jazz/Swing Workshop: How to Use Rhythms Instead of Licks [Beg-Int] Dewey Balfa Room 392  Rob Flax (fiddle) - Want to improvise, but don't know a lot of cool licks? Take a simple idea and play with the rhythm. We'll explore rhythms from all over the world, using techniques not usually taught to fiddlers, and then apply them to an awesome tune “Mack the Knife.”

    Singing and Playing Fiddle at the Same Time [Beg-Int] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Lissa Schneckenburger (fiddle) - Whether you are an experienced singer/fiddler, or just getting started, Lissa will help you find the tools you need to sing and play the fiddle at the same time. We’ll work with a simple song as a group, and go through the steps needed to put together the words and the accompaniment. You don’t have to prepare for the workshop at all, but if you like you can bring questions or a song that you’ve been working on.

    Expanding a Basic Lick to Help in Jamming with a Singer [Int] Kenny Baker Room 32  Ellen Carlson (fiddle) & Paul Harty (vocals, guitar) - Playing with a singer is an important role for a fiddler. Ellen will start with a common ending lick and show you how to enhance and change the lick for variety, ending up with a pocketful of useful licks. Paul will sing mightily and patiently.

    NEW 52 Learn "Cliffs of Moher" (Irish Jig from new 52) Emphasizing Rhythm and Lilt [Int] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Ellery Klein (fiddle) - The physical Cliffs of Moher may be deadly for American tourists used to lawsuit-preventing rails at the edge of the heights, but the traditional Irish jig is a very accessible and classic “chestnut" of a tune. Ellery will teach the tune and help fiddlers lock into a solid jig rhythm and groove of the tune -aka, the musical guard rail that will prevent your fiddle playing from going over the edge and taking the session with you!

    Learn a Great Scottish Pipe Tune on the Fiddle “The MacNeils of Ugadale” [Int] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Jenna Moynihan (fiddle) - Jenna will take a tune from the piping tradition of Scotland and help you stick it on your fiddles. Says Matt Glaser: "She is such an amazing fiddle player. So musical; the dynamics, the phrasing, the touch - everything is so beautiful."

    Fiddle Backup in an Oldtime Jam [Int] Bob Wills Room 35  Mariel Vandersteel (fiddle) - Join Mariel in exploring different ways to back up a tune in an Oldtime jam setting. We’ll explore rhythmic bowing, and how to hear and play chords on our fiddle.

    Finding Chords to Slippery Tunes - For All Instruments [Int] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Mark Simos (fiddle, guitar) - Some tunes lend themselves to standard chord progressions. But some of the coolest tunes to play are also the most elusive to accompany: they go right when you think they’ll go left, stay put just when you think they’ll go… In this hands-on, entertaining, and practical session, Mark will draw on lessons of many years accompanying traditional Celtic music, to share some handy tricks of the vamper’s trade you can apply in many styles. He’ll come prepared with a couple of “problem child” tunes, then will ask for a head-scratcher or two from you.

    Dock Boggs Tunes for Banjo (Bring Banjo) [Int on Banjo] Vassar Clements Room 391  Tim Rowell (banjo) - We’ll explore Dock Boggs' unique up-picking banjo style in two of his most enduring songs We’ll learn a couple of his unusual tunings and a bunch of his signature licks.

    Cape Breton Jam Session [Int] Mellie Dunham Room 1  Andrea Beaton (fiddle) & Eric Eid-Reiner (piano) - Who knew that the Ceilidh Trail led to Westford, MA? This should be a fine session.

    Québecois Bowing Workshop [Int-Adv] Jean Carignan Room 2  Éric Favreau (fiddle) - Traditional bowing techniques really make the sound of Québecois fiddling.  Éric will be your right hand man to learn them, using a Yvon Mimeault tune. Rhythm patterns, accents, syncopation, floating bow, bowed triplets, grace notes, swung notes - you need all of this if you want go inside the Gaspésie or Acadian style like Jean Carignan and André Alain.

    Learn a Set of Classic Irish Reels as Played by Jean Carignan [Int-Adv] Julia Clifford Room 34  Frank Ferrel (fiddle) - Jean Carignan (1916-1988) was a fiddler from Québec who played with great technique and joy, and had a repertoire of over 7000 tunes! Learn “Mullingar Races” and “The Boys on the Hill” as Carignan played them (originally recorded in the 1930’s by Paddy Killoran). 

    Great New Tunes from the NW Vermont Youth Scene [Int-Adv] Joe Venuti Room 31  Pete Sutherland (fiddle) - Back by popular demand! The Burlington area has been a hotbed of youth fiddling for years, and many of these young friends of mine are prolific writers of really catchy tunes. I love sharing a couple of them each year here at Fiddle Hell.

    Beyond Ornaments: Melodic Variations in Irish Traditional Tunes [Adv] Benny Thomasson Room 8  Laurel Martin (fiddle) - Several conventions of variation in Irish traditional music will be discussed and demonstrated, and then the class will work together to create our own variations to a traditional Irish reel.

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots

    5:00-6:00PM
    Appalachian Mountain Songs, Everyone Welcome [All Levels] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Lorraine Hammond (voice) & Bennett Hammond (guitar) - Come collect a few great “little” songs that will last you forever. Singers, fiddlers, all pickers welcome to participate. "The Hammonds are folk missionaries of the first order... who love to introduce people to the joys of traditional music." - Scott Alarik, Boston Globe.

    Being an Entertainer, Not Just a Musician [All Levels for Listening and Discussion] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Katie McNally, Joy Adams, & Gretchen Koehler - This is an unusual new Fiddle Hell workshop about a challenge that many of us face. And it won’t just be talking - expect some entertaining demonstrations and practical advice from these three pros that may fundamentally change the way you think about your playing.

    Tune Writing Strategies [All Levels] Joe Venuti Room 31  Mark Simos (fiddle, guitar) - Mark will present exercises and techniques for writing new tunes in traditional styles, sharing some of his own tunesmith’s secrets, and drawing on approaches described in his book Songwriting Strategies: A 360º Approach (Berklee Press/Hal Leonard; Fiddle Hell Store). Come get acquainted with Smitty, the Tunesmith Genie!.

    Backing Up Jigs, Reels and Waltzes (Bring Your Guitar, Mandolin, ...) [All Levels] Bob Wills Room 35  Bethany Waickman (guitar) & Ellery Klein (fiddle) - We'll look at a few different right hand strumming/rhythm options for backing up jigs, reels, and waltzes. Although Bethany plays open-tuned guitar, the workshop is open to guitars, mandolins, ukes, and anyone looking to play rhythm behind fiddle tunes. Right hand focus, so chording will be secondary. Bethany and Ellery play together in Fódhla (see their latest CD in the Fiddle Hell Store).

    Essentials of Calling for Contra Dances (Extra dancers welcome to help out) [All Levels] Benny Thomasson Room 8  David Kaynor (caller) - You'll see David in glorious action at the contra dance tonight, right after the concert. But here's a behind-the-scenes look at the caller's viewpoint, and a chance to try a little bit yourself.

    Drop in Help on Oldtime Fiddle [All Levels] Vassar Clements Room 391  Alan Kaufman (fiddle) - Drop in with questions or just to listen in. Alan will likely focus on bowing patterns, rhythmic approaches to oldtime music, foot tapping, and internalizing the beat. Essentials of the oldtime fiddle sound!

    Learn a Simple Cape Breton Reel including Bowing & a Few Ornaments [Beg] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Andrea Beaton (fiddle) - You'll learn one of Andrea's favourites, "Carter MacKenzie’s Reel," written by Kevin Chaisson of Prince Edward Island.

    KIDS Mandolin for Kids (Bring Mandolin) [Beg or Int on Mandolin] Dewey Balfa Room 392  David Surette (mandolin) - We will learn the basics and play a song on the mando, come on out! David’s a friendly teacher whose technique suggestions are worth their weight in gold.

    Easy Oldtime Jam [Starts Beg, goes to Int] Kenny Baker Room 32  Cathy Mason (fiddle) & Paul Harty (guitar) - Cathy and Paul have led many happy jams over the years, and they’ll share a few nuggets of helpful advice on jamming throughout this session. It’ll be basic to start with, and will pick up a bit as the jam progresses.

    Shetland Fiddle Workshop [Int] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  Skip Gorman (fiddle) - Says Skip: “I met Aly Bain in the late 60's and later traveled with him and Tom Anderson for a week in the Scottish Highlands. I played the Shetland Folk Festival in the 90's. Some of the tunes we might work on include some Foula reels (which are really jigs): Shaalds o' Foula & Garster's Dream. Perhaps The Full Rigged Ship or Gramsay jigs. Reels we might try are Da Lerwick Lasses, Da Scalloway Lasses, Sleep Sound in the Morning, Jack Broke the Prison Door & Donal Blue. Lots of possibilities…”

    Up-to-speed Irish Jam [Int-Adv] Julia Clifford Room 34  Andy Reiner (fiddle, octave mandolin] and Clayton March (fiddle) - The craic will be mighty! Time for lots of trad tunes. Sorry, no black pudding or barmbrack.

    Oldtime Jam [Adv] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Bruce Molsky (fiddle) & John Robinson (guitar) - All instruments welcome at this fast paced jam. Look for Bruce’s many CDs and DVDs in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Learn Fundamental Gypsy Jazz Techniques [Adv] Don Messer Room 4  Jason Anick (fiddle)
    - Jason will help you to achieve that authentic sound and feel of Gypsy Jazz (vibrato, tone, phrasing, and more). Look for Jason’s solo CDs and those with the Rhythm Future Quartet in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots

    5:00-6:30PM
    Want a quick dinner before the concert and dance? The hotel is running a Fiddle Hell buffet for us in the Stoney Brook Café next to the main lobby.  Help yourself to pasta primavera in cream sauce, penne pasta in marinara sauce, meatballs in marinara sauce, Caesar salad, garlic bread, rolls and butter, and your choice of a soft drink or a bottle of water. Prices include tax and gratuity: Adults $19, Kids 4-12 $12, Kids under 4 free.

    6:00-6:45PM
    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots, Don Messer Room 4, Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6, Lonnie Johnson Room 7, Benny Thomasson Room 8, Bob Wills Room 35, Sarah Armstrong Room 36

    7:00-9:45PM
    FIDDLE CONCERT Open to the public, and sponsored by a "Friend of Fiddle Hell" Dunham/Carignan/Jarrell combined. To give us a chance to set up sound, doors will open at 6:30PM (not before!).

    This concert will feature great fiddling from 20 fiddlers - more variety and shorter slots than last year to give more players a chance.
    Fiddlers include Alan Kaufman, Andrea Beaton, Andy Reiner, Bruce Molsky, Cathy Mason, Darol Anger, Dave Reiner, Eric Favreau, Frank Ferrel, Jason Anick, Jenna Moynihan, Joy Adams (cello), Katie McNally, Laurel Martin, Lissa Schneckenburger, Mark Simos, Pete Sutherland, Skip Gorman (mandolin), and Tom Morley. At the very end of the concert, we’ll invite all Fiddle Hell instructors to play a tune together on stage!

    The concert is free if you’ve paid for Saturday or the weekend at Fiddle Hell. Walk-ins are $15 (includes the easy contra dance afterwards). Tell your friends about the concert - this is the only part of Fiddle Hell that's open to the public.
    Free parking outside. Thanks to Tim Rowell and Oliver Scanlon for sound engineering, and Eric Kilburn of Wellspring Sound for lighting.

    Open for Jamming (but why would you miss the Fiddle Concert?): Only the upstairs Hallway Jam Spots (not downstairs), Lonnie Johnson Room 7, Benny Thomasson Room 8, Bob Wills Room 35, Sarah Armstrong Room 36

    9:45-11:00PM
    NEW ENGLAND CONTRA DANCE (open to the public) [No Dance Experience Necessary] Dunham/Carignan/Jarrell combined. The dance is free if you're at the concert; there are no separate tickets just for the dance. David Kaynor (calling), George Fowler (fiddle), Autumn Rose Lester (fiddle), Eric Eid-Reiner (piano), and the Fiddle Hell sit-in band - Fun, easy dances for all (no experience necessary), with exuberant, rich, inclusive music by an enormous, expertly-guided folk orchestra. You can put down your instrument and dance a few easy contras and circle dances. Or Fiddle Hell attendees are welcome to sit in with the band to play well-known New England tunes for the dancers.

    Bluegrass Jam [Levels vary by tune, mainly Int-Adv] Don Messer Room 4  Paul Harty (guitar, vocals) - If you're not at the dance for some reason, here's a bluegrassy alternative. Bring your fiddle; other bluegrass instruments (and voices) are welcome, too. Brown County Breakdown, anyone? Jerusalem Ridge? Old Daingerfield? Blue Night? How about Old Home Place?

    Leap into Rhythm Changes for Jazz [Int-Adv] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Rob Flax (fiddle) - One of the most common chord progressions in all of jazz is “rhythm changes,” named after the song “I’ve Got Rhythm.” We’ll dig deep into this structure: how to hear it, how to improvise over it, and of course learn a tune! An alternative to the contra dance.

    Irish Jam [Int-Adv] Bob Wills Room 35  No Leader - This seisiún ceoil na hÉireannan is an alternative to the contra dance.

    Open for Jamming: Only the upstairs Hallway Jam Spots (not downstairs), Lonnie Johnson Room 7, Benny Thomasson Room 8, Sarah Armstrong Room 36

    After the concert and dance, Fiddle Hell continues through the wee hours of Saturday night! There are more workshops (check out Andy Reiner's Free Improvisation for all levels) and jams (New England, Oldtime, Irish, and more) until 3AM or later. Just like last year, we'll also have jamming until 12:30AM at Old Joe Clark's Pub in the hotel. While you can stay up late on Saturday night if you like, don't forget there are another 85 workshops and jams starting at 9:30AM on Sunday (and a new Warmup session at 8:30AM).

    11:00PM-Midnight
    Free Improvisation [All Levels] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Andy Reiner (fiddle) - No boundaries!

    It's Not Too Late to Learn a Hypnotic Oldtime Reel [Beg] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Mariel Vandersteel - The magic of old time music is how you can play the same tune again and again and again and again and again and again... Learn a few favorites that will be sure to leave you in a trance.

    Learn An Intergalactic Tune or Two, All Instruments [Int] Benny Thomasson Room 8  Joy Adams (cello, banjo, fiddle) - We'll take an old-time tune to space-jam status, and we'll learn another tune too beautiful for this world.

    New England Jam [Int, more or less] Mellie Dunham Room 1 No Leader - New England tunes, what else?
 Starts as soon as the dance is over. Piano available.

    Oldtime Southern Jam [Int-Adv] Don Messer Room 4  No Leader
    - Play just a few more hypnotic oldtime Southern tunes.

    Irish Jam [Int-Adv] Bob Wills Room 35  No Leader - Seisiún ceoil na hÉireannan continues.

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots [and Clark’s Pub until 12:30AM], Lonnie Johnson Room 7, Bob Wills Room 35

    Midnight-3:00AM
    New England Jam [Mostly Int] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  No Leader - More New England tunes, in the heart of historical New England.

    Oldtime Southern Jam Continues [Int-Adv] Don Messer Room 4  No Leader - Jam continues as long as there are fiddlers, banjo players, and more left standing (sitting?).

    Irish Jam Continues [Int-Adv] Bob Wills Room 35  No Leader - Reels and jigs in sumptious digs.

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots, Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6 (after Free Improv is over), and Clark’s Pub just until 12:30AM

  • 2016 Sunday Schedule

    November 6, 2016 (Sunday)

    All Day
    More jamming and workshops. Jam, learn, ponder, chat, trade tunes, buy CDs and fiddle books, buy a T-shirt, wander around Westford.

    7:00AM-2:00PM
    Start the day with the Westford Regency's breakfast buffet ($12.95 + tax + gratuity) from 7:00-9:00AM in the Stony Brook Café. Or try their sumptuous Sunday Brunch ($28 for adults, $18 for children under 12, + tax + gratuity) from 10:00AM-2:00PM.

    8:00AM
    Fiddle Hell On-Site Registration opens for Sunday. Go to the Registration Desk in the Arthur Smith Room (aka Whittier Room) near the right front entrance of the Westford Regency Inn. Sign in, get a stylish wristband and nametag, pick up a Program Book.  Then, look around for your fellow fiddlers everywhere around you.  To see Fiddle Hell fees for the weekend and for Sunday only, click here.

    T-shirts ($15 or 2 for $25), CDs, DVDs, books, fiddles, bows, minor fiddle setups, accessories, and Lost & Found are also in the Arthur Smith Room.

    8:30 - 9:15AM
    WARMUP First Thing Warmup: Scales, Fingers, Bow, Head & Body [Beg-Int] Mellie Dunham Room 1  Ellen Carlson - Get ready for this great day of fiddling by warming up your body and mind.

    10:00AM - 4:00PM
    Hungry but no time to sit down? Snacks available for purchase outside the Arthur Smith (Registration) Room, including water, soda and coffee; candy bars, bags of chips, granola bars, whole fruit, and homemade cookies.

    9:30-10:30AM
    Co-writing Fiddle Tunes [All Levels] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Pete Sutherland (fiddle) & Oliver Scanlon (fiddle) - Vermonters Pete and Oliver have been friends since Oliver, then a 4th grader, found his way to Pete's drop-in fiddle session. Now colleagues, they co-anchor the melody line of the dynamic multi-generational trad-roots trio "Pete's Posse." They've been writing tunes together for years in a variety of ways, and will be sharing some, along with the stories of their creation and a number of tips on how to work together to max effect.

    Drop-In Oldtime Banjo Questions Answered [All Levels] Dewey Balfa Room 392  Tim Rowell (banjo) - Drop in for just a few minutes or stay the whole time. Right hand, left hand, basic frailing, double thumbing, slides, different tunings, and whatever else is on your mind. Tim welcomes you to the rhythmic land of oldtime banjo.  Look for his CDs with Jubilee Mule and the Hi-Tone Ramblers in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    How to Jam - Advice & a Chance to Try it Out [Beg] Don Messer Room 4  Rob Flax (fiddle, mandolin) & David Surette (guitar) - If you’ve never jammed before, there are so many questions. What do I play? How do I even ask someone to jam? Learn the basics of this community-oriented music making method. We’ll talk about jam sessions of different styles, what to play (and what not to play!), and then have some fun playing together.

    Learn a First Crooked French Canadian Tune [Beg] Jean Carignan Room 2  Becky Tracy (fiddle) - We’ll learn the very fun 5/4/3 or Cinq, Quatre, Trois - which indicates the time signature for each part 5/2, cut time, 3/2. If you have never played a crooked tune before, this might open the door.

    Learn an Easy East European Tune [Beg] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  Shana Aisenberg (fiddle) - The fiddle music of Eastern Europe encompasses Klezmer, Balkan, Greek and Gypsy traditions. We'll explore the unique scales, modes and odd meter rhythms that are often used in these styles, and learn to play Sto Mi e Milo, a easy Macedonian song in 7/8. “Sto mi e milo, milo i drago; I’d love to have a little shop in the town of Struga.”

    Western Fiddle Tunes in Crosstunings [Int] Bob Wills Room 35  Skip Gorman (fiddle) - We'll explore exciting possibilities of old time American tunes in tunings such as DDAD, AEAE, GDGD, GDGB and GDAD ("Gee, Dad").

    God's Tuning on Guitar: Drop D (Bring Guitar) [Beg-Int on Guitar] Vassar Clements Room 391  Bennett Hammond (guitar) - For D-tunes, yeah sure, but consider this low five in the key of G, or the low four in A; and just look at these semi-melodic, one- and two-finger major, minor and seventh power chords in all keys. "Hammond has a deft melodic sense, and a knack for transmuting traditional Irish and Appalachian motifs into thoroughly contemporary results" - Boston Globe.

    Melody & Phrasing Workshop [Int; Beg may listen] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Darol Anger (fiddle) - How can we keep a melody interesting when it gets repeated so much in fiddling? Darol knows, and soon you will, too. Darol is exceptional among modern fiddlers for his versatility and depth, and recently started up an online fiddling school.

    Learn “Hôtel Verret,” a Jig from Québec [Int] Joe Venuti Room 31  Éric Favreau (fiddle) - This jig has a dark part and a happy part, extravagant! Could the same be said of us? Éric’s classes are always fun.

    Playing Waltzes for Dancers (Waltzers welcome to attend) [Int] Julia Clifford Room 34  George Fowler (fiddle) & Art Bryan (guitar) - George will start you off with a simple waltz to convey the basic ideas, and then use another waltz or two to help you practice your new skills. A few dancers would be welcome as well as fiddlers. Look for George's CD, Never Better, with waltzes and more in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Learn a Fun Alabama Tune “Step Around, Johnny” as Played by Jim Cauthen [Int] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Tom Morley (fiddle) - Tom hails from the gulf coast of Alabama. This is a fairly easy tune from Tom’s favorite fiddler in Birmingham, Jim Cauthen, who along with wife Joyce have a great old-time band.

    Learn “The Brae Reel,” a Great Tune from Prince Edward Island (PEI) [Int] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Frank Ferrel (fiddle) - Historically, fiddling has always been an important part of life in P.E.I., one of Canada's Maritime Provinces. Tunes with infectious rhythm transport the listeners and dancers above the cares of everyday life.

    Norwegian Fiddling 101 [Int] Benny Thomasson Room 8  Mariel Vandersteel (fiddle, hardanger) - Learn a unique Scandinavian tune from Mariel’s repertoire from her time studying the hardanger fiddle in Norway, or perhaps her time in the Oldtime/Scandinavian band, Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers. Look for Mariel’s CDs in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Traditional Cape Breton Ornamentation [Int-Adv] Mellie Dunham Room 1  Andrea Beaton (fiddle) - We’ll talk about the different kinds of grace notes used in CB fiddle style. We’ll also talk about the bowing style and a couple of general rules when playing CB style. Along the way, we'll likely learn a new tune and take a familiar tune to dissect a bit.

    Learn One or Two of Bruce's Oldtime Favorites [Adv] Kenny Baker Room 32  Bruce Molsky (fiddle) - Come and work through the details of how to play a couple of Bruce’s favorites, with bowings and ornaments. Be prepared to play in alternate tunings. Will this take you to an alternate reality?

    New England Tune Workshop [Adv] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  David Kaynor (fiddle) - Interesting and fun tunes, techniques, and tricks, and a bit of recording for repertoire development. Learn from a fine fiddler and consummate contra caller. David promises to reveal all (well, several) of his secrets.

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots

    10:30 - 11:00AM
    TEENS Teen Meetup (Ages 13-18 only) Vassar Clements Room 391 - Informally meet a few others your age at Fiddle Hell.


    11:00AM-Noon

    Bow Chopping Workshop [All Levels] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Andy Reiner (fiddle) - A modern fiddling technique for both backup and leads, like playing drums on your fiddle. Crunches, ghost notes, syncopation - it’s all there and nobody does it better than Andy.

    Learn to Blend Your Voice in Harmony [All Levels] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Joy Adams (voice) - Learn how to find 2 and 3-part harmonies on a majestic and spiritual song. A gentle and fun session to try out. Bring your instrument if you have one, or just your voice.

    Drop in Help on Irish Fiddling [All Levels] Vassar Clements Room 391  Tom Morley (fiddle) - Come for the whole time or just drop in. Bowing, tunes, cuts, rolls, trebles, slurs across the beat, and other ways to bring your Irish fiddling to the next level. Ask away!  And check out Tom's books and CDs in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Introduction to Québecois Fiddle Style with “La Grondeuse” [Beg] Jean Carignan Room 2  Éric Favreau (fiddle) - This roughly translates into “The scolding (or nagging) woman."  It’s a tune that has a number of different versions. It’s perfect for step dancing, with very short phrases, accented bowing, and floating bow.

    NEW 52 Learn Äppelbo Gånglåt in G (Easy Swedish Walking Tune from new 52) [Beg] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  David Kaynor (fiddle) - Says David: “One of the nicest tunes in the world, and it’s not hard to learn.” The traditional tempo is that of a stately walk. Stora svenska musiken!

    Easy and Sweet Melodies from the Cow Camp (Bring Mandolin or Fiddle) [Beg-Int] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Skip Gorman (mandolin, fiddle) - We'll choose some pretty tunes from my CD "Mandolin in the Cow Camp" (in the Fiddle Hell Store). Start your day with gorgeous, lonesome, wild and woolly oldtime melodies from the Western Plains.

    KIDS Even Kids Get the Blues Workshop [Int] Dewey Balfa Room 392  Rob Flax (fiddle, mandolin) - What are the blues? Where did they come from? How do you play them? You’ll learn about the structure of 12-bar blues, where the blue notes are, where to slide, and more. In French, "J'ai le cafard" literally means "I've got the cockroach"  but is a way of saying "I've got the blues." 

    Learn a Great Cape Breton Strathspey as Played by the Beaton Family [Int] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Andrea Beaton (fiddle) - Cape Breton in Nova Scotia is home to the world’s largest fiddle and bow. Even better, it’s home to a driving, ornamented, fiddle style that draws on Scottish and Irish traditions and more. Mabou (where the Beatons are from) is a great community of strathspey lovers. We’ll learn an old tune and put the “dirt” (ornaments) from Mabou in it.

    Two Tunes with a Hook - One Irish and One Shetland [Int] Kenny Baker Room 32  Clayton March (fiddle) - A hook is a catchy musical idea, often a short riff, passage, or phrasing, that is used in popular music to make a song or tune appealing and to "catch" the ear of the listener. Clayton says it'll be "Arthur Darley's" for the Irish tune, and a complete surprise for the Shetland tune. 

    Workshop on Oldtime Banjo [Int] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  Bruce Molsky (banjo) - We’ll explore some of the well-known old time banjo repertoire and dig into the technical nuts and bolts of clawhammer style.

    Spice Up Your Tunes and Techniques for Scottish Country Dances [Int-Adv] Mellie Dunham Room 1  Katie McNally (fiddle) - Says Katie: "I'll take the mystery out of arranging for Scottish Country Dancing and make it accessible to everyone—I'll talk about title tunes, the conventions of SCD arrangements, good transitions between tunes, and where I source some of my favorite repertoire."

    Learn “Wild Rose of the Mountain,” a Beautiful Kentucky Oldtime Tune [Int-Adv] Bob Wills Room 35  Dave Reiner (fiddle) & Jerry Wile (guitar) - J. P. Fraley recorded this in 1974. He plays it deliberately with smooth bowing, a few slides, and several crooked pauses, and that’s just how we’ll learn it. This distinctive and stately tune shows up in OT jams from time to time, and is transcribed in my Oldtime Fiddling Across America book (in the Fiddle Hell Store, with co-author Peter Anick).

    Fiddle as Backup Instrument: What to Do; What Not to Do [Int-Adv hands-on; Beg may listen] Don Messer Room 4  Darol Anger (fiddle) & Emy Phelps (singer) - The ins and outs of playing behind a singer or other soloist. Not limited to Bluegrass, though that will be our main focus.

    Putting "Lift" into Your New England Dance Playing [Int-Adv] Joe Venuti Room 31  Lissa Schneckenburger (fiddle) & Bethany Waickman (guitar) - What does a caller want; what will animate the dancers? Lissa and Bethany will cover the elements that make New England tunes exciting to dance to. We'll pick a common tune and apply a series of exercises that you can use again and again for other tunes.

    Learn "Rory O’More," the Tune and the Dance! [Int-Adv] Julia Clifford Room 34  Becky Tracy (fiddle, caller) - Learn one of the great chestnut contra dances and tunes. We will dance to the tune, get it embedded in our head and then learn how to play the tune. 

    Learn a Cross-Tuned Oldtime Tune or Two [Adv] Benny Thomasson Room 8  Cathy Mason (fiddle) - Cross tuning fiddle strings AEAE (low to high) results in a resonating, joyous, and sometimes haunting sound. Cathy will teach "Jenny Ran Away in the Mud in the Night" and perhaps "Hog Went Through The Fence, Yoke And All." 

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots


    Noon-5:00PM

    Snacks available for purchase outside the Arthur Smith Room, including coffee, water and soda; candy bars, bags of chips, granola bars, whole fruit, and homemade cookies.

    Noon-8:00PM
    Hungry? Fine food and drinks available all day at Old Joe Clark’s Pub off the Lobby. There is a special lunch menu for Fiddle Hell of items that can be prepared rapidly. There are some vegetarian choices, too.


    12:30-1:30PM

    KIDS Voices and Fiddles for Kids [All Levels] Dewey Balfa Room 392  Rob Flax (voice, fiddle) - Ever wondered what your violin would say if it could talk? Let’s find out together! In this workshop we will practice singing with our instruments (in every way you could interpret that sentence).

    Fiddle Tune Writing Workshop [All Levels] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Frank Ferrel (fiddle) - Frank has composed well over 300 fiddle tunes! Says Frank: “We’ll explore inspiration, form and what fits on the fiddle. Then work together to craft a tune.” Look for Frank’s book The Ferrel Collection along with his CD of original tunes, Moxie, in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    5-String Fiddle Meetup [Any Level] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  No Official Leader - An informal get-together to meet some other 5-string players, swap techniques, try out fiddles. Amp available for electrics, but keep the volume reasonable. We love that beautiful low C string (EADGC) and the broader range it brings. Jon Cooper will have 5-string fiddles for sale in the Registration Room (Saturday and Sunday), and of course you’ll hear Andy Reiner playing his 5-string Cooper throughout the weekend.

    Singing for the Confidence Impaired - For Non-Singers [All Levels] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Lorraine Hammond (voice) - Shy about singing in public? Come have fun with simple songs, vocal warm-ups and easy techniques that will help you find your voice. Pressure? No. Fun? Yes, indeed. Participatory for all levels. Also offered Saturday at 12:30.

    Shape Note Sing [Some Shape Note Experience Helpful] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  Pete Sutherland (voice) - “Old time New England rock and roll." This community power singing style has been a part of America's musical landscape for centuries and remains a visceral and moving experience for participants and listeners in 2016. The bigger the sound, the better. Check your inhibitions at the door. Music provided.

    Learn an Easy Oldtime Southern Tune [Beg] Joe Venuti Room 31  Cathy Mason (fiddle) - With a simple tune, Cathy will point you towards the flowing, rhythmic and driving energy that produces that irresistible groove of the southern, oldtime sound.

    NEW 52 Fiddling with Foot Percussion [Beg for foot percussion only; Int for more tune learning] Jean Carignan Room 2 Gretchen Koehler (fiddle, feet) - Do you long to be able to do "the feet" WHILE playing your favorite Québecois tunes? Gretchen will help coordinate your feet with your bow and have you fiddling with basic foot percussion in no time. Then she'll teach your fingers Reel de Montréal. Gretchen's CD "The Waxwing" (Irish Fiddle & Jazz Piano) is not to be missed at the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Klezmer Jam [Int] Don Messer Room 4  Clayton March (clarinet, fiddle), Shana Aisenberg (fiddle) & John Chambers (accordion) - Klezmer music is from the mournful but exuberant musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe, with influences from American jazz. Crank up your fiddle or other instrument - last year this was a wild session. Handout of tunes.

    Fiddling in Layers (Bluegrass and More) [Int] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Dave Reiner (fiddle) & Jerry Wile (guitar) - A brand new way to think about learning and playing fiddle breaks and tunes. It will help you forever and a day. Hands-on and fun, short handout provided.

    Learn a Fine Cape Breton Tune from the Repertoire of Joe Cormier [Int] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Katie McNally (fiddle) - Joe Cormier (1927-2015) grew up speaking French in Chéticamp, Cape Breton, but the musical tradition around him was mostly Scottish. He moved to Waltham, MA in the 1960's. We'll learn the 3-part reel, "MacDonald's March," which was one of Joe's signature tunes.

    Learn Sliabh Luachra Style Tunes from Denis Murphy & Julia Clifford's Recordings (Irish) [Int] Julia Clifford Room 34  Laurel Martin (fiddle) - We'll explore the distinctive sound of the traditional music of this region of Kerry and Cork, and will learn a set of tunes from the pair’s classic recording “The Star Above the Garter."

    Learn a Lyrical Irish Jig on Mandolin (Bring Mandolin) [Int on Mandolin] Kenny Baker Room 32  David Surette (mandolin) - We will learn "Cook in the Kitchen," a great 3-part tune that’s sweet and ear-catching on the mando.

    Guitar Backup Secrets (Bring Guitar) [Int on Guitar] Bob Wills Room 35  Paul Harty (guitar) & Mariel Vandersteel (fiddle) - Bring your guitar to learn just how it's done from Paul. He’s a master guitar backer-upper, from bluegrass to oldtime to Irish to country to blues to rockabilly and more. Paul often performs with Dave Reiner and Eric Eid-Reiner in the Reiner Family Band.

    New England Jam [Int-Adv] Mellie Dunham Room 1  Lissa Schneckenburger (fiddle) & Eric Eid-Reiner (piano) - A combination of classic and modern tunes that are common to New England repertoire. It helps to be at least somewhat familiar with the New England style. Bring your instruments, jokes, and favorite tunes to share. You’ll want to look for Lissa’s many CDs and for Eric’s solo CDs and his latest CD with The Moving Violations in the Fiddle Hell Store.

    Maine Heritage Tunes from Simon St. Pierre [Adv] Benny Thomasson Room 8  George Fowler (fiddle) & Art Bryan (guitar) - St. Pierre, who passed away in 2016, was a revered Maine fiddler who was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship for his playing. In his memory and his honor we’ll offer a few of his best-known tunes for you to learn and pass along.

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots, Vassar Clements Room 391


    2:00-3:00PM

    MINI CONCERT "Dance Fiddlers" [Listening for All Levels] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Becky Tracy, Mariel Vandersteel, & David Kaynor, Bethany Waickman (guitar) - A one-hour musical snack, packed with nutrition for the mind and heart.

    Singing with Strength For Singers [All Levels] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Lorraine Hammond (singer) - Volume control, pitch control, vocal range and stamina are hallmarks of singing with strength. We’ll learn some “tricks of the trade” that help strong singers succeed.

    A Beginner's Introduction to Irish Ornaments [Beg] Julia Clifford Room 34  Tom Morley (fiddle) - How can beginners take their playing to the next level by adding a few well-placed ornaments to their jigs and reels? Tom will show you the grace notes, cuts, and rolls that he uses when he plays. You'll start by practicing them separately and then will see how to add them to tunes.

    Singing while Playing Fiddle [Int] Mellie Dunham Room 1  Bruce Molsky (voice, fiddle) - The strings of the fiddle and the human voice have a lot in common, and can be made to blend beautifully. Bruce will lead the class through some exercises to get fiddle and voice working together so we can play through a simple song, and also demonstrate a couple of his own favorites.

    Improvising for Traditional Fiddlers [Int] Joe Venuti Room 31  Lissa Scheckenburger (fiddle) - This workshop will show you how to be more playful and free when playing your favorite traditional fiddle tunes, and give you some exercises and practice techniques to develop your own personal style. We will start with a common simple fiddle tune, and work together to bend it in a variety of ways. Bring a recording device and notebook; there will be lots of ideas you’ll want to take home.

    Irish Technique- Getting a Good Rhythmic Base Under Your Tune with the Bow Hand [Int] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Ellery Klein - Irish music is full of complex ornaments and variations - and it’s easy to get lost down the rabbit hole chasing them, while ignoring the most important part of the music: the rhythm. If your groove is off at a session, you’ll take everyone down with you. We’ll go through some common jigs and reels, played simply, and explore how “Irish” you can make them sound just with the proper lilt in your bow.

    Learn a Few Traditional Italian Tunes [Int on fiddle or mandolin] Bob Wills Room 35  Bob Alessio (fiddle) & John Chambers (accordion) - Italian folk music is an important part of the country's musical heritage, and spans a diverse array of regional styles, instruments and dances. Sheet music will be provided at this fun session.

    Cello Groove Workshop (Bring Cello) [Int on Cello] Benny Thomasson Room 8  Joy Adams (cello) - Have cello....now what? What should you play in a jam session? How can you tastefully back up a fiddle player? Where’s the awesome “cello groove”? We'll cover these and more.

    KIDS Cape Breton Tune Workshop for Kids [Int-Adv] Kenny Baker Room 32  Andrea Beaton (fiddle) - We’ll learn a jig commonly played in Cape Breton and tell some jokes!

    Double Shuffle Bowing on the Fiddle [Int-Adv] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Dave Reiner (fiddle) & Jerry Wile (guitar) - Crowds love it! This syncopated, string-crossing shuffle fits over two measures of a fiddle tune, sometimes as an integral part of the tune (e.g., Back Up and Push, Orange Blossom Special, Bowing the Strings) and sometimes as a fun variation on the tune (e.g., Beaumont Rag, Devil's Dream, Bully of the Town).  This charismatic bowing is actually easier than it sounds (that's the point!), and Dave will slow it down, put it in the context of tunes, show you how to practice it, and let you loose on the world.

    Cajun House Party Jam [Int-Adv] Don Messer Room 4  Cathy Mason (fiddle) & Paul Harty (guitar) - Cajun music is emblematic of Louisiana. If you have a Cajun tune that you would like to share, come on in, or if you would like to learn a little back-up to play along while someone else is taking the lead; come on in.

    Jam Session with Darol [Int-Adv] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Darol Anger (fiddle) & John Robinson (guitar) - Darol is stylistically sweeping, melodically magical, and rhythmically remarkable. All that and he's a nice guy, too. Bring your favorite tune or just play along with Darol and the other hellions.  Anything can happen - and will!

    Québecois Workshop to Learn “Valse-Clog Carignan” [Adv] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  Éric Favreau (fiddle) - The famous fiddler Jean Carignan played this kind of waltz for the step dancers. Subtlety, floating bow, separate and distinct notes, grace notes, accents, rhythm, and timing are all essential to have the spirit of this one - no time to breathe, except inside the tune.

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots, Vassar Clements Room 391 (until 2:45PM), Dewey Balfa Room 392 (until 2:45PM)

    3:00-3:30PM
    Running Sound 101 [All Levels] Buddy MacMaster Room 37  Oliver Scanlon - Microphones, mixer, speakers - what's it all about? How do you make musicians sound good individually, and mix several of them together? Right after the mini-concert, Oliver will show you a few of the basics.  Ideally, we'll have a volunteer instrumentalist or two to experiment on, and there'll be time for a few people to try some hands-on mixing. Also offered at 4:30PM on Friday.

    3:05-3:20PM
    NEW 52 Flash March with "Coleman's March" in D and "Da Slockit Light" in D [Able to play one or both, or just march along]  Jean Carignan Room 2  David Kaynor (fiddle) - March to Lobby playing "Coleman's March."  Stroll back playing "Da Slockit Light," a beautiful Shetland air in 4/4 written by Tom Anderson, from the new 52 common tunes.

    3:30-4:30PM
    South Indian Rhythmic Solfège [All Levels] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  Andy Reiner (voice, fiddle) - Expand your rhythmic vocabulary and strengthen your sense of time by learning and applying classical Indian subdivisions to the fiddle. Good karma; great session.

    Learn a Simple but Memorable English Tune [Beg] Bob Wills Room 35  Tom Morley (fiddle) - The often ignored fiddle traditions of England have historically taken a back seat to flashier Irish and Scottish fiddling. But there's been a grand tradition of fine dance tunes in Merrie Olde England since the 1600s, and Tom learned a bunch of great ones from fiddlers in the U.K. on his 2015 trip there. You're going to love English tunes.

    Cape Breton Bowing Workshop (including Learning a Tune) [Int] J. Scott Skinner Room 33  Andrea Beaton (fiddle) - In Cape Breton, we saw more, and slur less, so we'll work on the "general rules" of that - in the context of a fine 2/4 march from Cape Breton.

    Introduction to Métis Fiddling [Int] Don Messer Room 4  Bruce Molsky (fiddle) - Métis fiddling is a beautiful oldtime style based mostly in the Canadian prairies and upper midwestern US. The tunes are crooked and interesting, with melodies very similar to many American oldtime tunes. Bruce will demonstrate some Métis tunes and teach a fine one on the fiddle.

    KIDS Learn a Favorite Tune from the Brattleboro Youth Fiddle Class [Int-Adv] Benny Thomasson Room 8 Becky Tracy (fiddle) - Becky teaches Celtic classes to kids and adults, and “Jenny Picking Cockles" was a favorite from last year.  We’ll learn the tune and a harmony to go with it.

    What Makes a Really Good Tune, and Why [Int; Beg May Listen] Joe Venuti Room 31  Darol Anger (fiddle, mandolin) - "There are no bad tunes, only bad players."  A skilled player can make a so-so tune sound great, but even a beginner can put across a really great fiddle tune. What makes these warhorses great? We will discuss structure, texture, and story in the context of fiddle tunes, and probably learn most of a couple.

    Got Those Fiddle Hell Blues - A Jam Session [Int] Lonnie Johnson Room 37  Rob Flax (fiddle, guitar) - Blues music, originated by African Americans in the Deep South, traverses a wide range of emotions and musical styles. Playing and hearing the blues can help you cheer up and lose "the blues." 12-bar blues and more.

    Québecois Cross-Tuned Workshop [Int-Adv] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Éric Favreau (fiddle) - Tuning your fiddle GDGD (bottom to top) will let you create a continuous sound effect in G, but don’t forget to play the melody. Fiddle Hell may be almost over, but Éric will lift your spirits in his final workshop of the weekend.

    Waltz Playalong 1-2-3 (Music Provided, Dancers Welcome!) [Int-Adv] Kenny Baker Room 32  Bob Alessio (fiddle) & David Kaynor (guitar) - Sheet music provided. Play by ear or read the music to help us gently wind down in this musical reunion.

    Traditional Scottish Session [Int-Adv] Mellie Dunham Room 1  Katie McNally (fiddle) & Eric Eid-Reiner (Piano) - Smith's a Gallant Fireman? The High Road to Linton? Atholl Highlanders? Join Katie and Eric for some sets of classic Scottish session tunes.  Be sure to bring some of your favorites, too! 

    Ornamentation in Traditional Irish Tunes [Int-Adv] Julia Clifford Room 34  Laurel Martin (fiddle) - Laurel will show you how to identify where rolls and triplets may be properly placed in traditional Irish tunes, and then teach effective practice techniques to improve your articulation of these ornaments.

    The Dark Art of Singing with the Fiddle in Harmony [Adv] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Pete Sutherland (voice, fiddle) - Not a dark art at all, really, but undeniably magical, even when it's not all that technical. I like getting fiddlers of all kinds to go beyond their limits, to get tight with both heir fiddling 'voice' AND their singing voice and connect them.

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots, Buddy MacMaster Room 37

    5:00-6:00PM
    Songwriting Workshop All Instruments [All Levels] Hjort Anders Olsson Room 6  Joy Adams (voice, cello, banjo) - Through writing a group song, we'll cover several strategies for effective songwriting, focusing on methods to beat writer's block. Bring a notebook and pencil.

    Easy Last Jam [Beg] Tommy Jarrell Room 3  David Kaynor (fiddle, zither) & Jerry Wile (guitar) - It's not quite over yet! David and Jerry will guide you through a last beginner jam at Fiddle Hell.

    Hypnotic Oldtime Jam [Beg-Int] Don Messer Room 4  Cathy Mason (fiddle) & Tim Rowell (banjo) - Lock in with other musicians in a moderately-paced Southern oldtime jam.

    Up-to-Speed Irish Jam [Int] Mellie Dunham Room 1  Tom Morley (fiddle) & Andy Reiner (octave mandolin, fiddle) - Reels, jigs, and the occasional hornpipe. You could be in the Cobblestone Pub in Dublin, Ireland. Or The Burren in Somerville, MA.

    The Last Bluegrass and Western Swing Jam at Fiddle Hell [Int-Adv] Lonnie Johnson Room 7  Paul Harty (vocals, guitar) - Do you like Del McCoury, Bill Monroe, Kenny Baker, Laurie Lewis, Sierra Hull? What about Bob Wills, Asleep at the Wheel, Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies? Jam on some of your favorite tunes to round out the weekend.

    Waltz Playalong 1-2-3 (Music Provided, Dancers Welcome!) [Int-Adv] Kenny Baker Room 32  Bob Alessio (fiddle) & David Surette (guitar) - Play by ear or read the music as this friendly session continues until the end of Fiddle Hell 2016. Heartfelt musical goodbyes.

    Oldtime Jam Session [Int-Adv] Sarah Armstrong Room 36  Pete Sutherland (fiddle) & John Robinson (guitar) - Let's wind up Fiddle Hell with one more blast of Southern tunes!

    Open for Jamming: Hallway Jam Spots, Benny Thomasson Room 8, Joe Venuti Room 31, J. Scott Skinner Room 33, Julia Clifford Room 34, Bob Wills Room 35, Buddy MacMaster Room 37

    6:15PM
    Our Fiddle Hell Store is closed until next year.

    Fiddle Hell Massachusetts is officially over. Go to dinner, take in a live performance, make your way to Boston or Cambridge. Or head home, glowing with the aura of new friends, new tunes, and new experiences. Mark your calendar for for next year: November 3-5, 2017, in Westford again. To make Fiddle Hell better, please answer 10 questions by clicking here on Survey Monkey.

     

     

  • 2016 Schedule Grid

    Here's the 2016 Schedule Grid for Fri-Sat-Sun, last updated Nov 1, 2016. If you view it in Adobe Reader, I suggest printing it "actual size." 

    There may be some minor changes to sessions, leaders, time slots, levels, and rooms before the FH Weekend, but this grid should give you the basics.  Click on 2016 Friday, 2016 Saturday and 2016 Sunday Schedule on the left to see locations, levels, and many more details about all of the 2016 sessions.

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