BELFAST — Franklin County Fiddlers and Belfast Bay Fiddlers will give a free concert at 7 p.m. Friday, March 29, at Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast, 37 Miller St. Donations will help offset the cost of the rental hall. For information about the concert, contact Rick Fitzsimmons at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Franklin County Fiddlers, founded and directed by Steve Muise, is a unique school music program in Maine. It is a multi-stylistic fiddle band, composed of 12 fiddlers, flute, cello, piano, guitar, bass, and accordion. The group has played in Maine, Boston, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Nashville, New Orleans and Ireland. It also regularly performs locally for aspiring young musicians and at nursing homes and veterans homes.
The Franklin County Fiddlers is an extension of the stringed instrument program in RSU 9 (the Mt. Blue Regional School District), which includes nearly 400 students. Members learn and perform a wide variety of traditional music styles, preserving music that has often been passed on from generation to generation. They learn mostly by ear, through rote teaching in the folk tradition.
The Belfast Bay Fiddlers is a group of amateur musicians from mid-coast Maine who play traditional dance tunes from New England, French and Atlantic Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and other regions. Their repertoire includes jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas, and waltzes performed on fiddle, guitar, mandolin, whistle, banjo, bass, piano, and other instruments. The Belfast Bay Fiddlers evolved from its weekly jam session in Belfast into a popular group that plays at regional festivals, community events, contra dances, schools, and senior centers. The group has performed at New Year’s by the Bay, the Maine Celtic Celebration, Arts in the Park, and Harbor Fest. Its weekly Sunday evening jam sessions at Waterfall Arts in Belfast from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. are open to anyone who enjoys playing or listening to traditional music.