Mass Appeal – Fiddles
St. Norbert Farmers’ Market
Saturday September 10
Rehearsal: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Concert: 11:30 am – 12:00 noon
Is there anything more Canadian than the sound of a fiddle? You can find them played just about anywhere from the eastern shores of Newfoundland and the Maritimes, through Quebec and Ontario across the prairies westward. Even across the arctic, you’ll never be far away from a fiddle jam no matter how far you go. The Canadian Encyclopedia has a fantastic entry on the history and development of Canadian fiddle traditions here.
Here in Manitoba, the geographical centre of Canada and the birthplace of the Métis Nation, a distinct fiddle style has emerged over the last few centuries. Mass Appeal Winnipeg is going to celebrate our multicultural heritage – and what better place to do it than at the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market?
We’re extremely happy to have Manitoba Fiddle Association Hall of Fame member Patti Kusturok guide us through the concert. A former Canadian Junior Champion, she has also won 6 Manitoba Championships, 3 Grand North American Championships, and she was the first woman in the history of Canada and the very first person from Western Canada to win the prestigious Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship. Find out more about Patti at her website, www.pattikusturok.com.
Patti will lead a rehearsal from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, followed by a concert from 11:30 to 12:00 noon in the centre of the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market. She has chosen pieces with easy and more challenging parts, so read on to find out how you can be a part of it! To participate as a player, download the songs below and practice them on your own. If you’re a beginner, pay close attention to Patti’s notes so you nkow what you play and how to hold your bow. Participants are asked to bring
– a music stand
– sheet music
– clothes pegs to hold your music if it’s windy
Here’s what we’ll be playing. You’ll find the music, some sample tracks, and notes on each song from Conductor Patti. You can download all the music as a single PDF file, or find individual versions of each song in the notes below.
Mass Appeal Fiddles repertoire:
Manitoba’s Golden Boy
St Anne’s Reel
Ingonish Jig & Swallowtail Jig
Eight of January & Gillette Reel
Louis Riel Reel
Patti Says: Hello Fiddlers!
I’m Patti Kusturok and I’ve compiled a half-hour’s worth of tunes for us to play at this great event. I’ve arranged the tunes in such a way that even raw beginners who have only been playing for a short time can join in.
When learning violin or fiddle, (they’re the same instrument – did you know that?) the hardest thing to master is the bow hold. I’ve found quite a good video which illustrates a decent hold here, What you want to remember is that the arm should NOT move from the elbow up, only from the elbow down, and that your wrist should be fluid and not stiff. There should not be a death grip on neither the fiddle nor the bow. RELAX!!!
If you have stands, bring them, and ideally with something to keep your music from flying away in case of high winds. Clothespins, putting the music in a binder with page protectors….all great ideas!
The tunes that I have chosen are all quite popular in the fiddle world. Violins 1 and 2 are usually melody and harmony, while violin 3 is most often the beginner option. I’d highly recommend choosing a part and learning it before the big day. If you’re proficient, maybe learn 2 parts and then you’re able to float around if needed. Here’s the list, in order, with some explanation:
1. Manitoba’s Golden Boy
Patti says: “He’s the symbol of success, at the gateway to the west…” There are actually words to this tune. Andy DeJarlis is Manitoba’s most famous fiddler and this tune is catchy and fun!
For the beginner line, Fiddle 3, I’ve written some as double stops, or two notes played at once. If you can play both, great! If not, just pick one. There are a lot of open strings here.
2. St. Anne’s Reel
Patti says: This is one of the “must know” fiddle tunes in Canada. You’ll hear it at every jam session. Fiddle 3 has some of those double stops, and again, feel free to choose only one of the notes if you’d rather. There are also some scale notes in here. We’ll probably play this tune three or four times through. Listen for me to yell “OUT!” when it’s time to quit.
3. Caribou Shuffle
Patti says: This is a fun tune that comes from BC fiddler Leonard Sexsmith. It’s a catchy melody and Gordon Stobbe has arranged the parts for this one. You’ll notice in the Violin 3 part, there’s an asterisk with a tip letting you know just to play those marked measures in that part. You’ll get to rest a bit in this one as a result!
Patti says: Manitoba fiddling is steeped in tradition, and there is a huge Ukrainian music scene in our cultural background. We had to have a Kolemeyka. Again, violin 3 is the easiest part. Lots of scale note patterns and open strings. For a bit there is a violin 4 added. Some of the 1’s and 2’s can take care of those.
5. Pachelbel Canon
Patti’s Sheet Music Download – Pachelbel Canon (Fiddle 1)
Patti’s Sheet Music Download – Pachelbel Canon (Fiddle 2)
Patti’s Sheet Music Download – Pachelbel Canon (Fiddle 3)
Patti’s Sheet Music Download – Pachelbel Canon (Fiddle 4)
Patti says: Not exactly a fiddle tune, but very recognizable. I didn’t write a beginner part for this piece, but some nice D drones would be great. Just playing some long open D notes, or if you’re feeling rather daring, couple the open D’s with some open A’s.
6. Ingonish Jig & Swallowtail Jig
Patti says: Here’s a little medley of a couple of Celtic jigs. In this one, violin 2 is the easy line. Double stops or single notes are great too.
7. Eighth of January & Gillette Reel
Patti says: Eighth of January comes from south of the border, and Gillette Reel has Québécois roots. I chose these because they were arranged again by Gordon Stobbe from the playing of Yukon fiddler Joe Louchan. Plus, I love these tunes!
8. Rolly’s Polka
Patti says: Here’s another Andy DeJarlis tune. This is a 3 part polka, which Andy seemed to have an affinity for writing. Beginner line is line 2, and keep in mind that if that’s even a little too much, feel free to just play the first notes of each measure.
9. Maytwayashing Waltz
Patti says: Manitoba fiddler Reg Bouvette co-wrote this one with Manitoba guitar player Jim Flett. It’s a gorgeous melody and has a kind of haunting sound to it. The beginner lines are made up most of scale notes.
10. Louis Riel Reel
Patti says: Our final Andy DeJarlis tune for the day. Again, double stops are written for the beginners, but feel free to play just one note if you prefer.
11. Maple Sugar
Patti says: This is the Canadian National Anthem of fiddle tunes. The only tune in history to be on the radio “hit parade” back in the day, it’s a “must play.” Violin 3 only comes in on the 3rd part, but violin 2 is quite easy if the beginners want to tackle that.