Fiddles – Saturday September 10

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,

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.

Mass Appeal Fiddles repertoire:

Manitoba’s Golden Boy
St Anne’s Reel
Caribou Shuffle
Pachelbel Canon
Ingonish Jig & Swallowtail Jig
Eight of January & Gillette Reel
Rolly‘s Polka
Maytwayashing Waltz
Louis Riel Reel
Maple Sugar

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. 


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