Joy and connection at March Forth!
Marching forth was glorious, thanks to the active participation of attendees coupled with the inspiring leadership & musical talents of Greg, Steve & Elsie.
Steve shared the story of the workshop tune, Doddie’s Dream, which was composed by Bruce MacGregor of Blazin’ Fiddles to benefit the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, founded in 2017 by Doddie Weir, a champion rugby player who has MND (motor neuron disease). Purchasing the Blazin’ Fiddles single and Bruce MacGregor’s sheet music will directly benefit myname5doddie.co.uk. Last March, the single was released, and the star-studded video won music video of the year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards. Check out all the links to learn more and get inspired!
After the workshop, Elsie, Greg & Steve performed a concert of tunes and songs illustrating their collective ability to play ‘outside the box’, and the audience responded with hoots, hollering, and thunderous applause. At the close of the performance, the All Comers Band joined in for Doddie’s Dream; their fiddles, guitars, banjos, pianos, and percussion filled the hall with the majestic tune, flowing into an all-request jam with many marches (and more!)
Below is our earlier blog post about the “March Forth” event. We’re thrilled to be striding forward with in-person programs on First Fridays. If you have ideas for the BFS Board as we plan, get in touch at [email protected]
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It’s time to “March Forth!” on Friday, March 4, at 6:00 pm at the Fellowship Hall of the First Church in Belfast, UCC. (Inclement weather date March 5.) The evening of exuberant fiddle tunes is the next step in our participatory dance and music nonprofit’s joyful return to 1st Friday programming.
Celebrated Maine musicians and music teachers, Greg Boardman, Elsie Gawler, and Steve Muise, will lead an All Comers Band music workshop with a theme of “March Forth”. Besides learning tunes in 4/4 or 2/2 time, workshop participants will get tips on improvisation and creating exciting arrangements, both of which are special talents of the guest trio. All three musicians are longtime staff members at Maine Fiddle Camp, where they have inspired generations of fiddlers and cellists from throughout the state and beyond.
Humble and generous multi-instrumentalist, Greg Boardman, founded Maine Fiddle Camp. For decades, he has been an influential musical mentor in his hometown of Lewiston and beyond, from leading the Mighty Cloud of Fiddlers to playing oud music with his Somali neighbors.
Elsie Gawler grew up sleeping under the piano at contra dances. Her cello, banjo, and vocals are beloved across the state and region — whether she’s playing in the duo, Elsie & Ethan, with her siblings as The Gawler Sisters, or with the entire Gawler Family Band.
The irrepressible Steve Muise graduated from Berklee College of Music. Throughout his storied career as a music educator, has brought the joy of fiddle music to hundreds (probably even thousands) of young musicians, at Maine Fiddle Camp and at the Mt Blue Regional School District in Farmington, where he teaches stringed instruments and leads the powerhouse high school ensemble, the Franklin County Fiddlers (about whom former BFS board member, Bruce Snider, penned this article). Steve is also known for his snazzy haberdashery and quirky sense of humor.
Following the workshop, the guest musicians will present a concert that highlights their varied and dynamic musical interests. The evening concludes with an All Comers Band jam session, focused on tunes played at community and contra dances. Musicians of all ages, experience levels, and instruments are welcome. Attendees who don’t play an instrument are invited to enjoy listening from their seats.
Sliding scale admission is $5-20 per person. All attendees must wear a mask. The First Church is at 8 Court Street, with the Fellowship Hall entrance on Spring Street. Doors open at 5:30 for instrument tuning. The Fellowship Hall has limited capacity. For info and updated public health protocols, visit www.belfastflyingshoes.org or contact [email protected].
Belfast Flying Shoes was founded in 2005 with a mission to bolster the spirited dance and music community in Midcoast Maine. BFS programs include the Flying Shoes Radio Hour on WBFY, the “Sing Along and Tap Your Toes” concert series for older adults, and music lessons for residents at the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center.