Monday, December 1, 2014

December Workshop/Jam Tunes

So far, the tunes we've jammed on at our monthly workshop/jams have included:
Quoi Faire (Cajun)
Angeline the Baker
Amazing Grace
When the Saints Come Marching In
Sandy Boys
Shortnin' Bread
Marie's Wedding

This week, we'll be working on a tune called:
Dancing Bear, doing a little improvisation, and sharing others tunes as suggested!

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 2nd, the first Ri Fiddle Project community workshop/jam.

At the first  jam, we played Amazing Grace, Shortnin' Bread, 
The Saints Come Marching In, and several other tunes. 
We also learned the first part of Sandy Boys. 

Antonieta brought us great snacks!
Come and join us for the next one, next Thursday, November 6 at 6:30

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The 6th year of RI Fiddle Project started with great energy! Students arrived with instruments in hand, ready to play, with good form, and smiles on their faces. Old tunes were reviewed, and Amazing Grace was the new tune of the day. It's cool to see how much our students have grown up over the summer. They were quick to help each other learn, and were really focused on getting good tone. I am so glad that we are continuing this year.
I had a nice surprise last Sunday. Magnolia (my Cajun band) was playing at the Pawtucket Arts Festival at Slater Park, and suddenly I see Heiner, one of our students, with his sister and Mom. He jumped and joined the band for a tune. What a treat!

Friday, August 22, 2014

                                                                                                        August 22, 2014

Dear RI Fiddle Project Supporters & Friends,

Rachel and I would like to update you on the next stage of Rhode
Island Fiddle Project. And yes, there is a next stage!

We've been encouraged by our supporters, friends, and the Woodlawn
Community Center (where our classes are held) to continue the project
with a fee-based structure. Students will be able to access
scholarships and reduced fees as needed.

At the end of June, many of our students applied to keep one of the
Fiddle Project violins as their own. Their written responses were so
heartfelt, that it strengthened our resolve to continue a class for
these students.

Starting in September, I will be teaching once a week in the same
unique Fiddle Project style. Rachel will join us for a monthly group
workshop, and some big-picture planning, as well. The monthly group
session will be open to fiddle players of all ages and levels from
all over the area. Other instruments may be welcome as well; check
with us if you are interested. If you or someone you know would like
to participate, please let us know, and we'll keep you in the loop.
The group class will be on the first Thursday of the month, starting
Oct 2nd at 6:30pm.

Both the weekly and monthly gatherings will continue to build on our
vision of a fiddling community from a multitude of backgrounds and
generations,  brought together through the shared learning and
playing of fiddling and dancing traditions. If you are interested in
contributing to the scholarship fund for RI Fiddle Project students,
you can do so by donating through Community MusicWorks, with a memo
designating your gift for RIFP.

We are excited to see the next stage of the Fiddle Project unfold,
and hope you are too!


Michelle Kaminsky

Rachel Panitch

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

RI Fiddle Project Letter

Dear RI Fiddle Project Donors, Supporters & Friends,

I’m writing to share some important news about Rhode Island Fiddle Project. After five years, we have decided that this is the final year of the program.  As I become more involved in musical performance and teaching work in the Boston area, it has become too difficult to be as present to the Pawtucket community as this program deserves. 

It has been an amazing five years for everyone involved, and I know that I will continue to build on the styles of teaching and organizing that I have developed here. Michelle and I also plan to create ways for the current Fiddle Project students to continue their musical learning, if they so choose.

As I’ve attempted to convey to you in each thank you letter, I’m grateful for the care and generosity that you have demonstrated for this project, and just as much, I’m grateful for the trust you’ve put in this project.  Whether it was attending a Fiddling Celebration, asking one of our students to be a partner for a dance, or lending an ear when we were facing a new challenge, I am so thankful for the support.

Together, we’ve created openings for students to learn more about what they can do. In this fifth year, Michelle and I have observed some incredible leaps in our students’ leadership.  One 4th year student, who has gone through many ups and downs, has now demonstrated that she has what it takes to lead an entire 45-minute group class from start to finish with maturity and grace.

Usually at this time of year, I’m on the lookout for a student to say or write something that would be a good fit for our spring fundraising appeal letter.  Even though this is a different kind of letter, I want to share with you what Cindy, one of our graduating seniors, wrote recently.  All of our current students have the option to write an essay in order to receive one of our violins to keep (the remainder will go to Community MusicWorks, our fiscal agent). After describing her plans for how she would use a violin in the future, Cindy wrote, “All I can say is that this program has given me a passion and something that made me feel important. It has given a chance to express myself through music and that is something that is more important to me than anything.” 

Thank you for your part in this. 

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to know more about any of this.  If you’d like to hear about future open fiddling classes or performances, please let us know. Our year-end Fiddling Celebration will be held at the Jeanne Jugan Residence at 6 PM on Thursday, June 12th. 


Rachel Panitch

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Year-end Fiddling Celebration, June 12th

We've been busy! And our 5th Year Fiddling Celebration is coming up.  We'll be celebrating our 3 graduation seniors (!) and a wonderful year of fiddling on Thursday, June 12th at 6 PM. This year's celebration will be held at the Jeanne Jugan Residence, 964 Main St, Pawtucket, RI.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sharing steps, tunes and stories with Armand Aromin and Penny Bossom-Seeger

On Thursday, May 22, we had a visit with Armand Aromin and Penny Bossom-Seeger. Armand is a terrific fiddle player and step dancer, who also is a violin maker. I met him when he was in high school, and had just started playing fiddle. I recently met up with him again at a party at the Bossom-Seegers.  Penny was one of my first fiddle students many years ago.  The three of us jammed for hours, along with Armand step -dancing when the spirit moved him. It was a treat to have Armand and Penny to come and share a few tunes and dance steps with our students. Alexander and Armand were able to trade some dance steps as well. I was thrilled for Armand to see how Alexander's modern dance style fits with traditional fiddle music. And also for Alexander to see what the old-style step dancing looks like live to the same tune.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Making music at the fiddle jam at Woodlawn Community Center

On a cold day in February with snow predicted, joyful music and new friends were made. It was a treat to share the RI Fiddle Project teaching style with folks from the larger fiddling community at the Woodlawn Community Center in Pawtucket, home for the RIFP. Two students, Meveline and Carl, played their fiddles in their first community jam. They had fun hearing the transformation of familiar tunes, and were able to use their skills to figure out how to jump into tunes they had never heard before.

Meveline said that the day was better than she expected. She didn't imagine that she would know the tunes that would be played, or be able to play along. When asked how she felt about the day.... she said it made her happy! She also really liked the French Roast concert, and thought that the musicians played really well. 

Thank you to George Touchstone for the photos.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Big Jam

Many thanks to graphic designer Nicky Nicktern, for her generous and awesome in-kind 
design donations (see above) to RI Fiddle Project!

We would also like to thank Joan Webb for her photography of our December Fiddling Celebration, posted here last week!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

News about generous support for Fiddle Project

RI Fiddle Project has received continuing generous support over the past few months from both individuals and foundations.

Starting with our most recent news,

1. Rhode Island Fiddle Project is the recipient of a large grant from the Jubilation Foundation, which is part of the Tides Foundation.  This is the second time RI Fiddle Project has been chosen as a recipient by this foundation with a uniquely focussed mission to bring forth joy and well-being through music and movement!

2. We are delighted to announce that RI Fiddle Project is a third time recipient of a grant from the D’Addario Music Foundation.  D'Addario Music Foundation will also be providing in-kind support to the Project of strings and music notebooks.

3. The Carter Family Charitable Trust, in its focus on cultural and educational needs for children, has continued to be a lead supporter in funding the work of Fiddlers-in-Residence at RI Fiddle Project.
Rachel got to hear Letitia Carter speak at a YWCA event where Mrs. Carter was honored for her work as a 2013 "Woman of Achievement" award winner. Her advice for young women is posted here.  

4. In the fall of 2013, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts supported RI Fiddle Project with a matching grant through Woodlawn CDC.

5.  And because RI Fiddle Project is based at Woodlawn CDC, our students are also benefitting this year from the hearty food of RI Food Bank's Kids Cafe before our weekly group fiddle classes.