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.