Advertisement

A weekend of fiddling and fun

January 22, 2009|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Scandinavian fiddle might be the "big deal" folk instrument that "nobody has ever heard of," explained Joanie Blanton, folk music enthusiast and organizer of the Upper Potomac Scandinavian Fiddle & Dance Weekend, which begins Friday.

"Celtic stuff sort of steals the thunder," Blanton said.

Scandinavian fiddle music is influenced by Nordic and Viking traditions. Generally, if people are fans of Celtic music, they are likely to be fans of Scandinavian music, Blanton said.

Scandinavian music has a syncopated rhythm, producing dances that feel like a waltz or a polka "with a hiccup."

"It's really under the radar," Blanton said.

But the music has a dedicated following, which has been growing. So much so, that Blanton said decided to plan her first-ever Scandinavian fiddle-themed weekend, following a model similar to workshop-concert hybrids she's coordinated in the past, though those had had a decidedly Celtic feel.

A concert on Friday kicks off the Scandinavian fiddle weekend with programs scheduled in and around Shepherd University through Saturday. A potluck is scheduled for Sunday at Blanton's home.

Advertisement

Blanton said the idea is to give Scandinavian fiddle enthusiasts a chance to perform alongside their "fiddle heroes."

The concert lineup includes Andrea Hoag, Loretta Kelley and Charlie Pilzer, who perform together as a trio and nabbed a Grammy nomination in 2007 for their album "Hambo in the Snow," released on Takoma Park, Md.-based Azelea City Recordings.

There will also be dance workshops. Gran Olsson, who is from Sweden, will lead the Scandinavian couple's dances on Saturday. Olsson and his daughter, Olga, will perform Friday.




If you go ...



WHAT: Upper Potomac Scandinavian Fiddle & Dance Weekend

WHEN: Friday, Jan. 23, through Sunday, Jan. 25.

o Concert - 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at Reynold's Hall, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, W.Va.

o Contra and Scandinavian Dance - 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, Shepherdstown War Memorial Building, downtown Shepherdstown, W.Va.

WHERE: Most events are scheduled in and around Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

COST: Prices for workshops vary. E-mail updf@earthlink.net or call 304-263-2531 for details.

o Friday's concert costs $15 for adults, with discounts for students, seniors, children and members of Shepherd Music and Dance

o Saturday's dance costs $10 for adults, with discounts for students, seniors, children and members of Shepherd Music and Dance

MORE: For more information, go to upmw.smad.us/scanfiddle/, or call 304-263-2531.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|