Pas­sion for fid­dling thrives

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News


Staff It was a fam­ily af­fair, a good old­fash­ioned ceilidh, ex­cept the kitchen was the Maxville Sports Com­plex hall and the fam­ily was more than 200 peo­ple with a love of Glen­garry’s dis­tinct fid­dling tra­di­tion.

The af­fair was the launch Sun­day of the Ma­cleod Fid­dlers’ third CD, Pas­sion For Fid­dling, 19 new and tra­di­tional tunes mas­ter­fully per­formed by the Ma­cLeod School of Fid­dling’s elite per­for­mance group and mas­tered by sound en­gi­neers Bobby Lalonde and his son Adam in his world­class record­ing stu­dio, Bo­lab Stu­dio Pro­duc­tions in Fournier.

The al­bum is one you will be hear­ing again and again at coun­try dances and fam­ily gath­er­ings, and it’s just the thing you will want roll your win­dows down for and blast loud to not ex­clude any­one from its sparkling, up­beat blend of Glen­garry style fid­dling.

“Ian Ma­cleod is not only re­spon­si­ble for keep­ing Celtic and tra­di­tional mu­sic alive, very much alive, in the area, but he also has a very way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing with his stu­dents, and I was al­ways im­pressed by the level of mu­tual re­spect be­tween Ian and his stu­dents,” said Mr. Lalonde.

“It al­ways pro­duces a level of cre­ativ­ity in the stu­dio, so I con­grat­u­late all the play­ers who did such a good job and Ian for pro­mot­ing the mu­sic and do­ing such a won­der­ful job teach­ing. And it’s a great al­bum by the way,” said Mr. Lalonde to ap­plause.

One tune is a very spe­cial ayre writ­ten by Ian Ma­cLeod, a trib­ute to Con­nie Kip­pen Blaney of Maxville who died in Jan­uary, 2017.

The room went quiet for the haunt­ing piece. Among the well­blended mix­ture of gen­er­a­tions of the room, most of the older folk knew Con­nie as a su­perb piper and teacher and a ded­i­cated ex­ec­u­tive in many pip­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions. She was much in­volved with the High­land Games and she was a leader in the pro­mo­tion and con­ser­va­tion of Celtic Mu­sic.

The tune came be­fore Fridge Full of Emp­ties took the stage for a rol­lick­ing fi­nale to the mu­si­cal af­ter­noon.

Novice fid­dlers Ken­zie and Shelby McRae per­formed, as did a group of de­light­ful step dancers ten years and younger, fol­lowed by Heather Flipsen, the Ju­nior Ma­cLeod Fid­dlers, Rachel Camp­bell, James Nixon, the In­ter­me­di­ate Ma­cLeod fid­dlers, and Hamish and Alex McDon­ald.

A high­light was a per­for­mance by Lynn Flipsen of Wil­liamstown and her multi-tal­ented chil­dren who have joined Ian Ma­cLeod’s group and con­trib­ute a great deal to the group’s live per­for­mances with their high-kick­ing step danc­ing and Lynn’s tal­ent at the key­board. Even lit­tle 2 1/2 year-old Sarah Flipsen, the baby of the fam­ily, couldn’t keep off the dance floor and is al­ready hon­ing her step danc­ing skills.

The event was a heart-warm­ing af­ter­noon of in­fec­tious fid­dle, play­ing, step-danc­ing and solo per­for­mances, proof that Glen­garry Celtic cul­tural ties and her­itage are alive and well thanks to Mr. Ma­cLeod, his daugh­ter Ash­ley, and Karen Ma­cLeod who in the back­ground does so much to sup­port her fam­ily’s fid­dling school and live per­form­ing.

The al­bum is avail­able at var­i­ous spots in Glen­garry or email macleod­fid­[email protected] to buy di­rectly.

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