Passion for fiddling thrives
BY MARGARET CALDBICK
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.