CEL­E­BRAT­ING

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY MARGARET CALDBICK News Staff

Satur­day was an emo­tional day for Ian Ma­cLeod who, since 1994, has cham­pi­oned the Glen­garry style of Scot­tish Fid­dle through his teach­ing and his stu­dents’ many lo­cal and trav­el­ling per­for­mances.

On that day, he at­tended a grand re­union of past and present stu­dents, who pre­sented him with a beau­ti­ful win­dow-box hon­our­ing the 25th an­niver­sary of The Ma­cLeod School of Fid­dling.

More than 400 peo­ple crowded into the large hall for a spec­tac­u­lar af­ter­noon of fid­dle mu­sic and step­dance per­formed not only by Mr. Ma­cLeod's stu­dents, but also those of his daugh­ter, Ash­ley Ma­cLeod MacRae, who of­fi­cially signed on to teach fid­dle and step­danc­ing six years ago. The per­form­ers in­cluded her very young Mini Mu­sic Mak­ers who range in age from un­der 4 to 6-and-plus years of age.

The framed pre­sen­ta­tion was or­dered by Joel Do­iron, fa­ther of Ian’s fid­dle stu­dent Sa­muelle Do­iron, and pre­sented el­e­ments and the liner notes of The Ma­cLeod’s Fid­dlers’ third al­bum, Pas­sion For Fid­dling, mounted on the Ma­cleod of Lewis yel­low tar­tan.

“As I was driv­ing here to­day go­ing down the Dun­ve­gan Road, a tear came to my eye be­cause it was 50 years ago that I was go­ing down the same road to Maxville to take lessons with Mal­colm De­war at the old com­mu­nity hall,” Mr. Ma­cLeod told the large au­di­ence.

“I never would have thought that fifty years later all this would be go­ing on,” he said.

“Start­ing to teach lessons 25 years ago when I was re­ally try­ing to con­cen­trate on run­ning the farm with a young fam­ily, I felt I didn’t have time for it, but your life changes and it changed for the good,” said Mr. Ma­cLeod, his voice break­ing with emo­tion.

Ian R. Ma­cLeod has deep roots in Glen­garry. He and his wife Karen and their three chil­dren, Scott, Ash­ley and Brad, own and op­er­ate a sixth gen­er­a­tion Dalkeith dairy farm in North Glen­garry.

For Heather Flipsen, 17, of Ap­ple Hill who in re­cent years signed on with the Ma­cLeod elite per­for­mance troupe with her mother Lynn and sib­lings, Cur­tis, Ryan and Ash­ley, the re­union and per­for­mances were also emo­tional.

“He’s so kind and pa­tient with us,” said Ms Flipsen, who added that she is look­ing for­ward to the troupe’s up­com­ing an­nual re­turn visit mid-Au­gust to the “Fes­ti­val of Cape Bre­ton Fid­dling” at St. Ann’s Gaelic Col­lege in Cape Bre­ton.

Mr. Ma­cLeod and his stu­dents are warmly re­ceived ev­ery year at the fes­ti­val where he is ac­knowl­edged as an im­por­tant bond be­tween Glen­garry and Cape Bre­ton fid­dlers.

On the oc­ca­sion of the 25th an­niver­sary of the Ma­cLeod School of Fid­dling, the Ma­cLeod Fid­dlers will be per­form­ing at the Fri­day night Tat­too of the Glen­garry Highland Games this Fri­day.

MARGARET CALDBICK PHOTO

25 YEARS: Ian Ma­cleod holds the plaque his fid­dling group pre­sented to him and to the Ian and Ash­ley Ma­cLeod School of Fid­dling “as a to­ken of their ap­pre­ci­a­tion” at Satur­day’s “Cel­e­brat­ing 25 Years” party and grand fid­dling ceilidh at the Met­calfe Cen­tre in Maxville. Among the many peo­ple he thanked for their sup­port was his fam­ily and stu­dents and wife Karen, seen with him ac­cept­ing the hand­somely framed mon­tage of the Ma­cleod Fid­dlers’ third and spe­cial 25th an­niver­sary al­bum, “Pas­sion For Fid­dling.”

MARGARET CALDBICK PHOTO

HAPPY AN­NIVER­SARY: A packed Met­calfe Cen­tre in Maxville was the scene of a won­der­ful fid­dle con­cert ceilidh on Satur­day when stu­dents from the Ma­cLeod School of Fid­dling re­united for a cel­e­bra­tion of the school’s 25th an­niver­sary. Here, stu­dents from Ash­ley’s Lit­tlest Mini Mu­sic Mak­ers stu­dents to elite stu­dents and alumni pose for a group photo be­fore The Bri­gadoons took the stage for the event’s dance party.

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