Mu­sic for Mal­colm hits all the right notes

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News


Staff If you love the fid­dle, Ot­tawa-Val­ley step-danc­ing and old-time Glen­garry and Cape Bre­ton mu­sic, Maxville was the place to be June 15 when some of the finest pro­po­nents of the gen­res per­formed at the 6th an­nual Mal­colm De­war Mu­sic Bur­sary ceilidh.

The event hon­ours a great Glen­garry fiddler, Mal­colm De­war, who died in 2012 and who many in the au­di­ence of 100 peo­ple knew well.

Mr. De­war was born in Dun­ve­gan in 1935 and took up the fid­dle at a young age. A vet­eran of many groups in­clud­ing the Glen­garry Old Time Fid­dlers and the Glen­garry Strath­spey and Reel So­ci­ety, Mal­colm De­war was a long­time mem­ber of the Ot­tawa Fid­dle Ensem­ble where he was Con­cert Mas­ter.

The list of per­form­ers June 15 is what you would ex­pect at a top-drawer Celtic mu­sic fes­ti­val and fea­tured, to name just a few, Cleary Morris, fiddler and step dancer Bonita Le­blanc, Ted Hazen, Ian Hamil­ton, and a won­der­ful per­for­mance by the next gen­er­a­tion of Glen­garry fid­dlers, the stu­dents of the MacLeod School of Fid­dle, Pi­ano & Step Dance.

An­other high­light of the af­ter­noon was, pre­dictably, step-danc­ing, specif­i­cally Ot­tawa Val­ley style step-danc­ing pre­sented by Mr. De­war’s daugh­ter Dawn De­war who teaches step-danc­ing at her school Ot­tawa Val­ley Step Danc­ing.

The Mal­colm De­war Mu­sic Bur­sary event was con­ceived the night of Mal­colm De­war’s wake, a grand ceilidh that packed the Met­calfe Cen­tre to cel­e­brate his life. As Dawn De­war tells it, the idea was why not do this ev­ery year and re­ward de­serv­ing young fid­dle play­ers?

This year a bus trans­ported guests from Ot­tawa, and next year Ms. De­war in­tends to at­tract more cor­po­rate spon­sors.

“The Mal­colm De­war Mu­sic Bur­sary” aims to pre­serve old-time and Scot­tish mu­sic, and in past years, Ian MacLeod’s and David McPhee’s stu­dents have been re­cip­i­ents. This year’s win­ners will be an­nounced at the Glen­garry High­land Games Au­gust 2, at the Youth Fiddler’s Show­case from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Maxville Arena Hall.

To learn more about the “The Mal­colm De­war Mu­sic Bur­sary,” con­tact Dawn De­war at 613-8597869, or kath­[email protected]­

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