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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment October 21, 2018


10/2/2018 12:58:00 PM
Summoning the 'fiddle horde'
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By Jim Cornelius
News Editor

Melissa Stolasz loves the fiddle.

She took the instrument up as an adult and has become a kind of Johnny Appleseed of fiddle-playing since, launching programs to teach fiddle to young people and older folks alike. Now she's getting set to launch a fiddle class through Sisters Park & Recreation District - and she's looking for fiddles to help the class get its start.

Anyone who has an unused fiddle that they are willing to lend or donate to help a student get started is welcome to drop Stolasz a line at stolasz@mac.com.

"We need to call the Sisters fiddles out of hiding," she said. "They're not fulfilling their fiddle destiny."

That "fiddle destiny" may well be to get a new musician started on a lifelong pursuit. It's not as difficult as it may seem - especially in a group setting, Stolaz asserts.

"You can start eeking out a fiddle tune in a couple of months (as a beginner)," she said. "It's a blast to learn in a group setting."

Stolasz cites no less an authority than legendary Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser in noting that a group of beginners sounds better than the individuals do practicing in their room by themselves. That, Fraser has said, is because only the good notes go out and the bad notes fall at your feet.

The first beginner class is set to start on November 29, for fifth graders on up in age. It's a 10-week program and adults are welcome, too. The plan is to develop an ongoing program.

"That would be the ideal," Stolasz said. "To always have a beginner class feeding into a ... fiddle horde."

Fiddle music is part of the musical tradition of many peoples and nations, and part of Stolasz's mission is to use music as a kind of travel adventure.

"There's so many parts of the world you can visit and go to," she said.

For more information, contact SPRD at 541-549-20191 or visit

www.sistersrecreation.com.





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