Three local fiddlers plan CD release celebration and performance June 19 in Canton
Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 11:33 am

CANTON – Three fiddlers with local ties will get together to play the music they love and celebrate the release of their new CD on Saturday, June 19, from 7 to 8 p.m. at The Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY) Center.

Don Woodcock and Gretchen and Rebecca Koehler's new CD, “The Fiddlers Three,” includes more than 30 North American fiddle tunes – waltzes, jigs, hornpipes, reels, and breakdowns – woven in and out of melody and three-part harmony. They will play music from the CD at the release party and it will be available for sale.

The three talented musicians grew up in musical families surrounded by the rich traditions of old-time fiddle music. As a young boy, Don began to play for local dances with his father Howard. By the 1970s, when fiddling contests became a popular way to promote old-time fiddlers and their music, Don started competing locally and throughout the Northeast, eventually winning the state contest three times and becoming Grand Champion Fiddler of New York State.

In Massachusetts, the Koehler sisters were introduced to contest fiddling early in life and over the years have won championships in nine states and three provinces. As their family traveled, the sisters gained a wealth of knowledge about fiddle styles from the New England melting pot of old-time, contra dance, Celtic, and Quebecois music, making them sought after as teachers and clinicians.

The three fiddlers' paths crossed at many fiddle festivals over the years, but it wasn't until Gretchen moved to the North Country, a few miles from Don, that they began making music together at casual get-togethers, swapping tunes they had each learned over the years and sharing an interest in preserving the music for the generations to come.

"This first recording produced together by Don and Gretchen and Rebecca is a tribute to the music the three musicians have loved all their lives and to the friendship they have developed to make it happen," says TAUNY folklorist Varick Chittenden.

TAUNY, a non-profit organization whose work is made possible by the generous support of members, is dedicated to showcasing the folk culture and living traditions of the North Country. The public is welcome to this free CD release celebration at The TAUNY Center, 53 Main Street, Canton. For more information visit www.TAUNY.org.