Workshops & Concert this Sunday, May 5 in Burlington, VT with Ben Miller, Ward MacDonald & Dominique Dodge
PEI FIDDLE CAMP ON THE ROAD presents workshops and a concert featuring music and song from the Canadian Maritimes and Beyond at the New City Gallery in Burlington, VT this Sunday, May 5. Ben Miller (smallpipes) and Ward MacDonald (fiddle) will offer workshops 10am to 3:30pm and will be joined by Dominiqe Dodge (harp & vocals) for an evening concert at 7pm.
CONCERT DESCRIPTION: Fiddle, pipes, and harp – three instruments steeped in the history and traditions of Scotland combine to bring a powerful and moving sound, from the fiery dance tunes of Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island, to laments and Gaelic songs of Scotland’s West Coast. By the end of the night, these three dynamic musicians may even have you on your feet and dancing. The three are performing as part of the SUNDAY NIGHT FOLK SERIES.
10am-10:55: Group Fiddle class with Ward, Group Smallpipe class with Ben
11am-11:55: Pipes and Fiddle in the Maritimes and Scotland (Group Discussion with Ward and Ben)
12pm-1:30pm: Lunch Break (Meals are not provided)
1:30pm-2:25pm: Intermediate Repertoire with Ben (mixed instruments), Advanced Repertoire with Ward (mixed)
2:30pm-3:25pm: Intermediate Repertoire with Ward (mixed), Advanced Repertoire with Ben (mixed)
We’ll begin on Sunday morning with group classes for fiddlers and pipers. Although we encourage a holistic approach that envisions these two instruments together in their natural musical context, these group classes will give pipers and fiddlers a chance to get to know their tutors and settle in, before joining up for the repertoire classes, later during the day. Both classes will first meet up together, choose a tune to teach, make sure none of the students know it already, and then arrange it for both instruments. This is the opportune time for students to record it (bring a recording device). Then we will split into our disciplines and teach it. Before the end of the block, both classes will gather together again to play the tune as one.
After this first class, we will hold a group discussion about piping and fiddling in the Maritimes, past and present. This is a time for students to ask questions, as we explore the history and social contexts of piping, fiddling, as dance music within this tradition.
After this discussion we will break for lunch. Although meals are not provided, Burlington is home to many fantastic restaurants cafes, and eateries. We have left plenty of time for you to grab a bite and have a walk in the park!
Following the break, we will offer “repertoire” classes at two levels. Don’t worry about whether you are intermediate or advanced. Just show up and we’ll help you find a place. These classes will give students the opportunity to learn tunes alongside other musicians, and from an instructor who may not necessarily be playing the same instrument. While this may be challenging at first, it is a great opportunity to stretch you ear in a new way. These aural learning skills are crucial to becoming comfortable in a session, no matter what area you are in, and these classes are designed to help you become a more flexible musician. These types of “ear stretching” classes have been a huge hit at PEI Fiddle Camp.
Most of all, the classes offered in this afternoon workshop are designed to be fun, relaxed and give you a feel for what it is like at the week long PEI Fiddle Camp, help each year in June. We hope to see you there!
Workshop fees must be paid in cash only. Workshop costs are $40 for one session, $75 for the day, or $60 students (with valid student ID). Fees may be paid upon arrival.
REGISTRATION AND PRE-REGISTRATION
Pre-registration is not necessary (you can just show up), HOWEVER, we would really appreciate if you would pre-register by email (and pay when you arrive). This helps us with the planning. Thanks in advance.
To pre-register: Complete the registration form, re-save it, and email to Ben at: firstname.lastname@example.org ~ OR ~ scan and E-mail.
Ward MacDonald grew up in the Scottish fiddling traditions of Prince Edward Island. His playing reflects four generations of family fiddling and is spiced with a unique blend of Cape Breton, Acadian, and Irish influences.
As an emerging composer, Ward is honoured to have had his tunes published by other artists including the late Jerry Holland, Timothy Cummings, and Alistair Gillies; and recorded by Andrea Beaton, Colin Grant, Chrissy Crowley, Vishten and others.
Ward has been featured at concerts, festivals, and square dances across Atlantic Canada and has traveled with his music as far as Cuba and the Bahamas. He has also taught and performed at fiddle camps in New Brunswick, Vermont, Maine, Colorado and the Yukon.
Over the last decade, Ward has worked to promote the traditional music scene on Prince Edward Island and develop new performing and learning opportunities. Along the way he was the original artistic director of PEI’s Festival of Small Halls, initiated workshops at the Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival, and founded the PEI Fiddle Camp.
As a teacher, Ward continuously grows his own understanding of the music while striving to expand his bag of tricks for explaining it in simple terms. His method includes guided ear training aided by singing tunes, dancing demonstrations, marching, and sheet music. Watch a video of Ward performing at the Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival.
Ben Miller is a player of Scottish smallpipes and Border pipes whose repertoire and style draw mainly on the Gaelic traditions of Western Scotland and the Canadian Maritimes, blended with a healthy dash of Irish tunes for good measure. Originally from the Lake George area of Upstate New York, Ben currently lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he recently completed a post-graduate degree at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Scottish Studies.
Ben’s interest in traditional music stems from his exposure to the bagpipes at a young age, in his home town of Queensbury, as well as his family’s strong connection to its Scots-Irish roots, through both his American mother and Canadian father. He began studying the Highland Bagpipes around age eight, but by twelve he began to shift his focus to the bellows-blown Scottish smallpipes and Border pipes.
Ben has played with several competitive pipe bands during his career, including the internationally acclaimed Scotia-Glenville Pipe Band, who recently took the world title in their division at the 2012 World Pipe Band Championship in Glasgow. At age 18, Ben left the pipe band scene to pursue traditional Scottish and Cape Breton dance music.
Since leaving the competition circuit, Ben has been an instructor at The Piper’s Gathering in Vermont, the Maine Pipes and Fiddle Weekend, as well as PEI Fiddle Camp’s “On the Road” series of concerts and teaching weekends in Maine and Vermont. He has performed in a number of shows in the Northeastern USA and Canada and has travelled extensively to Scotland, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton to further develop his own unique style.
Ben is currently involved with several musical projects including the Edinburgh-based quartet, Larsa and can often be found collaborating on Scottish step-dance programs across the country with dancer, Sophie Stephenson. He is also a regular member of Edinburgh’s vibrant session scene, and can be found throughout the week hosting sessions with friends across the city. www.bmillerpipes.com