A few weeks back, my friend and colleague Laura Risk gave an online fiddle workshop for this project. The event had originally been scheduled to happen at MacDougall Hall in Ormstown but we moved it over to Zoom in light of current restrictions on public gatherings. We had nine beginner fiddlers join from all over Quebec and one student from southern Ontario. At the intermission, we were treated to a short set of fiddle music from the Chateauguay Valley’s barn dance era by John and Connie Wilson of Brooklet, QC (near Huntingdon). He provides some nice commentary on the role of this music in the dances and answered mine and Laura Risk’s questions about the musical history of the local area. Here is the Zoom online footage of their set.
I’ve known John for about ten years now and it’s always a joy to hear him play – even over an at-times unreliable rural Internet connection on Zoom. He has a distinctively graceful and expressive style that is complemented so well by Connie’s old-time piano style. I’m looking forward to sharing more music and history from John and his community later in this project. Stay tuned!