Preserving and Promoting Old-Time Fiddling in Northern New England
It is with heavy hearts that the NEFA trustees have decided to cancel the rest of our 2020 events. We have all missed our monthly gatherings. Playing tunes alone at home is a poor substitute for sharing tunes with friends! It was a hard decision to come to, but with health risks and so much uncertainty that is where we are. Even as we cautiously open up, indoor meetings of our full membership would probably be unwise.
A NEFA meet always begins at noon with a Tune Circle. As fiddlers arrive they sign up on a numbered list and then, if they wish, join the circle which lasts until 1 o’clock. In the circle, people take turns in choosing the tunes to be played. At 1 o’clock our master of ceremonies, Tom Berry, takes the list up onto the stage and starts calling fiddlers up to each play 3 tunes of their choice. The majority of NEFA members are not actually fiddlers but other musicians, (guitar, piano, banjo, mandolin), dancers, and folks who come to the meets to listen and enjoy a very sociable afternoon. There is always a concession stand where hot dogs, burgers, fries, and sometimes soup or chili are served, and a sales table where donated baked goods and crafts are sold to benefit NEFA. The meet lasts until the last fiddler has played, and concludes with a group of fiddlers up on the stage playing a few farewell tunes together.