Explore New York State’s musical roots during Fiddlers’ Fair & Making Music Weekend at Genesee Country Village & Museum, coming up Saturday, August 27, and Sunday, August 28. Photo provided by Genesee Country Village & Museum

Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford will dig into the musical roots and folk traditions of New York State during the annual Fiddlers’ Fair & Making Music Weekend, coming up on Saturday, August 27, and Sunday, August 28, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visitors will enjoy an extraordinary musical experience that brings together musicians on multiple stages for a weekend of non-stop entertainment. Explore the influence of Irish musical stylings brought to New York State by laborers on the Erie Canal, meet a luthier crafting stringed instruments on site and learn about his process, listen to a song series focused on the history of the Underground Railroad, and more. Settle in to hear the variety of performers, enjoy food and drinks, explore the Historic Village, and spend the day immersed in live musical performances. This event is sponsored by National Grid and WXXI. Learn more and purchase tickets: https://www.gcv.org/events/making-music-weekend/

New York State in song: On Saturday, August 27, join performer and teaching artist Dave Ruch for presentations of songs from all corners of the Empire State. This is the music of real-life “Yorkers” from the past – important pieces of New York heritage – collected through considerable research, and interpreted for all to enjoy.

Exploring the history of the Underground Railroad through song: On both Saturday and Sunday of Fiddlers’ Fair & Making Music Weekend, visitors will delve into the history of the Underground Railroad through musical stylings. Original and historical pieces will be woven together with meticulous research and the life stories of famous individuals, including John Brown, Harriet Tubman, and Gerrit Smith. Musicians and social activists Magpie (Greg Artzner and Terry Leonino) will depict the struggles of working people, following chronologically the history of America’s labor union movement in the 19th century. Through music the stories of miners, agricultural laborers, textile mill-workers, and many others will be shared during these performances.

“They Sang Too: The Unheard Voices of Women’s Suffrage”: Visitors are invited to listen in as the Rochester Oratorio Society’s premier touring ensemble “Resonanz” brings historic music to light, featuring original arrangements with lyrics by Women of Color in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

“The Irish and the Erie”: The Erie Canal began and set in motion the new nation’s future of transportation, trade, and technology. Having lived his whole life near the Erie Canal, Craobh Dugan O’Looney’s lead fiddler and creative director Mike Hoke was inspired to look into the history of our Irish ancestors’ contribution to the digging of “Clinton’s Ditch.” Visitors can enjoy this programming on Saturday of Fiddlers’ Fair & Making Music Weekend.

Local Tradition-Bearers: The festival will feature mainstays of New York State’s folk and historical music community. Special presentations include, but are not limited to: Bill Fahy (“The Banjo in Irish Music,” an audio discussion of the inclusion of this instrument in Celtic music), Tim Ball (“Upstate Crossroads,” an exploration of fiddle tunes from across New York State), Ted McGraw and John Ryan (learn about the relevance of accordions to local musical history, Allen Hopkins (take a ride along the Erie Canal with Hopkins’ musical stylings), Jim Kimball (tap your toes to the sounds of Grange hall dance music), and the Flint Hill Dancers (experience 19th-century country dances with GCV&M’s own historical dance team).

Jamming: The Fiddlers of the Genesee will once again sponsor the Jam Tent on the Museum’s scenic Great Meadow – open to any visitors who arrive with instruments in hand ready to lend their talents to a tune. Visiting musicians are also encouraged to find spots throughout the Museum grounds where they can indulge in impromptu jams.

Those interested in attending Fiddlers’ Fair & Making Music weekend are encouraged to purchase tickets online in advance to get early bird discount pricing – there is a small additional fee at the door for daily admission and special event tickets purchased day-of. Student musicians under 18 with instruments in-hand are granted complimentary admission for themselves and one chaperone. Musicians wishing to sign up to play on the Main Stage will be refunded the price of admission upon signup. Visit https://www.gcv.org/events/making-music-weekend/ to learn more and purchase tickets online.

©2023 Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel

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