Fiddlers. On. The. Loose.
From Churchill and Snow Lake to Flin Flon, the MCO’s Fiddlers on the Loose are all over the province playing and work-shopping fiddle and folk music.
The six musicians and librarian/stage manager travel by van, plane, and train to the more remote regions of the province, providing music education and performances for those facing economic and geographic challenges.
The musicians who comprise our group bring to bear the rigour and experience of internationally trained professionals who’ve spent years developing their craft.
At the same time, we they are deeply respectful of such regional Manitoba traditions as Red River fiddle music, in which many of the young people with whom we work are steeped. They strive to support traditions and programs that already exist in the communities where they visit.
Accordingly, our approach is as collaborative as it is instructive: we have a blast performing and sharing fiddle tunes with students in community and school settings, while also offering technical and professional advice about musicianship. We work closely with music teachers and fiddle instructors, and they have commented on the program’s impact beyond the classroom.
Children develop and hone skills that are applicable in many areas related to their education and eventual career paths, like self-discipline, team building, musical techniques, presentation skills, confidence, and awareness of different career opportunities in music.
They strive to create performance opportunities for young people too. For instance, intermittently they invite the Frontier Fiddlers, a group of talented young student musicians from the Frontier School Division, to perform with the MCO as part of our regular concert series.
They constantly seek to expand our program, which currently reaches over 7,500 children and provides 30-35 in school / in-library presentations each year, and this year they will be adding online services like live streaming and Skype workshops.
This initiative is made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between the Winnipeg Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.
The MCO Outreach Program is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council, The Winnipeg Foundation, the Children’s Heritage Fund, Assiniboine Credit Union, Friends of the Library, The Great-West Life Assurance Company, the Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation, Manitoba Public Insurance, MB4Youth, MTS, Manitoba Teachers’ Society, the Musicians’ Performance Trust Fund, Province of Manitoba Culture Branch, the Richardson Foundation, the Rita Menzies Endowment Fund for Arts Education, the Rotary Club of Winnipeg West, Sun Life Financial and TD.