The red string

Chas ConquestIn some Chinese folklore, it is believed that the gods tie an invisible red cord around the ankles of those that are destined to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way. I love this concept. I envision a red string attached to me throughout my life and everyone I meet touches it in some way, changing the course of my life.

It implies to me, that the meeting of someone new has an impact on both parties and shapes our future in some way. I can think of countless times throughout my life where this has held true.

One time in particular was when I met a man and musician, named Charlie Conquest. Those who knew him, knew him as Chas. Chas recently passed on from this world to play music in the heavens with countless other musicians who were taken from us far too soon.

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Lending a helping hand

beth-telfordAs I get older, I realize that we can’t take anything for granted. Today on this day of remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr., I’m reminded of how we should take better care of our neighbors, our country and our community.

We might think that our little gestures of kindness don’t mean much in the whole scheme of things, but each little act of kindness bestows another one. Whether it’s a tune you play to make someone feel good, a song you sing to remind them of a loved one, or an offering to help someone cross the street, every bit of kindness counts.

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Irish music the right way on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day is not just for lovers, it’s also for music lovers. And this Valentine’s Day there is tons of Irish music to love.

Grab your date and start your day at 10am with an Irish music workshop (see details below) from FullSet, then hit the Bagitos session in Montpelier from 2-5pm, and then at 7:30pm FullSet, will take the stage at the Barre Opera House on Saturday night. Here’s a little of what to expect:

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Liz Carroll Returns to Vermont

liz carroll irish fiddlerWhen I was first taking fiddle lessons I said to my teacher at the time, “I want to play fast.” She said “start listening to Liz Carroll.” So I did. And I fell in love with her music.

It’s not the speed of Liz’s playing that makes her such a brilliant player though, it’s the preciseness of her notes, the swing in her rhythm and lift she brings to the melody. Her ornaments are perfectly placed and every now and then she switches up the key or changes one major (or minor) note to bring color to the tune.

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A Little Donegal in Vermont

by Katrina VanTyne

oisin mcauleyLast summer I was lucky enough to go to this fiddle school in Glencolmcille County Donegal, Ireland (feel free to check out the posts from my trip to Ireland). The style of Donegal music is very similar to the Cape Breton style of music which is probably why I love it so much. It’s fast, gritty and makes me just want to get up and dance. A Donegal player’s repertoire consists of more than just jigs and reels and an occasional hornpipe, they play all sorts of different types like polkas, mazurkas, highlands, barn dances, waltzes and more.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many true Donegal players in this area. Occasionally though, we are lucky to have some great players pass through town and share their knowledge. This coming weekend is one of those times.

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