LEWISTON — Greg Boardman and his ensemble of Lewiston Middle School fiddlers will converge on Callahan Hall to play for a community barn dance on Wednesday, May 12. The event, scheduled from 6:30 to 8 p.m., is free of charge.
Boardman will accompany the group’s 14 violinists, two violists, one cellist and one bass player in a lively program of traditional jigs and reels from Quebec, Ireland and Scotland, as well as some original music composed by Boardman.
“We thought this would be a wonderful way to celebrate the coming of spring,” said Cindy Larock, LPL cultural coordinator.
Caller Kathryn Larson of New Gloucester will be on deck to lead attendees in an assortment of old-time circle, square and contra dances. Larson regularly calls at family dances at the Wescustogo Grange in North Yarmouth where, she says, “even infants get in on the action by tagging along in carriers strapped to their parents’ backs or chests.”
The Lewiston Middle School String Orchestra has been invited to the Maine All-State Music Festival later this month to demonstrate how other school systems can use students’ musical talents to put on community folk dances.
One of Maine’s most popular folk fiddlers as well as a respected classical violinist and violist, Boardman was hired by Lewiston’s public school system in 1994 to establish and direct a string music program for grades 4-12. With nearly 150 children in the program, a second string teacher was brought on board several years ago to work with high-schoolers.
Boardman’s middle-school group performs a repertoire with musical influences from folk to classical to jazz to pop. Members have several years of experience playing for annual contra dances in school gyms, but this is their first off-campus foray as a dance band. “We are really happy to be bringing our music on the road to Callahan Hall and hope that the community comes out to support us and join in the fun,” said Boardman.
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