AUBURN — The Maine Arts Commission has announced the 2010 Traditional Arts Masters. Included are Greg Boardman, a fiddler from Auburn and Normand Gagnon, a Quebecois accordionist from Rumford. They will teach their traditional arts to apprentices during the next 12 months.

Each year the Maine Arts Commission offers stipends to master traditional artists who are willing to teach an apprentice over a period of 8 to 12 months. The apprenticeships have been used by basket makers, fiddle players, step dancers, ox yoke makers, snowshoe makers and ballad singers, to name a few. For their work teaching, the master artist receives a $4,000 stipend which is funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Folk and Traditional Arts program.

Boardman fell in love with fiddle music in 1970 and never looked back. He has performed with and traces his own musicianship to such luminaries as National Heritage Award winner Simon St. Pierre, Otto Soper and Ben Guillemette. Boardman will teach apprentice Hannah Rodrigue.

Accordionist Normand Gagnon is a native of Quebec, who moved his family to Rumford in 1971. He has played the accordion for 59 years, and plays traditional French Canadian jigs, reels, polkas and waltzes. In the 1980s he teamed up with guitarist Marcel Larrivee and washtub bass player Bill Beauchesne to for the group La Groupe de Joie. This year, Gagnon will be teaching his apprentice Michel Giasson.


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