LEWISTON — New England Celtic Arts will present the Prince Edward Island Fiddle Camp Roadshow, with master instructors Ward MacDonald, Pastelle LeBlanc and Pascal Miousse, at three concert venues in early May.

Three Maine youth groups will open the performances on Tuesday, May 3, at the Franco-American Heritage Center; Wednesday, May 4, at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center in Carthage; and Thursday, May 5, at Unity College Center for the Performing Arts in Unity.

MacDonald, LeBlanc and Miousse will work with four school groups and conduct a full day of workshops for adults and students from all over Maine at Skye Theatre on Sunday, May 1.

On May 3, they will work with the Maranacook String Band and director Stanley Keach, who will open the concert at the Franco center. On May 4, they will be with Steve Muise and the Franklin County Fiddlers at Skye Theatre and finish up on May 5 at Unity with the Pineland Fiddlers and leader Ellen Gawler.

MacDonald’s playing reflects four generations of family fiddling and is spiced with a blend of Cape Breton, Acadian and Irish influences. He has been featured at concerts, festivals and square dances across Atlantic Canada, and has performed as far as Cuba and the Bahamas. He has also taught and performed at fiddle camps in New Brunswick, Vermont, Maine, Colorado and the Yukon. He created PEI’s Festival of Small Halls, initiated workshops at the Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival and founded the PEI Fiddle Camp.

Miousse, one of the Magdalen Islands’ finest fiddle players, has developed his own style using a bowing technique rarely heard anywhere else. He left the islands in his late teens and since then has been performing in concert halls and festivals around the world. A natural improviser on any string instrument, he is also a skillful composer. He has been a musical anchor of the well-known Acadian group Vishten since 2002.

LeBlanc, who has mastered several styles of step dancing, has taught and created many dance choreographies, crafting her own style of percussive and stylistic dancing. As a multi-instrumentalist, she favors the accordion. She is also a composer and one of the founding members of Vishten.

The Maranacook String Band is made up of high-school students, directed by Maranacook teacher Stan Keach, who have performed a number of concerts around Kennebec County for the past year.

Muise created and founded the Franklin County Fiddlers program in 1993. He was searching for a way to motivate his orchestra students and it seemed natural to blend his “alternative styles” string playing into a group that can perform and explore a variety of nonclassical string playing. The FCF recently completed a tour of the Maritines and worked with the instructors while on PEI.

The Pineland Fiddlers is a touring ensemble of children ages 8 to 16 who play traditional fiddle music from Maine and Canada. They are students of Ellen Gawler, one of Maine’s top folk fiddlers. Most also study classical violin at the Pineland Suzuki School. They perform throughout Maine at fairs, festivals, concerts and dances.

Curtain is at 7 p.m. at the Franco center and Skye Theatre, and at 7:30 p.m. in Unity. There will be jam sessions, when audience members can bring musical instruments and play with the artists, one hour prior to curtain at Skye Theatre and Unity College Center for the Performing Arts.

Tickets are $15 at the door. For reservations, call the Franco center, 46 Cedar St., at 783-1585; or Skye Theatre, 2 Highland Drive, Carthage, at 562-4445; or UCCPA, 42 Depot St., at 948-7469. A workshop schedule for Sunday, May 1, may be obtained at [email protected]


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