Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December Meeting Memories

For our December meeting, we were hosted in the lovely home of Elke's parents, Houston and Judy Baker, for a touching tribute to founder Anne Leslie, by showcasing some of her favorite tunes. Between the lovely airs, and some stirring marches, and more, we were all treated to some wonderful music many of us will be eager to add to our repertoires.

On another note, it's membership renewal time. Those members who haven't renewed by December 15 won't get music for this year, so remember to dash on over to the Webstore to take advantage of the convenience of Paypal to pay for your renewal with a credit card, or print out a membership form at our "Join" section, and mail us your check.

Also, Peter began handing out passwords to the members' only section of the website, and will begin emailing those who didn't make the meeting with their password soon. He also gave a presentation on the wonderful Fiddle Club gear you can purchase at our CafePress storefront, showing off the tote bag, golf shirt, mug, and much more. They make gifts, and a portion of the proceeds goes to the Fiddle Club.

One final bit on the website: the Members' Only section is pretty thin right now, and Pete is looking for ideas for what should go in it. Do you have a favorite link related to Scottish music? An idea for what might be exciting for members? A resource for musicians? Let Pete know and he'll put it in!

After a potluck featuring some wonderful dishes (the meatballs and potato salad were standouts for me, not to mention the apple pie and banana bread), several of us stuck around for a spirited jam that included the following tunes:

Flowers of Edinburgh
Neil Gow's Lament for the Death of his Second Wife
General Leslie's Goodnight
Leslie's March
The Tongadale Reel/The Knockadhu Reel
The Muckin' o' Geordie's Byre/The Stool of Repentance/Lieutenant Maguire/Jig Runrig/Mick Walsh's/The Road to Banff
Hughie Shortie's
Brochan Lom
Bonny George Campbell
The Guizer's March
Archibald MacDonald of Keppoch
The Piper's Weird
The White Cockade/Highland Laddie
Da Slockit Light
Soldier's Joy
She's Rare & Good in All
Eilean Beag Donn a' Chuain

Thanks again for coming out, every one and we hope to see you all in January!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Going Live

It was in July 2003 that I first told Becky I wanted to volunteer to build Fiddle Club a website. It took me nearly six years to get around to just having a site that had current meeting information, in the old black-and-white site hosted at this domain, and another year to get the full website going.

In that time, I've matured as a musician, and as a web designer, and though there's forever going to be a strong strain of "amateur" playing both through my reels and my HTML (I like to say my fiddling is end of the 18th century and my web design end of the 20th!), it's now finally something I can be proud of.

The first place you'll go when visiting the site is the meetings page. It's my intention to have that always updated with the next upcoming meeting. That's where members will want to go first, and new people interested in going to a meeting in person. After that, if you're interested, is the button for the "About" page, to tell you more about what Fiddle Club is. And third, a place for you to join.

Most exciting to me has been building the webstore. We have a local store; these are things you could buy at any Fiddle Club meeting, like CDs, T-shirts, and, of course to renew your membership, or join as a new member. All that functionality is now available. On top of that, there's a link to a CafePress store, where you can find more gear with the new Fiddle Club logo.

That's right, the fiddling lion has roared into the new century too. Colorized, and either alone or set upon the saltire, we've got a new look.

After that, there's the media gallery. Right now, I just have pictures and a couple videos from a few events. We have a calendar, and this blog.

And this is where you come in. I want to know what you want to help turn this online presence into an online community, and a resource. Links? Bios of our more frequent performers? Classifieds? A chat room? What would enhance your experience, and what would you most use?

Soon after, I'm going to begin issuing passwords to enter the Members' Only section. There you'll find a member directory, past newsletters back 7 years, and a members' webstore where you will be able to buy past years music, in paper copy - or, eventually, a digital copy; and a downloads section with special audio and video, and music from meetings you might have missed.

Fiddle club's been making a lot of changes to finally move into the digital era, and this website is only part. We have a new mailing list, and email addresses for the Fiddle Club officers. We're sending out the newsletter via email for almost all members, saving the club a bundle in mailing costs. Most importantly, we're expanding our ability to reach out to the music world, to increase our visibility, and thus our ability to share the music we love so much.

It was with great sadness that we recently learned that our founder, Anne Leslie, passed away. The December newsletter and meeting will feature a tribute to her. Anne never had the chance to see the new direction we're going, but I hope she'd be as excited as I've been.

So there we are. The new Potomac Valley Scottish Fiddle Club website is live, and growing. May our music and friends forever increase!

Ur deagh-slàinte agus chì mi sibhse as ùr a dh'aithghearr,

Monday, November 1, 2010