Auction helps send young fiddlers to Ireland

4 mins read

KINGFIELD – The Pineland Fiddlers, a touring ensemble of children age eight to 14 who play traditional fiddle music from Maine and Canada, are sponsoring an auction at the Village Inn in Belgrade on November 12 with auctioneer John Gawler. More than $6000 in goods and services will be auctioned off, including gift certificates from businesses all over western and central Maine, art and artisanal products, furniture, food and baked goods, gift items, tickets for sporting, theatrical and musical performances, and vouchers for outdoor adventures and sports facilities.

Pineland Fiddlers including (left to right) Marissa Parker-Bair, Leon Robie, Ellie Sloane-Barton, Django Pignatello and Simone Laverdiere are part of a group of young musicians who will perform at an auction at the Village Inn in Belgrade to raise money to send the youngsters to study and perform in Ireland in June 2009.

The Village Inn auction includes a silent auction and happy hour at 5:30, dinner at 6:30 (choice of baked stuffed haddock or English cut beef), and an auction at 7:30. There will be a 50/50 raffle and, of course, the fiddlers will play. Tickets are $20, and are available at the door. The evening promises to be a great time with fine foods, music, laughter — and lots of bargains.

Proceeds from the auction will help send the Pineland Fiddlers to Ireland, “the land of great fiddling,”

to study with Irish master fiddlers, explore the roots of New England’s traditional music, develop new repertoire and share their own Maine- and Quebec-based repertoire at music festivals and other venues in Ireland. To make the trip possible they have lined up months of auctions, bake sales, bottle drives, poinsettia sales and raffles, as well as performances at dances, fairs and festivals.

The young musicians hail from all over the state and two of them are from right here in Franklin County. Ellie Sloane-Barton, 14, is a freshman at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington and Leon Robie, 11, is a 6th-grader at Kingfield Elementary School. All of the young fiddlers are students of Ellen Gawler, one of Maine’s most highly respected fiddlers, and most also study classical violin at the Pineland Suzuki School. They perform throughout Maine at fairs, festivals, concerts and dances and their big, lively fiddle-orchestra sound has impressed crowds at venues such as the Chocolate Church in Bath, the Common Ground Fair, the L.L. Bean concert series, Johnson Hall Live, the Franco-American Heritage Center and the Kingfield POPS. They were invited to play in Turkmenistan this past summer, have traveled twice to Quebec City to perform and study with traditional Quebecois fiddlers, and have released two CDs. The Pineland Fiddlers is a subsidiary of the Pineland Suzuki School, which is a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status.

“We are incredibly grateful to all the businesses and individuals, from Franklin County all the way through central Maine, who have so generously donated products and services to help make this event a success,” said Ellen Gawler, Director of the Pineland Fiddlers. “Fiddling has thrived for hundreds of years in Ireland and most of the fiddling that we do in the new world has its roots there. I am looking forward to seeing the effect that our journey to this magical place will have on these budding young musicians,” she said.

For more information, call Deborah Robie at 265-5920, or visit the Pineland Fiddlers’ website at

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.