| Jul 30, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - July 30, 2009 Old time musicians gather in Godfrey to competeby Julie Druker

Mitch Baker (left) accompanies Ellice Wolfreys in the L2 guitar class of the Frontenac Old time Music Championships in Godfrey

There was standing room only yet again at the Piccadilly Hall in Godfrey for the 2nd annual Frontenac Old Time Music Championships this past weekend. Musicians and singers took their turns center-stage singing and playing in a number of classes that included singing, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and guitar.

Singers competed on Saturday and on Sunday, when I visited, it was the musicians’ turn. Emcee Brother Brian of Queen’s University radio station CFRC controlled the mike and entertained the crowd with jokes in-between the classes.

Judges Bruce Clow, Jan Fox, Mel McDougal and Joe Sanders, all professional musicians in their own right, judged competitors using five different criteria: pitch, rhythm, musicianship, technique and stage presence. During breaks in the completion the judges took turns playing for the crowd. Judge Jan Fox, a songwriter from Kingston, was a first-time judge and said, “It’s been a really great show. The performers have all been really great and we have had competitors at all levels and of all ages which makes things very interesting.”

Joan Shepherd, who organized the event, was pleased with the turnout this year and said that the singing classes, new this year, were well received but could have seen more entries.

That being said she recalled a number of singers who wowed the crowd on Saturday, including eight-year-old twins Alex and Jack Revell of Verona who stole hearts when they sang a pirate song decked out in costumes. Fifteen-year-old professional singer Dallas Daisy Arney was also a memorable entry in her singing class.

Sam Johnston of Perth Road village competed for his first time this year in the K4 mandolin class and did a heart-felt rendition of Patsy Cline’s “Faded Love” that won him first place.

Mitch Barker is a regular participant at the jams and also competed for his second year in the event. For his guitar class he played “Faded Love” and “Geisha Girl” by Hank Locklin, which won him a first place ribbon.

Next year the event will be held at the Bedford hall, the new home location for the bi-weekly jams and Joan informed me that workshops in banjo, mandolin and fiddle and guitar will be added to next year’s event.

Joan explained, “There will be beginner, intermediate and advanced workshops so that musicians who want to improve their skills will have a chance to do so.”

The regular jams sessions will continue every other Sunday from 1:30-4:30PM at the Bedford hall on Westport Road. For more information please visit www.frontenacoldtimemusic.com .

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