New York State Old Tyme Fiddlers’ Association
North American Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame and Museum
DEDICATED TO THE PRESERVATION, PERPETUATION, AND PROMOTION OF THE TRADITION OF
OLD TYME FIDDLING IN AMERICA AND THE DANCE ASSOCIATED WITH THE MUSIC.
About the Organization
The New York State Old Tyme Fiddlers' Association (NYSOTFA) exists for those who enjoy playing, dancing and just listening to old time fiddle music and have an interest in helping to preserve old time fiddle music and its associated dance music.
Many opportunities are available for the general public, as well as members, of all levels of expertise, to play or participate in fiddling events.
Throughout the summer beginning in May are weekly Sunday afternoon free concerts in the Fiddlers' Pavilion at the North American Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame and Museum in Osceola, New York (along with jam sessions on the grounds). Kids' Kamp is also held in August each year.
There are also special events planned during the year, some of which include: The Snow Deer Festival and the Spring Fling, both designed to get people out to play the music they miss in the winter; The Annual Fiddlers’ Picnic Festival in July which showcases star and amateur fiddlers, along with workshops; and closing out the summer season is the Roger Thesier House Party.
NYSOTFA chapters meet together in their own regions all year and have jam session and performances.
An important part of the promotion of this music is the general public which is also encouraged to attend all of the concerts and specials; to participate wherever possible and to become a member.
With your membership to the NYSOTFA you will receive monthly newsletters with the details of all of these events, plus news of the organization..
Some NYSOTFA events made possible in part by public funds
from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency.
About the Mission and Music of the
New York State Old Tyme Fiddlers’ Association
Simply put, the mission of the New York State Fiddlers’ Association is to preserve, promote and perpetuate authentically traditional New York State fiddling music. That music itself is a rich mix of traditional tunes, genres and fiddling styles passed down through generations of New York State performers, teachers, professionals and, especially, joyful amateurs of all levels of skill alike. It is a distinctly American blend of musical influences brought to our shores primarily from the European countries which then found their way into New York State from New England and the Canadian provinces. Here it was distilled into a distinctively New York style before traveling to other parts of the United States where it blended with and took on various regional influences such as Mountain, Western, Country, Bluegrass and Cajun. Over the years these colorations have found their way back to New York as well. The type of music played includes jigs, reels, schottisches, polkas, waltzes, square, round and two-step tunes and numerous variations of all these traditional forms. While we strive to preserve such music in its most original Northern and rural New York forms, we do, however, recognize and in certain ways accommodate the fact that this is a living, and thus always evolving, musical tradition which naturally adopts and adapts to new generations of players and styles. In our performances, the fiddle is sometimes backed by other types of instruments such as piano, guitar, banjo, bass, flute, penny whistle, accordion, harmonica, mandolin, harp, dulcimer, jaws harp, and percussion such as spoons and bones among them; and it is often sung to as well. This breadth of complementary backup as well as many of the forms of dancing which the music naturally gives rise to (just try to keep your toes from tapping!) encourages a wide range of folks to not only enjoy listening but actually taking part in and becoming directly connected to traditional fiddling music. This beloved musical tradition is preserved and celebrated at the North American Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame Museum, Concert Pavilion and Camping Facilities in Osceola, New York through historical exhibits chronicling fiddling’s heritage, an extensive fiddling music archive, and, of course, an active and very popular summer concert series highlighted by the always special Annual Fiddlers Picnic Weekend. However, throughout the year Old Tyme Fiddling Music is played and promoted statewide through chapter performances, community and school outreach and concerts and in teaching venues, all of which are undertaken by New York State Old Tyme Fiddlers’ Association chapters, associates and their enthusiastic members and wonderfully talented musicians.
So now let’s make sure that we keep on fiddlin’--
for another 300 years and more!