|Al Gray on the fiddle.|
There's nothing like good music to put a smile on someone's face and these people have been pickin' and grinnin' for years.
It may be a new group to Castle Country, but music certainly isn't new to most of these folks. The Utah Old-Time Fiddlers and Country Music Association recently expanded their membership with the Castle Country Chapter and they meet the first Saturday of each month at the senior center on 30 East 200 South in Price at 10 a.m.
Although the chapter is new, many of the musicians are familiar faces in the Nine Mile Players group that has been around for years in Carbon County.
They join 10 other Utah chapters and although this certainly isn't just a "senior citizen" event, the jamming sessions are held at the Price senior center and the majority of those that came to listen and sing with the group as they practiced were active seniors.
The Utah Old Time Fiddlers is a non profit organization. The purpose of the group is to promote and to perpetuate old-time fiddling and country music and to encourage young people to develop their music talents and afford them the opportunity to perform in public. The group also holds jam sessions and fiddling contests for the enjoyment of the members of the association as well as the enjoyment of the public.
Because the local chapter is still young, it is considering hosting a fiddling contest. However, according to Joan Taylor, the group would like some more fiddlers before they actually plan a contest.
It is the state fiddler's contest in Salina that spurred some of the locals to begin their chapter. Locally John Temples has won two awards in the banjo contest and Steve Lasslo won first with his harmonica at the state event last year.
The old time fiddlers also furnish musical entertainment to convalescent homes, hospitals and private homes for the purpose of brightening the lives of the shut-ins; and to educate the public to the values of fiddling entertainment.
It is interesting to note that all instruments must be acoustic and include the autoharp, accordion, banjo, acoustic bass, dobro, dulcimer, fiddler, guitar, harmonica, hammered dulcimer, mandolin, tub, ukulele or rhythm instruments.
Although it varies, their are 12 members locally at this time.
Members are encouraged to participate in public events and activities including local, county and regional. Some of the fiddling association members who also play with the Nine Mile Players performed just last Saturday at the family fun days at the CEU Prehistoric Museum. This group often dresses to fit the time period at these events.
The local musicians began getting organized a few years ago when Duane Taylor decided he wanted to learn to play the guitar. He began taking lessons and pretty soon word spread and others were joining in with the lessons and jamming. Although Joan had always just been a singer she decided to learn to play the autoharp. As the event grew and more and more players got involved they set aside one night a week to practice.
"We still set aside Monday night for our music," concluded Joan.