Vibrant live music was playing inside the Rock Nest Ranch main building on Aug. 31 while Gordon Stobbe, mandolin and fiddle instructor, explained what Fiddlefest is all about.
“We’re trying to make good musicians, in my case good fiddlers, but in the long-run what we are really trying to make is better human beings,” animated Stobbe.
People from all over come to the camp to learn how to play a certain instrument from fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and piano. It is a place of networking to build interest and community within the musical arts.
At the Rock Nest Ranch, it is a vigorous week of learning focused on orchestral play. Each instructor is given a class, and in the morning everyone gathers together to learn a section of the orchestra piece which they later perform together.
In the afternoon each instructor meets with their class to focus on learning how to just play their chosen instrument. There is a third workshop in the evening and then later to close the day there is a big dance each night.
The instructors at Fiddlefest come from all over Canada. “These are very high end people. In our business these are the cream of the crop,” said Stobbe. Stobbe is from Nova Scotia, there were other instructors from Ontario, and the rest are from all over B.C.
“The lessons that you learn here about cooperation, of harmony, of caring about younger kids, of responsibility, and respect those are lessons that go far beyond playing a fiddle and being in a band. Those are lessons that go into life.”
Fiddlefest is a place for musicians of all kinds to be apart of a welcoming community that carries on the passion and values of playing an instrument by sharing that enthusiasm and knowledge over to the next generation.