A Look Inside the Hunterdon Central Fiddle Club

Fiddle Club while playing at Devil’s Cabaret in May 2012

By Emma Frenchu

For those of you who went to Devil’s Cabaret, I’m sure you’re familiar with Hunterdon Central’s Fiddle Club. The club, founded by Mr. Magalio, conductor of Central’s orchestra and the Marching Red Devils- is now going on its sixth year. Mr. Magalio created it in response to the community’s need for a small musical performance group. Because Central’s three orchestras were too large, and the Marching Red Devils numbered around 195 students, no feasible group could perform at small venues- until now.

According to Freshman Anna Tsatsos, “Fiddle Club is a club that doesn’t just make you better at violin playing…. it gave me the passion for playing the violin, and the ability to completely enjoy and love it.” The Fiddle Club now has grown to roughly 20 members and appears at nearly twenty sites including, but not limited to: the Hunterdon County Library, the Women’s Club of Flemington and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills. The club meets once a week on Thursdays during Unit Lunch in the Music Building where they practice a wide selection of pieces including the “Heel and Toe Polka.”

Fiddle Club member (and new Lamp editor-in-chief) Patrick Lin

So, what exactly is a fiddle? Well, a fiddle is, in every sense except the name, a violin. While violinists play classical pieces, fiddlers tend to play folk and dance music, although nowadays that margin is being blurred by fiddlers transferring to the classical genre and vice versa. Another distinction is that some fiddles may have either four stings or five strings while a violin will only ever have four. Both instruments are thought to have descended from the Greek lyre, and were created in 1550 by Nicolo Amati, also the creator the the longest surviving violin/fiddle.

If you want to come and see the Fiddle Club perform, the group’s final appearance for the year will be at the “Opa! Annual Greek Festival” held at Razberry’s Catering Hall, Route 12, Frenchtown, NJ, on Friday, June 29th. The festival is open to the public and parking is free.

All Images courtesy of Adam Zeloof Photography

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