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The Commons
The Arts

Grammy-winning fiddler Natalie MacMaster to play Bellows Falls Nov. 29

Originally published in The Commons issue #180 (Wednesday, November 28, 2012).

BELLOWS FALLS—Equally at home on the concert stage as she is at a folk festival, Grammy-award winning Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster will perform her holiday-themed concert, “Christmas in Cape Breton,” on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m., at the Bellows Falls Opera House.

MacMaster will be accompanied for several holiday songs by 40 members of the Kurn Hattin Homes Children’s Choir.

Concert producer Jay Craven of Kingdom County Productions selected Kurn Hattin’s choir to perform with MacMaster, whose North American tour includes performances with local children’s choirs.

The Kurn Hattin Children’s Choir, directed by Lisa Bianconi, performs regularly throughout the Northeast.

Kristin Nord of the Halifax Chronicle Herald recently described MacMaster’s early years in an extensive profile, noting “children from these Cape Breton parishes often perform at church festivals when they are very young. For Natalie MacMaster, her debut came at Glendale less than a year after she’d begun playing her first three-quarter size fiddle.”

“By the time I picked up the fiddle, I felt as if I had nine years of experience already,” she recalls in the piece, “I had so many melodies in my head; I could hum a lot of tunes.”

According to that published report, her parents encouraged her playing from the very start, “transporting her to the halls and packing a blanket and a pillow in the backseat on the nights when they knew she’d be up late playing for a dance.”

McMaster has since recorded 11 albums and two DVDs, and she has earned many East Coast and Juno awards and a Grammy.

“The music is like the people and the land,” she says. “Strong, powerful, and rugged. It all blends. It all matches.”

For tickets, call 802-748-2600, or visit, Village Square Booksellers in Bellows Falls, or Misty Valley Books in Chester.

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