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OAK VIEW | Ventura County Focus

Old-Fashioned Fiddlers Draw Modern Fans

September 15, 1997|SCOTT STEEPLETON

About 100 enthusiasts of old-time fiddle music gathered at the Oak View Community Center on Sunday for a bimonthly meeting of the California State Old-Time Fiddlers Assn.

Formed in 1974, the association is dedicated to keeping alive the unique style of music, said Ben Chapman, District 8 vice president.

"We draw people from all over the county," said Chapman, 68, a founding member of the local district who plays guitar and sings. "We don't allow alcohol. And we don't allow off-color music or jokes."

"This is something you can take the kids to," he said.

The group is open to anyone who likes old-time fiddle music, Chapman said. It holds jam sessions the second and fourth Sundays of the month at the community center on Valley Road.

Of the 284 members of the district, one-third are musicians. The remaining two-thirds come to listen, and they help out in the kitchen and with other club duties.

"They do it because they like the music. It gives a lot of people an afternoon of family-oriented fun," Chapman said.

"I like meeting people and being able to do what I like to do--sing songs that I like and grew up with," he said.

For additional information on the association, call 646-1583 or 527-0227.

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