Franklin Countys First News

Award-winning Don Roy Trio to Play in Rangeley on Sept. 1

Don and Cindy Roy

RANGELEY - Join us in Rangeley on Labor Day weekend to celebrate Maine’s great outdoors at the Trail Town Festival and tap your feet to the best Franco-American music in the country—the Don Roy Trio of Gorham. Founders Don and Cindy Roy have just been awarded the highest honor the United States can bestow on folk and traditional artists: The National Heritage Fellowships Award.

Partners in life and music for nearly 40 years, Don and Cindy Roy are descended from French families that emigrated from Canada—Don’s grandparents from Quebec, Cindy’s from Prince Edward Island. Don’s virtuoso fiddling and Cindy’s steady, rhythmic piano accompaniment, plus her top-notch step-dancing, have entertained both local house parties as well as audiences across the country.

Music was a big part of life for both Don and Cindy as they grew up. Every Saturday night, and Sundays after mass, family and friends would gather for a soiree, with plenty of music, food, and good times. Since they met in 1980 on a blind date to play music, they have gone on to perform at such venues as Wolf Trap, the National Folk Festival, and Carnegie Hall. They now perform as the Don Roy Trio, with longtime musical collaborator Jay Young on upright bass.

Both Don and Cindy are dedicated to passing on their tradition and love of music to others. They teach at music camps, and they lead Fiddle-icious, a community fiddle orchestra with more than 100 members. Don, who gives private fiddle lessons, is a highly skilled luthier whose commitment to passing along knowledge to others is evident at his shop in Gorham where he has taken on numerous aspiring craftspeople.

Come meet Don and Cindy in Rangeley before they travel to Washington, DC in late September to join eight other honorees for an awards ceremony at the Library of Congress and a concert at George Washington University. “The 2018 NEA National Heritage Fellows have dedicated their lives to mastering these distinctive art forms and sharing them with new audiences both within their communities and nationwide,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts. “We look forward to celebrating them and their incredible artistic accomplishments this fall.” Awardees receive a fellowship of $25,000. Visit http://donroyonline.com

The Don Roy Trio’s appearance is part of the two-day Trail Town Festival. On Friday August 31 beginning at 7:00pm, watch outdoor film greats on the silver screen inside the Lakeside Theater. (Donation: $6; $3 for Appalachian Trail [AT] hikers and children under 12). Then, on Saturday, Sept. 1st, from 10:00am to 4:00pm, participate in free events, games, music, exhibits, and the ever-popular ice-cream-eating contest (free to AT hikers and children under 12)—all happening at Haley Pond Park on Pond Street.

Rangeley is one of only 35 towns along the 2,180 mile Appalachian Trail to be named an official “Appalachian Trail Community”—one that actively protects its natural, cultural, and recreational resources, including the AT. For more information on the Festival, call Linda Dexter at Ecopelagicon, 864-2771; join us on facebook and twitter; and visit our website: http://rangeleytrailtown.com

(This article includes materials from the webpages of the National Endowment for the Arts at http://www.arts.gov).

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