Fiddles Fire Up for VNA/Hospice Fundraiser

BARRE – Some toe taping music will come to the Barre Opera House Sunday afternoon to raise funds for the Orleans/Essex Visiting Nurses Association and Hospice. The annual Magic of Master Fiddlers event will be headlined by Ottawa Valley native April Verch and Vermont native Scott Campbell. During a telephone interview Thursday, Verch said the different groups will perform individual sets and collaborate as a group as well. Verch’s band will perform two 30-minute sets. For Verch, Sunday is the start of her band’s New England Tour. The band returned to the United States Wednesday after spending six weeks in Australia. “We play a variety of different types of traditional music,” Verge said. “A little bit of bluegrass, some old time, some Celtic, some old country.”Verch’s band will play original pieces written by its members, some older favorites and some current pieces. Verge plays fiddle, sings and performs Ottawa Valley Step Dancing. Her guitar player also plays mandolin. Verge’s base player plays banjo.Some stuff is instrumental, some stuff has vocals and some stuff has dancing,” said Verch.Verch has performed her whole life, but only started touring in 2000. “I love it,” she said. “We’re on the road over 250 days a year. It’s quite demanding, but I do love performing.”Verch started dancing at age three and playing fiddle at age six. Verch said her older sister was taking lesions and Verch wanted to do everything her sister did. Her sister danced until she graduated high school.“I had a lot of opportunities when I was young,” said Verch. She said fiddling and step dancing is a strong tradition in her native Ottawa Valley. “There were local fairs, jamborees, local community dances, talent shows and telethons. I’ve really been performing, in some capacity or another, as long as can remember.”Verch put out eight CDs. The newest one came out a few months ago. Years ago, Verch performed on the very stage she will be on Sunday.“It’s nice for me to be able to go back see people I probably knew when I was younger,” said Verge. However, revisiting stages is nothing new for Verge. “Because I have been doing this for so long, I go back to a lot of the same stages. I think what makes it special is meeting people and hearing stories from people you knew a long time ago.” Verch knew she wanted to perform professionally when she was 10. She said people started to tell her she had to do what she loved for her job.“I remember thinking there is nothing I love more than this, so I guess I better get good at it,” she said.Hear samples of Verch’s music at .