Opera House Folk-in-Fredonia music series to start with Free-For-All

Variety of music talent

Musicians Sue Tillotson and Jim Cunningham, who will be featured performers in the 2017-18 Folk in Fredonia Music Series with a concert in May, are two of the many area performers who will help make the 23rd Annual Free-for-All at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House an afternoon of music, laughter and fun. Tickets to Sept. 17 event are free.

The Folk-in-Fredonia Music Series at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House will kick off its 2017-18 season with the annual “Free-for-All” on Sunday, Sept.17. The concert will begin at 3 p.m. and admission is free.

The Free-For-All was started 23 years ago by local folk group The Newton Street Irregulars as a way to help promote the Folk-in-Fredonia Music Series at the Opera House. Although half of The Newton Street Irregulars have since left the area, founding members Dick and Carmen Gilman still invite their musician friends from across the state to join them for this Opera House tradition. From fiddles, banjos and guitars to step-dancing, audience sing-alongs and tall tales, the Free-For-All is an afternoon filled with music, stories, laughter and fun.

In addition to the Gilmans, the list of performers for this year’s event includes: guitarists/fiddlers/singers Cheryl Ritch and Bill Moran; Scottish fiddler Sue Tillotson and guitarist Jim Cunningham, along with students from the Bonnie Loch Fiddlers; parody writer/singer Dr. Rich Milazzo; and Irish storyteller Doug Manly.

Also performing will be singer/songwriter Ben Baker; fiddler/singer Kathy Petersen; old time instrumentalists/ singers Jean and Don Wisniewski; guitarist/singer Christine McKay; multi-instrumentalist Todd Crowley; Scottish piper Bob Carlson; and Celtic harpist and Grammy Educator Award-winner Kent Knappenberger with his family of singers and dancers.

During the concert there will be raffles and giveaways of Folk-in-Fredonia T-shirts, CDs and tickets to 2017-18 Opera House Folk Series events.

Admission is free, but tickets are required, and can be reserved by visiting the Opera House Box Office or calling 679-1891, Tuesday-Friday, 1-5 p.m.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.