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Arts & Artists  

2023 Governor's Arts Awards gaa logo

Folk Heritage
Award Recipient: The Fiddling Thomsons, Lee

Ryan and Brennish Thomson are a father and son duo who perform and teach a wide variety of folk music on multiple instruments. Known as The Fiddling Thomsons, they travel throughout New Hampshire, the U.S. and overseas, bringing the heritage of New England folk music to people everywhere.

Fiddling ThomsonsRyan learned to play via his mother, father, and extended family through the aural tradition. Brennish started playing fiddle at age 2 and grew up surrounded by music, accompanying his father to gigs and teaching activities. Thus, they both learned by the passing down of tunes through the generations. Brennish has also mastered guitar, mandolin, banjo, and hand- held percussion instruments including bones and wooden spoons. He teaches both children and adults in his surrounding community and at fiddle schools and music camps nationally.

Ryan is a multi-instrumentalist as well. He plays fiddle, 5 string banjo, pennywhistle, accordion, and piano, among others. He has authored numerous fiddling and fiddle books, recordings, and instructional DVD videos on various musical topics.

Together, The Fiddling Thomsons have performed at many New Hampshire venues, such as libraries, parks, festivals and dances. With their performances is often an educational component. They are both adept at engaging with their audiences, giving history of tunes and anecdotes. Their tunes were passed on to them in the aural tradition, from generation to generation, and they continue to pass on the musical heritage.



Last updated: October 30, 2023

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