Beverley Conrad the Fiddlerwoman
Back in the old days, the Itinerant Fiddler brought much of the music and entertainment to an area. Traveling in a circuit, the fiddler would show up at a house ready to move in for a spell. The arrival of the fiddler was very welcome. The neighbors were told, the barn floor was swept, the dancing shoes were polished.
Beverley Conrad is a folk fiddler in the truest sense. Armed and eared with hundreds of familiar tunes she winds her way through crowds at street fairs, museums, parties and festivals fiddling one tune after another. "I play the tunes you all learned in kindergarten or from your grandma and forgot you remember them."
As well as music, the traveling fiddler often times heard news or legends, a good tale and a story from the folks at the farm down the road and carried the tales further down the circuit. "Ah! Here's a good one Musser told me. It's about a spirit dog on Hallowing Run just outside of Fisher's Ferry..."
Conrad entertains folks, young and old, with her music and stories. She's been playing the fiddle since she was six years old and dresses for the occasion in the garb of the oldtime itinerant fiddler - a handsewn outfit the style of which dates back to the late eighteenth century.
Tunes From The Family Parlor a collection of traditional tunes as well as some original pieces by Conrad's husband and daughter was released in 1998. In The Wood, tunes from the northern Appalachians and Old World Highlands was released in 2005. Beverley Conrad on fiddle and Luke Glick on drums and bones.
She is a twice published author (Doggy Tales: Bedtime Stories For Dogs and Kitty Tales: Bedtime Stories For Cats, Dell Publishing Co., 1980) More recently she has written several original folk tales including "The Fiddler and the Bullfrog" an audience participation story about a fiddler who learns to play the fiddler by imitating the sounds of nature and "Louisy Fiddles up a Storm" a tall tale about a ten year old girl who can perform magic with her fiddle. She writes the Teacher's Tips page for The National Old Time Fiddlers Association newspaper (Weiser, Idaho.) and pens the Ask Beverley column for that paper as well. Readers are invited to send in questions about playing the fiddle and she will answer them.
Fiddler Magazine featured Conrad in their Winter 2000/2001 issue as “The Fiddler Woman, “ by A.D. Wolf and she was profiled in the popular regional magazine Susquehanna Life in their Autumn 2000 issue. She has since become a regular contributor to Fiddler Magazine.
Conrad lives in Central Pennsylvania down a bumpy dirt lane with her kids, husband and many dogs, cats and chickens. She plays the fiddle that was handed down to her by her Grandpa, Ray Orin Conrad, and there's a big old upright piano in the parlor.
Beverley has performed at The National Civil War Museum, Little Buffalo Festival of the Arts, Sunbury's Riverfest, The Covered Bridge Festival at Knoebel's Grove, Milton Harvest Festival, Perry County Festival of the Arts; Warrior Run Heritage Days; Walnut Acres; Mifflinburg Buggy Days; Lewisburg Festival of the Arts; Danville Iron Festival; Kutztown Pennsylvania German Festival and other popular festivals throughout central Pennsylvania.