Middle School
1900 Denton Street | La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601 | 608-789-7670 | Fax: 608-789-7975


Fiddle music is traditionally taught by rote (by ear, without reading music). Students in River City Strings explore this style of learning and grow as musicians through playing alternative styles that include Celtic, Old-time, French Canadian, Swing, and more. We may also take time to explore other folk instruments and possibly have guest musician(s) visit! For some of our rehearsals and performances, we will be combining groups with the Logan Middle School fiddle club.



River City Strings Fiddle Club members must…

♫ …be in excellent academic standing in our orchestra (attend all lessons, concerts, ect.).

…regularly practice their orchestra lesson assignments and fiddle club repertoire at home (at least 20 minutes per session, 3 sessions per week.)

…be in good academic standing and maintain passing grades in all other classes.

…attend and contribute to all fiddle club rehearsals & performances and bring all materials when necessary.

…turn in all borrowed instruments & equipment immediately at the conclusion of each season.

…adhere to policies in the Student Code of Conduct and Co-Curricular Activities Code.



Most materials are available at our local music retailers (Leithold Music ~ Old Towne Strings ~ SSE Music).  Each store features easy online or telephone ordering and free delivery to our school.  Please make sure that you have the following supplies and remember to bring all of needed materials when necessary:

♫ Instrument, bow, case, & rosin:  store rental, own, or school rental (limited supply available to families who qualify).

♫ Instrument support:  shoulder rest/contoured sponge (violin/viola) or end pin rest/rock stop (cello/bass).

♫ Folder & Music:  to be handed out in class.  Please keep your music organized and in set list order (once it is determined).

♫ Performance attire:  black shirt (any plain black shirt, orchestra shirt, or fiddle club shirt).  Fiddle club shirts are usually ordered once per year in November and arrive in time for our first school year season performance in December.

♫ Folding music stand:  each student will need to supply and bring their own music stand for all performances.

♫ Cello chair:  cellists may need to supply their own stool/chair for some performances.

♫ Snack:  bring one large, shareable snack to our first rehearsal (non-perishable packaged snacks, please – crackers, popcorn, pretzels, cookies, ect.).  We will share an after school snack at each of our rehearsals.  🙂



Please see our complete schedule below for this season’s rehearsal and performance information.  Our fiddle club will rehearse in the Longfellow/LDI orchestra room (room #110) on most Mondays from 3:00-4:00 pm during the school year and on most Wednesdays from 2:00-3:00 during the summer.  We typically perform 2-3 ‘gigs’ per season, at events such as the Cameron Park Farmer’s Market, community folk dances, nursing homes, Rotary Lights festival, and more!



Rehearsals and performances are important, and without all of our fiddlers, we cannot be 100%! We only get about one hour of rehearsal time together each week (compared to 5-10 hours per week for most school sports), so it is very important that students attend.  In general, only 1-2 absences each season are allowed.  Excessive absences will be grounds for dismissal from the rest of the season.  Please contact Ms. McDonald in advance if you will be absent from any rehearsal or performance.



Ms. Jessica McDonald ~ jmcdonal@lacrossesd.org


Printable .pdf files:






♫ Friday, May 18, 2018 – Registration form due to Ms. McDonald

     Handbook, schedule, and registration form packets available in Longfellow/LDI room #110


♫ Wednesday, June 13, 2018 – Rehearsal 1

     Rehearsal at Longfellow/LDI room #110 from 2:00-3:00

     Remember to bring your snack to share to our first rehearsal!  🙂


♫ Wednesday, June 20, 2018 – Rehearsal 2

    Rehearsal in Longfellow/LDI room #110 from 2:00-3:00 pm


♫ Wednesday, June 27, 2018 – Rehearsal 3

     Rehearsal in Longfellow/LDI room #110 from 2:00-3:00 pm


♫ Wednesday, July 4, 2018 – NO REHEARSAL

     No rehearsal this week due to the Independence Day holiday.


♫ Wednesday, July 11, 2018 – Rehearsal 4 

     Rehearsal in Longfellow/LDI room #110 from 2:00-3:00 pm


♫ Wednesday, July 18, 2018 – Rehearsal 5 (last rehearsal!)

Rehearsal in Longfellow/LDI room #110 from 2:00-3:00 pm


♫ Wednesday, July 25, 2018 – Performance at Bethany Riverside Nursing Home
      2:00 pm   Students report to Longfellow/LDI room #110
      2:15 pm   Travel together via school bus to performance site
      2:35 pm   Unpack materials to the left of our ‘stage area,’ set up, tune & rehearse
      3:00 pm   Performance
      3:30 pm   Families pick up students from performance site or from Longfellow around 4:20ish
      Address:  Bethany Riverside Nursing Home, 2575 7th Street South, La Crosse
      Materials:  Bring your own music stand, instrument, folder with music ready in setlist order, wear RCS shirt


♫ Friday, July 27, 2018 – Performance at Cameron Park Farmer’s Market (weather permitting)
      4:30 pm  Students report to the center of Cameron Park
      4:30 pm  Unpack materials near tree to the left of our ‘stage area,’ set up, & tune
      5:00 pm  Performance
      5:30 pm  Performance ends, pack up, families pick up students from performance site
      Address:  Cameron Park Farmer’s Market, on King Street between 4th Street & 5th Avenue
      Materials:  Bring your own music stand, instrument, folder with music ready in setlist order, wear RCS shirt.
                          ***Cellos will need to bring their own ‘cello chair/stool’ for this performance.***


♫ Monday, July 30, 2018 – School materials due back
      All rental instruments and equipment due back to the Longfellow room #110 or the office.


A maximum of 1-2 absences are allowed during each season.  (We only have 7 rehearsals during the school year and 5 in the summer!)   Please contact Ms. McDonald in advance if you will be absent from any rehearsal or performance:  jmcdonal@lacrossesd.org




General Links:


Can’t get enough tunes?  Recommended fiddling books available through our local music stores:


Fiddling Resources:


Cool Fiddlers to Check Out: