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Fiddler named next N.H. artist laureate

A master of New England fiddling and craftsman of violins has been named New Hampshire’s Artist Laureate.

Rodney Miller of Antrim was confirmed to the post yesterday by the Executive Council. He will serve a two-year term, starting this month.

Miller plays widely at dances and is known as one the country’s finest dance fiddlers. New England fiddling is mix of French-Canadian and Celtic music styles played primarily for social dancing, including contra dance.

Miller also crafts violins; most of his albums have been recorded with him playing instruments he has made.

“Traditional dance music has long been an important part of New Hampshire’s social fabric – it helps define us,” Miller said. “Serving as New Hampshire’s artist laureate is a great honor, and I look forward to continuing to work in our communities as a fiddler and violinmaker, and to sharing this vital part of our culture.”

Established in 1997, New Hampshire’s artist laureate is an honorary position that receives no compensation.

Previous New Hampshire artists laureate include master furniture maker David Lamb; painter James Aponovich; theatre artist Marguerite Mathews; composer James Bolle; and potter Gerry Williams.

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