Born on May 6th, 1937 in Monkland to Wilfred and Angeline (Quesnel) Leroux. Fred’s early life influences included his mother’s stories about her father, Peter Quesnel who played the violin. Encouraged by his family, he played the fiddle by ear and only later did he take any only formal musical education, a violin class instructed by Donald Joseph MacPhee. Frederick was 60 years old at the time.
In 1958, Frederick purchased the farm in Apple Hill and married Rose (St.Louis). For more than 50 years they have been proud Glengarrians.
Frederick has been a performer throughout his life. As a young lad, Frederick entertained at house parties, church socials, and local gatherings. He played the violin and guitar with a variety of bands including Fr. McPhail’s circle of musicians and after his marriage to Rose in 1958, he enjoyed playing with his country band known simply as “The Lerouxs.” As their children grew and began to play, Fred focussed on playing music with them. Fred and the family were involved in the parish choir and Fred always made sure there was music played for every occasion, including fiddles and guitars whenever possible. One of the family’s highlights was playing for Wintario and Apple Hill’s Centennial Celebration.
Fred is an original member of the Old Time Fiddlers. Entertaining mostly in seniors homes, he seldom missed practices, meetings or any of the 50 performances per year. Although he has always played an important role as one of the founding directors, he humbly affirms his most important responsibility as a musician. He also performed on the four studio recordings made by the group.
Since the fiddle was introduced as part of the Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville, Fred has participated with the massed fiddles of Glengarry. The group has become a fixture for the Friday night Tattoo and draws a big audience when they play again on Saturday afternoon.
Fred’s ongoing contribution to the tradition of Celtic music has always been from the heart. Not even with a struggling young family did Frederick ever receive compensation. In his retirement, he has developed the talents of a luthier, building and repairing guitars and fiddles for family and people in the community. His most recent project is a Herringbone Celtic dreadnought guitar made of rosewood.
Fred continues to promote the tradition of Celtic music and enjoys a ceilidh with his children, grandchildren and friends. Fred and fiddle have entertained on bus tours to Missouri, Nashville, Yukon and Alaska and has participated in Halifax’s “Fiddles of the World” in 1999. Most recently he and Rose made their way to Scotland and Ireland entertaining fellow travellers.