A GROUP of young Shetland fiddlers – led by fiddler and tutor Eunice Henderson – are to take part in one of the country’s most prestigious and long running folk festivals.
The South Mainland Young Fiddlers will travel to Devon for its famed Sidmouth Folk Week, which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary.
Henderson’s group will play on the opening weekend of the event, which kicks off on Friday 1 August, taking to the main stage alongside headlining acts such as Phil Cunningham & Aly Bain and Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson – part of a special Scottish music contingent attending the Sidmouth festival’s 600th birthday.
They will also join the festival’s long-established youth group ‘Shooting Roots’ for a series of collaborative workshops, before performing a joint concert on Sunday 3 August.
Festival director Alan Bearman, who first saw the group performing on a live webcast from Mareel, said: “I’ve wanted to take a group of young Shetland musicians to Sidmouth for a number of years now, both to introduce our audiences to the traditional music of the islands and to work alongside our own young musicians in a collaborative fashion – and Eunice’s South Mainland Young Fiddlers fit the bill perfectly.”
Bearman added his thanks to Shetland Charitable Trust for its support in making the trip become a reality.
Henderson said she was “delighted” the young fiddlers had been invited. “It’s a terrific opportunity for us – and indeed hopefully for Shetland as a whole – to showcase nationally some of the islands’ top young traditional fiddle talent. We’ve had a really busy and successful year so far with the group being in great demand locally, so this is simply the icing on the cake.”
Several of the young musicians enjoyed success at the Young Fiddler of the Year, including 16 year old Sophie Moar from Cunningsburgh who won the event’s senior title.
Moar said: “I’ve had a really great year so far and this trip will be another exciting challenge for me. We will be getting the chance to play with some famous people and to work with other young musicians down there, so are all really looking forward to the trip and hopefully making some new friends too.”