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Entertainment / Ashley Hay named Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year

Young Fiddler of the Year Ashley Hay with her collection of trophies.

THIRTEEN year old Vidlin lass Ashley Hay was declared the 2019 Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year in Mareel on Saturday in front of a packed auditorium. 

She won both the traditional and open event in the senior competition as well as the Martin Laurenson Memorial Trophy for the best played slow air.

Meanwhile 15-year-old Anya Johnston won the Cat Gut and Ivory Trophy for the best played reel.

Ten year old Evie Williamson, from Whalsay, won both the Young Fiddler Junior and Traditional Junior trophies.

The Intermediate Young Fiddler trophy went home with 12-year-old Gracie Gowans-Little while Maisie Henderson, also 12 years old, won the Traditional Intermediate prize. Holly Anderson won the Lell Robertson Memorial Trophy for the best played waltz in the intermediate section.

The Shetland Folk Society junior tune competition was won by 10-year-old Jayden Moore from Lerwick with Etta’s March. Margaret Robertson won the senior tune competition with Allister’s Reel and Christine Hughson won the best reel in the traditional Shetland style with The Rankin Lounge Session.

Junior and Intermediate winners Evie Williamson, Maisie Henderson, Gracie Gowans-Little, Holly Anderson and Jayden Moore.

The competition was judged by Linda Gair, Jennifer Wrigley and John Robert Deyell.

Jennifer praised the extremely high standard of the competition. “It was extremely difficult to pick a winner, Ashley stood out as having a unique Shetland style; relaxed and gutsy with a close connection to her instrument and audience,” she said.

Secretary of the Shetland Folk Society Valerie Watt added: “It has been a fantastic weekend celebrating Shetland fiddle music.

“What better way is there for us to preserve our traditional music as have so many young fiddlers committing these tunes to memory and sharing them?

“New friendships are formed and many of the fiddlers go to their tutors with suggestions of new tunes to learn after hearing them at the Young Fiddler competition.”

The Shetland Folk Society Tune Collection 2016-18 was launched at the competition bringing together all the prize winning tunes from the competition over the past three years.

Full results: