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Arts / Plenty of entrants for 40th young fiddler competition

MORE than 70 musicians have entered this year’s Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year competition.

The event will take place at Mareel in Lerwick on 22/23 April, and tickets are due to go on sale today (Friday).

Photo: Lisa Johnson

The competition will celebrate its 40th anniversary, with Margaret Robertson winning the inaugural event back in 1982.

This time around 72 young fiddlers are entering with 113 entries across both the open and traditional sections.

Entry numbers in both the intermediate and senior sections have increased following the postponed competition held in September last year.

The competition will be adjudicated by John Robert Deyell, Stella Wilkie and Jenna Reid.

Shetland Folk Society secretary Valerie Watt said: “Thousands of young fiddlers have taken to the stage in the Town Hall, Garrison Theatre and Mareel over the 40 years of the competition.

“Each fiddler memorises the Shetland tunes they perform and everyone can remember the Young Fiddler tunes note for note many years later.

“It’s a great way to keep our musical heritage alive and vibrant in our community.”

Deyell will be judging for the third time, while Fife fiddler Wilkie is “honoured to return as a judge for the second time and is looking forward to see how the fiddlers she heard at the last competition have developed.”

Reid added: “As a past winner of Shetland’s Young Fiddler of the Year, I’m honoured to be involved in the 40th competition.”

Junior fiddlers (P6 and under) will compete on the Friday morning and intermediate entrants (P7-S1) will take to the stage on the Friday afternoon. Senior fiddlers (S2-S4) compete on the Saturday morning.

The 40th Shetland Young Fiddler concert will be held at 7.30pm on Saturday 23 April.

Senior finalists will perform for the adjudicators for the final time.

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Judges of the Shetland Folk Society Tune Competition, Pauleen Wiseman and Kirsten Henry, will perform the prize winning compositions.

Junior and intermediate winners will share their prize winning performances and Magnus Williamson will give his final performance as Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year 2021 before the title is passed onto the 40th winner.

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