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Arts / Yelena crowned young fiddler of the year

Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year 2022: Yelena Anderson.

FIFTEEN year old Yelena Anderson from East Burrafirth was declared the 40th Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year on Saturday night in front of a full auditorium in Mareel. 

She took home the Frank Jamieson Memorial Trophy after winning the Fiddler’s Society Cup for the Senior Traditional competition and coming second in the Open.

Maisie Henderson won the Open and took home the Hjaltibonhoga Silver Salver.  Maisie also won the best played slow air and Yelena won the best played reel.

Maisie Henderson, winner of the Senior Open and Best Played Slow Air. All photos: Shetland Folk Society

Kristie Williamson (12) won both the Intermediate Young Fiddler and Intermediate Traditional competitions and 11-year-old Winnie Johnston picked up the Junior Young Fiddler and Junior Traditional titles.

Ellie Nicolson (12) took home the trophy for the best played waltz in the Intermediate competition.

Judges John Robert Deyell, Stella Wilkie and previous winner Jenna Reid were full of praise for the young musicians.

Deyell said: “It has been great to see all the young fiddlers and hear such a variety of Shetland tunes played so well and from memory.”

Wilkie added “The talent here is fantastic. The knowledge about the traditional music of Shetland is so apparent amongst the young players and their families and tutors are doing such a great job in supporting them to flourish.”

Reid said it was great to return to the competition to “witness so many young fiddlers performing Shetland music with such enthusiasm, skill and passion”.

In the Intermediate Young Fiddler competition Ellie Nicolson and Maisy Nicolson (12) were second equal and Ami Grains (12) was third.  In the Intermediate Traditional competition Ellie Nicolson was second and Maisy Nicolson was third.

Norah Flaws (10) was second in the Junior Young Fiddler and Ollie Jamieson (10) was third.  Lexi Tulloch (10) was second in the Junior Traditional competition and Ollie Jamieson was third.

Winnie Johnston, winner of the Junior Young Fiddler and Traditional, Kristie Williamson, winner of the Intermediate Young Fiddler and Traditional and Ellie Nicolson, winner of the Best Played Waltz.

Darren Jamieson won the Junior Shetland Folk Society Tune Competition with a reel called Da Broken Bow.

Jenny Henry won the Senior Shetland Folk Society Tune Competition with 50 Million Papers Off the Press.  Mary Rutherford was second with Leaving Gletness and Daniel Philip was third with The Man of Northlea.  

Christine Hughson won the trophy for the best reel in the Shetland style with No Class.

Speaking after all the winners had been declared Shetland Folk Society secretary Valerie Watt said the 40th Young Fiddler had again been a fantastic weekend of music.

“We’re proud of every young fiddler who have taken to the stage to share their music and wish Yelena all the very best for her first performance as Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year at the Shetland Folk Festival this coming weekend,” she said.

Full results: