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Wednesday, 11 September 2013 16:56

Southwest Sask. fiddlers enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experience performing at national competition

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Two southwest Saskatchewan students had the opportunity of a lifetime to perform on stage at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Competition and then watch the 30  best fiddlers from across the country compete.

Alishia Beach, of Herbert, and Joshua Dyck, of Swift Current, had the opportunity to  join violin/fiddle instructor Celia Hammerton, on stage with more than 100 other fiddlers to open both the preliminary round and finals of the championship event.
First started in 1990, the competition has always been held in Ottawa, but for the first time ever this year’s event took place in Saskatoon on Aug. 24.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in something like this and watch the best in Canada compete,” says Beach, about the experience.
The orchestra members for the special showcase performance came together from across the country and performed the fiddle classics Road to Boston and Chinese Breakdown, arranged by Gordon Stobbe.
Beach first started playing violin and classical music for three to four years, before switching to the fiddle which she has played the past five or six.
“It’s one of those instruments that everyone is fascinated with because there’s not a lot of fiddle players,” she says.
She enjoys the instrument because it’s easy to play along with others and a lot of fun.
“A lot of people dance to fiddle music.”
Joshua Dyck also first began playing the violin, but has played fiddle the past four to five years.
“I like that type of music better,” he says about fiddle playing as opposed to the more classical sounds of violin.
The Grade 10/11 home-schooled student heard about the opportunity to perform on stage at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Competition from his instructor Celia Hammerton.
“I thought it would be a good opportunity,” he says.
Even though he was on stage, he found the experience of performing with more than 100 fiddlers at the same time to be quite relaxing and enjoyable.
“If you messed up it wasn’t going to matter. Plus, the instructors were really easy-going,” says Dyck. “It was a really great thing to do and to see a lot of other fiddlers and watch the show. There were some very good fiddler players there.”
Dyck enjoys the style of music one can play with the fiddle.
“It’s old-time and swings really nice. It’s easy to listen to.”
He hopes to continue to play the instrument for his own enjoyment for many years to come.
Beach, currently in Grade 11 in Herbert’s school, also plans to keep playing the fiddle in her adult years.
“If I can make something out of it, whether it’s teaching or performing, I’d be privileged to do that,”she says, about the possibilities of music being a career. “I would love to teach others. It’s a great instrument and music stays with you the rest of your life — the knowledge of it.”

Read 3577 times Last modified on Thursday, 12 September 2013 08:43
Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor