The Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddle Society invites the community out to explore the origins of fiddle music with Celtic Routes this Saturday and Sunday in the Gibraltar Room.
This concert is an event two years in the making and is the result of tireless work by the youth members and mentors of the society. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for youth and are currently available at The Open Book and at the door, though tickets are expected to go fast for the 7 p.m. evening show May 4 and 3 p.m. matinée show on May 5.
Ingrid Johnston, an instructor for the society, said this show is the culmination of two years of learning and expanding her students’ capabilities.
Johnston said that the name Celtic Routes was specifically chosen for a reason as she wanted to explore not only the roots of Celtic music but also the routes the people who carried it took. She likens the process to a dandelion blown in the wind, scattering the seeds of music across the world. For Celtic Routes, she wanted to incorporate that theme of a journey into the show, which Johnston said she has done.
“We weren’t just focusing on Celtic music in Scotland or Ireland we wanted to travel with people who have immigrated to their new countries, their new homes and (explore how) the music that came with them collided with their new (homes),” Johnston said. “Then how the music changed, grew and merged with local music.”
There will be 35 performers bringing this vision to life, Johnston said, ranging in age from six to 18, which highlights something unique about the Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddle Society. They’ll work with kids of any ages and skill levels so long as they’re willing to commit to learning the instrument.
Some of the music in the show was learned on an exchange program to Nova Scotia and comes directly from Cape Breton and Halifax. Johnston said she and her students learned a lot by collaborating with the students and instructors there.
“They are really excited and pumped, their whole families are behind them and we feel like it’s been a community effort to get them off the ground and running,” Johnston said.
“Two years of hard work and then they get to share this gift to the community, something that they get to present.”
Gordon Stobbe, a fiddle instructor from Nova Scotia who has been working closely with the society to prepare for the concert, said this is the fourth show he’s helped organize here in the Cariboo. Unlike most music group recitals, where there’s a set list of songs that are just played through, he said that Celtic Routes is different because it is built around a central theme.
“This show will have three narrators who will be telling this story and then that story will be played out on the stage in music mostly, that’s the centre of it, but there is acting, costumes and sets,” Stobbe said.
Fusing all of this together, on both a music and production level is a challenge Stobbe observed which required them to utilize all students of all ages and experience levels. The result, he said, will not only be nice for grandma and grandpa but also a show of historic significance for general audiences.