Under the direction of master fiddler James Stephens (second from back left) members of the Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddle Society participate in a workshop held last week at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus in preparation for concerts being held on the Mother’s Day weekend.

Under the direction of master fiddler James Stephens (second from back left) members of the Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddle Society participate in a workshop held last week at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus in preparation for concerts being held on the Mother’s Day weekend.

Youth fiddlers prepare for new show

Fiddle, guitar and keyboard music filled a classroom at Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake last week.

Fiddle, guitar and keyboard music filled a classroom at Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake last week when members of the Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddle Society participated in a four-day workshop.

“We are practicing for an upcoming show on the Mother’s Day weekend in Williams Lake,” said director Ingrid Johnston at the end of Saturday’s session.

“We have master fiddler James Stephens here from Quebec,” Johnston said.

“He’s arranged the music for The Life of a Fiddle which we have been working on for about two years.”

The piece, Johnston said, follows the life of a fiddle beginning in a workshop in Italy where it is made.

“During that first piece you can hear the sounds of wood breaking,” she added.

Stephens has been to Williams Lake before — as a performer and workshop facilitator —  and has also worked with youth fiddlers in Smithers, B.C.

“For the Life of a Fiddle I have taken traditional pieces, and created parts for keyboards and guitar so they are more layered,” he said.

Around 30 youth ranging in ages seven to first-year university participated in the workshop that ran from Wednesday to Saturday, with many of the youth returning Sunday for one-on-one sessions with Stephens.

“Our older players are mentors to the younger ones,” Johnston said.

After the session the youth were all invited to a skating party at the Cariboo Memorial Complex.