The crowd that packed the Gibsons Heritage Playhouse on Aug. 21 heard double the fiddlers, a performance that included the Sunshine Coast’s Bad to the Bow, 25 fiddlers between the ages of nine and 19, and 14 members of the BC Fiddle Orchestra, also tweens and teens.
When both groups were on stage at once it was exciting, and it gave rise to the tour’s label, Coastal Chaos. Yet when each group performed solo, though they chose similar tunes, each had a distinctive sound that made for pure enjoyment.
The musicians may be young, but their music is impressive, learned under the musical direction of Chelsea Sleep.
Maya Broeke reminded the audience of the late Oliver Schroer’s legacy of music. Dylan Broeke and Ariana Mason led off on the lovely Prayer for Oliver, written by one of Schroer’s students, Madelaine Lough.
Bad to the Bow continued with a full, diverse set, playing traditional and modern tunes, including music from their CD, The Joy of It, and accompanied by guitar and cello.
Joining them on stage for the first time ever was the BC Fiddle Orchestra (BCFO) from Victoria, led by renowned Canadian fiddler and composer Daniel Lapp. The BCFO is made up of approximately 30 fiddlers ages 10 to 17 (although not all of them could make it on the tour), and they have released their first CD, Fishcakes and Oranges. Their sound was enriched by cellos, drums and keyboard.
As you read this, the Coastal Chaos tour is circulating the province. While the BCFO visited Gibsons they were taken care of by parents of the local fiddlers. When they reach Victoria, it will be the turn of that group to host the others. It’s a great way for the youthful fiddlers to meet others with the same interests. As Lapp noted to the audience, the future of fiddling is in great hands.