Shetland Folk Festival Society has selected four young musicians to participate in a trans-Nordic educational project during this year’s festival. The project is bringing together 20 students and five tutors from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Shetland for a week-long exchange of folk music, culture and heritage, culminating with the Nordic Tone performance as part of the Clickimin concert on Saturday 2nd May.
Representing Shetland will be Maggie Adamson on fiddle, Darren Stewart on accordion, Sam McEvoy on drums and Lois Nicol on fiddle. Sam and Lois are taking leave from their studies in Cambridge and Newcastle to be home to participate in the one-off project.
Davie Henderson of the festival committee said: “These four youngsters are not only skilled and experienced musicians who will be able to play to the standard of the university music students from the Nordic countries, their instrumental range complements that of the other 16 participants very well.
“In total, the project is going to include 11 different instruments as varied as the Hardanger fiddle to soprano vocals to even the Kantele – Finland’s national instrument. This range should make for a very interesting and varied performance.”
The students will spend an intensive week in workshops and rehearsals, working towards the 45-minute Nordic Tone performance where festival headline acts Cara Dillon, Frigg and Felpeyu will also be appearing. Overseeing the teaching and regional workshops will be Kevin Henderson from Shetland who will be joined by Henrik Jansberg from Denmark, Ånon Egeland from Telemark University College, Jonas Simonson from Gothenburg University and Ilona Korhonen from Sibelius Academy.
Lois Nicol said she was delighted to be selected for the project. “I am really excited about meeting the other students and teachers and not only having the opportunity to share with them the music I grew up with but to develop my skills and learn the music and traditions of other Nordic areas. It’s going to be a really busy week but one that I’m really looking forward to.” Shetland Folk Festival Society was awarded up to £11,088 last month by the Shetland LEADER Local Action Group towards the cost of the project, essential match funding for a grant obtained from the Nordic Culture Fund.