A record 171 entries have been submited for this year’s Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year competition, with about 100 musicians aged seven to 16 gearing up for the event.
It will be judged by well-known fiddlers Catriona Macdonald, Iain Williamson and Linda Gair, with the talented musicians playing at Mareel on 21st and 22nd April.
Shetland Folk Society secretary Valerie Watt said more fiddlers were entering the Young Fiddler and Traditional sections.
“This is a very encouraging trend as this demonstrates they are confident playing both contemporary and traditional tunes,” she said.
This year will see a change in how the title of the Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year is decided.
The title will be awarded to the fiddler with the most points in both the Young Fiddler and Traditional sections. “This gives equal value to both contemporary and traditional Shetland tunes and is more in line with fiddle competitions on the mainland where competitors play more than one set of tunes,” Mrs Watt added.
“We are very grateful to Hjaltibonhoga who have donated a beautiful silver salver as a new trophy for the winner of the Senior Young Fiddler section.”
Meanwhile The Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year will be awarded the new Frank Jamieson Memorial Trophy, renewed by his family last year.
The competition opens next Friday morning at 9am with the junior competitors (up to and including P6). In the afternoon and evening the intermediate competitors (P7 to S1) perform. An extra evening slot has been arranged this year with the increased number of entries.
The following day will see the senior competitors (S2-S4) perform from 9.15am.
Organisers say the public are welcome to come and go as they wish during the day on both Friday and Saturday.
The weekend culminates with the Young Fiddler of the Year concert in Mareel at 7.30pm on Saturday, where finalists for the title of Young Fiddler of the Year perform for the last time in front of the judges.
The concert will also include the results of this year’s Shetland Folk Society Tune Competition and the winning tunes will be performed by judges Violet Tulloch, Debbie Scott and Bryan Gear.
There will also be some guest performances including last year’s Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year Jodie Smith.