Young Highland Fiddlers To Meet Up in Ullapool
The first Ullapool Fiddle day will take place on Thursday 4th September in the MacPhail Theatre, Ullapool High School and around fifty pupils from Badenoch, Strathspey, Ross-shire and Sutherland are expected to take part.
Workshops led by the renowned Shetland fiddler Jenna Reid will be running all day. Jenna plays with several of Scotland’s top traditional bands, including Dochas, Filska and Deaf Shepherd. She is also in great demand as a solo artist and it is thanks to some of The Highland Council’s strings Instructors that she has agreed to lead this exciting day for Highland school pupils.
The workshops will offer younger fiddlers, most of whom receive lessons through The Highland Council’s Instrumental Tuition Service, the opportunity to be inspired by one of our leading fiddlers who will also be able to share her experiences and knowledge with the participants.
The Highland Council’s Music Development officer, Norman Bolton said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the development of fiddle and general strings tuition in our schools. The pupils involved will not only benefit from the musical aspects of the day, but also from the opportunity to meet and play with peers from other parts of Highland. I am grateful to the strings Instructors involved for suggesting yet another innovative, inspiring and attainable opportunity for their pupils, keeping Highland at the forefront of music tuition.
“The opportunities available to pupils in this area are many and varied, despite the geographical difficulties we have to overcome. This is testament to the hard work of all those involved in music education in our schools.”
Hailing from Shetland, Jenna grew up immersed in the islands rich fiddle tradition. At the age of nine, she began to learn the fiddle, and was taught by the late Dr Tom Anderson. When fiddle tuition became available in schools, Jenna studied with the late Willie Hunter and was under his direction until the age of 13; during that time she was a prominent prize-winner in the 'Shetlands Young Fiddler of the Year Competition' and by the age of 14 had won both the intermediate and open sections of this annual competition. Through this success she was subsequently invited to compete in the Glennfiddich Fiddle Competition. Whilst still at school Jenna also took lessons from Trevor Hunter and Margaret Scollay. In addition to playing the fiddle, Jenna also studied classical piano.
Jenna has also performed since a young age, and Shetland band Filska was where this began. Under the direction of mum, Joyce, Jenna along with Sister Bethany and friend Gemma Wilson, had played together since a young age and in 1995 Filska released their debut album, entitled 'Harvest Home'. This was to be followed in 1998 with their second release, 'Time and Tide'. It was this album that saw Filska begin to make a name for themselves not only in Scotland but throughout Europe and beyond. Their success saw them play to audiences in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Ireland, France, Canada and the US. Filska's trip to America came as an invitation to represent Scotland at the Millennium Celebrations in Disney's Epcot Centre. Following this Filska performed live as part of the Scottish Millennium Celebrations along with Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham in a show that was broadcast to over 60 countries.
Jenna is also a member of Deaf Shepherd and Dochas