Valley Youth Fiddlers

“The Rose” – Official Release

Posted on December 22, 2021

Just in time for Christmas!

The Valley Youth Fiddlers are happy to announce the release of our latest work; The Rose. Currently it is released on BandCamp as a pay what you like release (by donation). We hope to have it available on spotify and itunes soon. Update we are live on Spotify now too.

The Rose is about maintaining community during a pandemic.

It is the result of a tremendous amount of work by many people in the Valley Youth Fiddlers, and is especially exceptional in that the learning, the practicing, the rehearsing, and ultimately the live recording happened in the very thick of the COVID pandemic. When our society was severely curtailed, the VYF was able to safely continue creating music in community, and this is the result.

A great deal of the credit for this wonderful achievement goes to the VYF Musical Director, Leslie-Jean Macmillan, who’s leadership, passion and can-do approach to life carried the VYF successfully through our 2020/2021 season. This recording was brilliantly co-directed by Tirion Lloyd-Grice and Jake Jenne, original VYF members and now mentors.

We are also very grateful for the stories that continue to flow from the notebook of Patrick Williston onto the musical pages of our community.

Recorded by Old Highway Music Studios and co-mixed by Jordy Walker.

This recording was supported by copious amounts of covid safe snack-time treats, silly hats, fantastic costumes, a whole lot of balloons, and incredible mentors encouraging us from all over Canada.

We’re Back In-Person

Posted on October 4, 2021

It's time for a new season of Valley Youth Fiddlers and we are so pleased to be able to gather in-person once again with both adults and youth. We are taking all precautions and folowing all public health orders to insure we can have as safe a seaon as possible. We were originally planning to go on a major provincial tour this year but with the uncertainty that Delta and the fourth wave has brought we made the tough decision to stay closer to home. Currently we plan to have some local shows in the Spring.

In order to prep for spring shows and for our ongoing development we hosted a fall workshop featuring the amazing talents of Marc Maziade from Montreal and Jaron Freeman-Fox from Toronto. Marc introduced a new set for us Reel Terrebonne/Reel du Combat which includes a traditional Quebecois foot tapping break. Jaron brought us two new tunes. Tornado (about a crazy motorcylist) and The Rose. These weekend workshops are always fast and furious with a lot to absorb in a short period of time. We look forward to working on and revising the tunes over the year.

This year the adults will have their work cut out for them. Last season was just youth for most of the year due to Covid restrictions so this year the adults have to learn the new tunes plus all of last years new tunes. I think we are up to the task as we are just so pleased to be back making music with the kids.

Fiddlers in the World of Covid

Posted on March 29, 2021

It has certainly been an odd year. We started off our season with an approved covid safety plan that would see us all playing music together. Well in two large groups but still making music in a room with other instruments. It was a great start but things soon changed. The health order came that all group activities had to end and we had to adapt going fully online again. Then a few weeks later came the directive that youth activities could continue under strict rules and plans and so we were able to meet in person again but youth only and this is how we have continued for much of the year. Members under 18years of age meet in person, wearing masks, and spaced 6ft apart. Group leaders are even further apart. Adults we have to bring in on zoom. We have added a sound system, wireless mics, and some computer and video equipment to make the online experience as best as we can for the adults. We are working on some new tunes and hope to be able to bring live music to you again in the future.

Fond Farewells

Posted on June 2, 2020

Every year we have a couple of our advanced fiddlers graduate highschool and head off to the great wide world to further their studies and broaden their horizons. This year we say farewell to Zaya Ansgar and Hanneliese Laskowski. They both started with fiddlers at a young age and worked their way up through the ranks to not only be advanced fiddlers but also mentors to the younger ones. To send them off we had tunes written for them by some of their favourite mentors, Daniel Lapp and Gordon Stobbe. We wish them all the best in their future.

Here though is a look at their past in the Valley Youth Fiddlers performance of a Fiddle History of Canada.