Call for fiddlers plea

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January sees the start of Bannerfield Buskers, a new venture set up by local band Riddell Fiddles, which will run in the community wing of Philiphaugh School, Selkirk, on Friday afternoons.

Tutors Sheila Sapkota and Donald Knox, who are both members of Riddell Fiddles, will teach this new group rhythm and fiddle with half and three-quarter-size fiddles provided by Scottish Borders Council’s arts department.

Funding for the initiative came from the Weir Trust and Enterprise Music Scotland to the tune of £4,500.

Organiser Sheila Sapkota hopes that the funding will enable the club to run for 18 months to two years and believes it has the potential to go on beyond this timescale.

Riddell Fiddles already run several groups at Selkirk’s Argus Centre, including a junior ceilidh band. However, this new project is the first beginners’ youth group to be set up for a while and is targeting primary five and six pupils. It is hoped to have a performing group and already performances have been lined up at Selkirk Sessions in October 2015, and, of course, Scott’s Selkirk in December 2015.

The aim is to build up a sustainable young group who will perform locally and pass on their skills to up-and-coming youngsters as the project progresses.

Snacks will be provided and the local fruit shop will provide fresh fruit. Parents/carers are welcome to stay and coffee will be provided.

The first session is on Friday, January 16 – places are limited and must be booked, so please contact 07719 451444.

Riddell Fiddles have also announced a string of upcoming tour dates across the Borders and surrounding area.

After receiving lottery funding, the Selkirk-based community group will look to build on a recent successful round of performances during the autumn term with venues as varied as Chisholme House open day in Roberton and, more recently, Kelso Farmers Market, not to mention a concert at Lilliesleaf Church.

And the musical outings continue with seven concerts planned over the next few months.

The first concert of 2015 is on Saturday, January 17, at Ashkirk Village Hall (7.30pm) and a varied programme of music is promised with performances from fellow Selkirk band Dere Street, a musical duo who perform a repertoire of music to suit all tastes. More information can be found at www.derestreetmusic.co.uk.

Entry is £5 and tickets can be bought from Dorothy on 01750 32396. There will be a bar, and snacks will be available to buy.

After fitting in the Selkirk Haggis Hunt polka on Sunday, January 25, the group will head over to Teviothead Village Hall for the next planned event – a concert featuring Carlenjig – a band well known to Riddell Fiddles and featuring two musicians closely involved with the group.

The musical tour continues with venues as varied as Eskdalemuir Community Hub, where a grand ceilidh is planned. Darnick, Edgerston and the Ebba Centre at St Abbs in Berwickshire are also on the itinerary, as is the Buccleuch Centre in Langholm, where Sheila and Dougie will provide support and deliver some of the songs they are renowned for.

All dates are on the Riddell Fiddles website which you can visit at www.riddellfiddles.co.uk.

Most concerts are entry by donation or a minimal ticket charge. Please come out and support this fun, local musical group and hear their tunes.