Catriona headlines Riddell Fiddles gig

Catriona MacDonald (fiddler)
Catriona MacDonald (fiddler)

SHETLANDER Catriona Macdonald headlines a Riddell Fiddles fundraising concert at Lilliesleaf Church on Sunday.

Catriona began playing as a child back in 1981 under the late Dr Tom Anderson’s musical tutelage.

Less than two years later, she won the title of Young Fiddler of the Year in the annual Shetland Folk Society competition.

In 1991 she won the prestigious BBC Radio Two Young Tradition Award, a high-profile competition featuring the cream of Britain’s young traditional players. She went studied voice at the Royal College of Music in London and after graduating she returned to her first love – the Shetland fiddle – and began her professional career.

Catriona was probably best known at this time for her duo with piano accordionist Ian Lowthian whom she had met while in London. The pair went on to record an album and play to audiences across the world.

In 1998 Catriona was asked to join a group of young Scottish fiddlers from the Highlands for what was initially a one-off tour. Thanks to the success of the tour soon, this informal rabble turned into one of Scotland’s much loved traditional groups. Blazin’ Fiddles.

The band have received various accolades since their inception 12 years ago, including Best Live Act (2004) and Album of the Year (2005) at the Scottish Folk Awards.

Catriona’s debut solo album, Bold, was released in 2000 on her own label, Peerie Angel Productions, and she released Over The Moon three years ago.

She also created the String Sisters project and it premiered at Celtic Connections in 2000. This project brings together six of the most exciting female fiddle players in the world.

Catriona will perform on her own, as will Amy Geddes. Raised in Galloway, Amy is a fiddle performer, teacher and composer who has played in Scotland and Europe with various artists including Tannas, the Scottish Step Dance Company and all-female group Maysha.

Her fiddle style has developed over the years through her work in an eclectic variety of musical styles including, a performance on a tribute album to Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

A variety of performances by the Riddell Fiddles’ junior and senior classes will also feature, as will music from breakaway teen group Fiddlin’ Chiks and the Bedlam Ceilidh Band.

Money raised will go towards transporting young members of the Riddell Fiddles to the Edinburgh Youth Gaitherin at Easter next year.

The concert begins at 6.30pm and entry is by donation.