'They just shone': Yukon's young Fiddleheads release their first CD

A long-standing youth fiddle group in the Yukon released its first-ever album, celebrating Yukon's rich fiddling culture.

'What are you going to hear from a group of 24 young fiddlers? I say fantastic fiddling,' says Keitha Clark

The Fiddleheads and fiddlers from Haines Junction, Yukon in a recording studio earlier this year. The Fiddleheads released their first album this past week. (Submitted by Edith Belanger)

After nearly two decades, Yukon's long-standing youth fiddling group released its first-ever CD last weekend in a glorious celebration that brought young fiddlers from across the territory together on one stage.

"It was a big year," said Keitha Clark, the artistic director of the Fiddleheads. "They have worked so hard. And I'm really really proud of all the work that they've done."

'They're certainly doing justice to my writing,' says Mary Sloan, who wrote the play for the Fiddleheads' event Sunday. (Submitted by Bruce Barrett)

Young fiddlers from Teslin, Dawson City and Haines Junction joined the 24 Fiddleheads Sunday night at Whitehorse's Yukon Arts Centre. All 38 fiddlers played together on stage.

"They just shone," said Mary Sloan, the writer and director of a play that the young musicians performed along to. The play was about renowned Yukon fiddlers throughout history.

"They're certainly doing justice to my writing, I hope my writing does justice to them."

Young fiddlers from Teslin, Dawson City and Haines Junction joined the Fiddleheads at the Sunday concert in Whitehorse. (Submitted by Bruce Barrett)

The CD project was inspired by the Fiddleheads' upcoming 20th anniversary next year, and Canada's 150th birthday, said Clark.

The album draws exclusively from the repertoires of traditional fiddlers from across the territory — from Old Crow's Allan Benjamin to Dawson City's Willie Gordon, and Gerald Edzerza of Watson Lake.

"It's all Yukon tunes, all the time," said Clark.

"It's such a great opportunity for our kids… to feel proud of the fiddle tradition that they're inheriting from these elders. Because this was inspired by our elders, but it was brought to life by our youth."

This is the first album released by the long-standing youth group. (Submitted by Keitha Clark)

Already, Clark estimates around 200 CDs have been sold since the release.

"What are you going to hear from a group of 24 young fiddlers?" asked Clark. "I say fantastic fiddling."

The CD is available at Mac's Fireweed Books and Dean's Strings and Music Supplies in Whitehorse.

With files from Dave White


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