The sun shone all day in Whalsay on Wednesday and everyone could see why it’s called the Bonnie Isle! For the fiddlers the highlight of the day undoubtedly was a visit by Gibby Hutchison (91), the last of the old Whalsay style of fiddlers. John, his son, is teaching guitar with us this week and we couldn’t miss the chance of inviting Gibby down for a tune. Gibby also met Fraser Tait, aged 10, one of our youngest full time students. Earlier this year Fraser won The Shetland Junior Young Fiddler of the Year, making it a very special day of music all round.
After the schools we wandered down to the boating club for dinner and as we were basking in the glorious sunshine spontaneous tunes broke out down at the shore giving a few of the cars in the ferry queue a real musical treat.
Baked haddock for dinner was very appropriate, as Whalsay is an isle famed for its fishing heritage. We then set off in our busses, some heading back to Lerwick for the Singing concert, others like myself headed to Voe village hall for the “An Evening With…” concert.
Host Davie Gardner interviewed the performers after their sets. Its great to find out a bit about the history of some of the groups like The Shetland Fiddlers who will have their 50th anniversary next year, or catch up with Andrew Gifford, who has a wide musical life outside playing with Fiddlers’ Bid. The evening went from strength to strength, and our dance band Da Fustra were cooking; the floor was never empty. It was a warm summers evening but the heat of the hall didn’t prevent highly energetic Strip the Willows’ , Dashing White Sergeant’s and, Shetlands favourite, Boston Two Steps interspersed with a few waltzes.
Shattered but happy is the only way to describe everyone as they headed back on the bus, arriving in Lerwick about 1.30am
More fun for today; Phil and Aly have just arrived and the concert is a sell out. Another great night in store for us all.