Nanaimo Fiddle Society camp instructors Gordon Stobbe, Quin Etheridge-Pedden, Nellie Quinn, Trish Horrocks and JJ Guy (from left) perform at Maffeo Sutton Park in 2018. This year’s concerts take place on Aug. 6 and 9. (Photo courtesy Kelli Etheridge)

Nanaimo Fiddle Society camp instructors and students show off their skills

Free concerts coming to Maffeo Sutton Park on Aug. 6 and 9

This week the Nanaimo Fiddle Society is holding its fiddle and guitar camp and its instructors and students will both be showing off their skills.

On Tuesday, Aug. 6., one day into the week-long camp, its instructors are giving a free concert at Maffeo Sutton Park to give campgoers and passersby a taste of where a fiddle education can lead. The performance will dip into traditional Celtic, Cajun and Cape Breton fiddle songs.

“Each instructor will play a couple tunes to showcase what they can do and what they’re bringing to the camp,” said Lantzville fiddler Quin Etheridge-Pedden, a former camp student who is returning for his second year as an instructor.

The remaining instructors for this year are Fiddelium co-directors Trish and Geoff Horrocks, Victoria’s Miriam Sonstenes and Nellie Quinn, Mission resident Jenny Bice and Jenny Lester from Smithers.

On Friday, Aug. 9, the camp comes to a close with the students putting on a show of their own at Maffeo Sutton Park. There the pupils, who range from children to seniors, will display everything they have learned throughout the week.

Etheridge-Pedden said having the performance in mind motivates the students to work hard.

“There have been some train wrecks and it’s still a good time because people are just into it and willing to learn from the experience,” he said.

This is Sandy Kohorst’s third year at the Nanaimo Fiddle Society camp. Kohorst, who hails from Nanaimo but has lived in Prince George for more than 40 years, was always a fan of fiddle music and picked up the instrument about five years ago. She said she never had time to take lessons.

“Living your life and raising family and working I didn’t really have time to do anything like that and I just always thought when I retired I was going to learn,” she said. “So that’s what I did.”

Etheridge-Pedden said watching camp attendees progress and improve during the week is “the coolest feeling.”

“It’s cool to see how they interpreted all of your teaching and how they progress,” he said. “And then when it goes well at the end, it pays off.”

WHAT’S ON … Nanaimo Fiddle Society fiddle concert at Maffeo Sutton Park on Tuesday, Aug. 6 and Friday, Aug. 9 at 6 p.m. both nights.

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