Members of Coastline, a youth fiddle ensemble, rehearse ahead of their June 9 fundraiser show at First Church of Christ, Scientist, before they head to Ireland later this month. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Victoria youth fiddle ensemble takes West Coast sound to Ireland

Coastline to perform fundraiser concert June 9 to aid in their journey to the ‘land of fiddle’

The fiddle isn’t exactly the first instrument that comes to mind when you think of teens hitting the stage to rock out together.

But for Coastline, the Victoria-based youth ensemble, the bowed string instrument has given them a foundation on which to meld a traditional sound with a contemporary feel.

“I absolutely love working with youth,” says artistic director Ivonne Hernandez, herself a Juno award-winning fiddler.

“They learn so quickly and they’re so excited about playing challenging tunes. I need to keep one step ahead of them and try and find cool tunes that I know they’re going to like, yet still maintain some of the tradition.”

With two full-length studio albums under their belt – 2014’s Coastline and 2017’s High Drive – the 16-member troupe, nominated for two Canadian Folk Music Awards, has set their sights on travelling to Ireland later this month.

Taking their West Coast fiddle vibe to the home of the tiny string instrument with the big sound, Coastline will perform and collaborate with other musicians, attend workshops and tour the countryside.

“I’m very excited to bring them to Ireland,” Hernandez says. “They’re going to have an amazing experience.”

RELATED: Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas make Victoria a port of call

To get there, the group has set the stage for a special fundraiser show, Reaching for Ireland, happening June 9 at First Church of Christ, Scientist (1205 Pandora Ave.).

Joining the youth ensemble is Irish singer songwriter Terry Boyle and songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Anne Louise Genest, as well as Hernandez.

Like many in the group, 16-year-old Soli Callo started with taking private fiddle lessons with Hernandez. Callo credits her teacher with building her confidence onstage, and gaining knowledge about the fiddle that has improved her skills on the strings.

“It’s interesting that a lot of youth don’t really play fiddle or know about the fiddle. You say ‘Oh I play the fiddle’ and they’re kind of like, ‘What? Why?’” Callo says. “I don’t do any other group sports … so it’s really nice to have a little group of friends.”

To Hernandez, Coastline is her “pride and joy” – one she considers the future of music. “[Fiddle music] is an oral tradition and this is a tradition that needs to be passed along to future generations.”

Reaching for Ireland kicks off at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (June 9).

Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets (adults $20/students $15) are available at Long & McQuade, Ivy’s Bookshop and Out of Ireland.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Pacheedaht First Nation celebrates return of Jordan River lands

Twenty-eight hectares of land bought from B.C. Hydro

National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations kick off with canoe crossing

Events run for three days during the Victoria Indigenous Cultural Festival

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Mysterious East Sooke ‘Grouse Nest’ up for sale

Luxurious East Sooke property on selling block for $6.98 million

Emergency crews aid injured man at Thetis Lake Park

Crews transport patient back to main beach by boat

VIDEO: B.C.’s ‘unicycle cowboy’ aspires to be rancher one day

Burklan Johnson has only ridden a horse once, but this unicyclist has big plans to become a cowboy.

WEB POLL: Should illegal immigrants be separated from their children?

Should illegal immigrants be separated from their children?… Continue reading

UPDATED: Crown appeals B.C. polygamous leader’s acquittal in child bride case

James Oler had been charged with taking his underage daughter to the U.S. to marry her off

Fake cops ‘arrest’ woman, steal $6,000 in latest CRA scam

Vancouver police urge people not take calls from anyone saying they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency

Study shows increase in mountain bike tourism in B.C.

Numbers are up, way up, for bike-related visits to the province

Revenue Canada scam swindles $3,000 from B.C. resident

Victim provides fraudster with $3,000 in iTunes gift cards

Do you suffer from nomophobia?

Do you or a person you know suffer from a technology addiction?… Continue reading

Disney production filming at Victoria’s Government House today

Made-for-TV movie will feature the inside of the Rockland Avenue mansion

Most Read