When fiddles met violins

Last night I volunteered for the Saanich Centennial Grand Finale, an outdoor concert featuring the Victoria Symphony with Cape Breton Island fiddler Natalie MacMaster. It was only a few weeks ago that I saw the Victoria Symphony downtown and they were still in fine form at this event. It was really Natalie’s show to shine in though, and she did! She was superb, playing her jigs and reels to a very toe-tapping audience. Other, more soulful songs were also included. Her sister-in-law Erin Leahy backed her up on the piano and even danced during one song. Brad Davidge, a guitar player from Natalie’s band, also was on hand doing some fine playing.

As volunteers, we got some of the best seats in the house. Our volunteer hospitality room was underneath the grandstand and we watched some of the show from the bull-pen-like opening right in front of the stage. Moving around a lot to different locations was probably the best way to watch the concert as the alternative was parking your bottom on the hard wood grandstand seats for 3 hours!

I almost bought one of Natalie’s CDs but had left my wallet in the car for safekeeping. I’d definitely buy one of them in the future though. Her music was comfortable and uplifting – it charmed me almost as much as her East Coast accent!

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