Castlegar violin teacher Brie Hurlbert along with her students and friends warmed up the audience before Natalie McMaster and Donnell Leahy took the stage in Trail. Photo: Betsy Kline

Kootenay fiddlers join Natalie McMaster on stage

Castlegar violin teacher Brie Hurlbert and her students play with famous fiddler.

A group of Kootenay fiddlers got the opportunity of a life time when they joined renowned Canadian fiddler Natalie MacMaster on stage at her concert in Trail last week.

Castlegar violin teacher Brie Hurlbert and a group of her students along with a few other local fiddlers took to the stage at the Charles Bailey Theatre to play some tunes as the audience filed in to the concert.

Later, they joined the McMaster/Leahy family on stage for a toe-tapping finale to the evening’s concert.

Joining Hurlbert on stage that night was her father Eric Faulks, Kate Enewold, Jessica Smithies, Kiaje Kim, Richie Mann, Gabe Mann, Claire Conliffe and Breman Sims.

Hurlbert says she was contacted by the show’s producers who were seeking local teachers in each city the Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy Celtic Family Christmas show passed through.

Hurlbert said that MacMaster was looking to introduce a bit of each region’s particular fiddling style into her shows.

She was asked to find about ten fiddlers to learn three reels in just a few weeks. The players ranged in level of ability and their ages ranged from 14 to 84.

Hurlbert says the opportunity was amazing for her and her students.

“For me it was a fabulous opportunity because I love to play Celtic music, so to be able to share my style with someone who is so well known was just a Christmas blessing,” added Hurlbert.

They also got to enjoy most of the concert and Hurlbert said her students were inspired by McMaster’s children and their musical talents.

RELATED: Passion for the fiddle keeps Kootenay culture alive



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

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Castlegar violin teacher Brie Hurlbert along with her students and friends had the opportunity to play with Natalie McMaster and Donnell Leahy in Trail last week.

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