Yorkton fiddling fans got a real treat on October 25 at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall. Colin Vollrath, an inductee of the North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame, breezed through town on a tour to raise funds for the 2013 Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Competition in Saskatoon, the first time in 23 years the event has been held outside of Ottawa.
Vollrath, with his ultra-smooth bowing technique and flawless tone, was accompanied by Troy MacGillivray on piano and Lucas Welsh on acoustic guitar. Welsh, who grew up in Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan is himself a fiddle champion having won the 2003 provincial championship.
MacGillivray is a multiple East Coast Music Awards winner from Lanark Nova Scotia.
Vollrath was somewhat of a prodigy. He picked up the violin for the first time when he was eight and by 17 was winning in the championship class. He is a two-time winner of the Grand North American Old Tyme Fiddle Championship. He has written more than 450 tune—including the world famous “Fly in the Puddin’” and has 56 albums to his credit.
In addition to fine musicianship, Vollrath brought a polished stage presence to Yorkton telling heart-warming stories and easily joking with individual members of the audience.
The national competition was founded in Ottawa in 1990 where it has been held ever since. On August 24, 2013, 30 fiddlers from across Canada will compete in Saskatoon for the 2013 title.
In addition to the competition, the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Association (CGM) hosts a fiddle camp in which aspiring fiddlers and pianists have an opportunity to learn from the best in the business. The 2013 camp will be held August 18 to 22 at the Island Locks Camp Facility in Manotick, Ontario.