The STEP Fiddlers... Newfoundland youth with exceptional Suzuki method training, playing their province's own traditional music.
Our latest CD!
More information on the Press Release page.
The STEP Fiddlers were founded in 1982 by Christina Smith, to give young Newfoundlanders an opportunity to learn their own traditional music. These young virtuosi specialise in the traditional dance music of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the repertoires of renowned Newfoundland fiddlers Rufus Guinchard and Emile Benoit. Sponsored by the Suzuki Talent Education Program of St. John's, the group currently has 20 talented members, ranging in age from 9 to 19, who play fiddle, bodhran, cello, and guitar. Members of the group also sing and stepdance.
Initially the group was not intended to be a performing group; time and experience, though, uncovered the fact that the foot-tapping fiddling of the STEP fiddlers inspired younger kids to want to learn the music, and older people to want to listen to it. Approximately 200 kids have learned their own traditional music in this group during the past 25 years, throughout a period in time when there was nowhere else where kids could learn these tunes. STEP Fiddlers alumni are now teaching fiddle from St. John's to Edmonton.
Since the early days, the group has developed into a powerhouse performing ensemble. The STEP Fiddlers' dynamic stage show incorporates French Newfoundland foot-clogging, a dancing doll, and even some Newfoundland square dancing, while fiddling at the same time. They perform a repertoire of graceful waltzes, touching slow airs and fiery reels, with admirable maturity and finesse. Their skill in playing the Newfoundland jigs and singles is indisputable. In spite of their tender age, they are able to engage the audience with the gamut of musical emotions.
The STEP Fiddlers perform at concerts, festivals, benefits and events in the St. John's area, and have performed for a wide range of audiences - from pre-school kids to Prime Minister Chretien, from seniors at the St. Pat's Garden Party to Prince Andrew at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John's. In January, 2009 the senior members of the group travelled to London, England, playing in several professional concerts - and an impromptu session at the Air Canada gate in Heathrow when the plane was delayed! In the summers of 2008 and 2009 they were featured performers at the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, the Canada Day Celebrations, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival; and they performed at the Canadian Folk Music Awards Gala in November 2008.
Follow our adventures on Twitter... https://twitter.com/#!/STEPFiddlers
How To Hear Us
Check our Performances page to see where we're appearing in the future.
The group released the CD Galing for a Storm in 2000. A whole new group have released Fiddling in the Fog which is now available in Fred's Records and O'Brien's Music Store.
Listen to or download a pre-release track from Fiddling in the Fog: Luke Payne's Tunes.
From the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival 2009, the STEP Fiddlers play Genevieve's Reel by Dave Panting. Thanks to Don Shorock for the video.