Selkirk: Riddell Fiddles celebrates 20 years of making music

First formed in 2003, Riddell Fiddles are a community music group based in Selkirk.

Now we celebrate 20 years of the band,

A spokesperson for the company said: “From its small beginnings in 2003, it has evolved into a thriving organization with workshops and lessons in frontier tunes, session tunes and beat arrangements with guitar teacher Donald Knox writing, composing and composing tunes to suit a wide range of players access to the collection.

Instructors and backing musicians in the group include Sheila Sapkota and Louise Douglas on fiddle, David Scott on percussion, Gary Smith on guitar and, previously, the much-missed late Tony Manning on double bass.

Over the years, Riddell Fiddles has achieved great success performing at home and around the world.

Border Telegraph:

The group also welcomed fellow visiting musicians from abroad.

The spokesperson said: “Last summer, a 75-strong group of musicians from Maine, USA hosted with Riddell Fiddles at Victoria Hall, Selkirk, and in a joint community venture with the General Store, Selkirk did publicity and door jams, and hosted a packed auditorium.

Over the years, the group has played at thousands of venues and events as well as introducing hundreds of people to the sheer joy of playing and performing traditional music.

“As well as playing across the Borders and the rest of Scotland, the group has even reached as far afield as Canada, Bavaria and Ireland as well as playing a key role until 2020 in the schools program of the Barbados Celtic Festival.”

The group has also celebrated a lot of awards over the years.

Teacher Sheila Sapkota was an inductee to the Traditional Music Hall of Fame in 2015 for her community music services, and the Riddell Fiddles Youth Groups were awarded Community Project of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2021.

Border Telegraph:

The group is very proud of its youth department and the resilience its members have shown during the coronavirus pandemic.

The spokesperson said: “During the COVID-19 crisis, Riddell Fiddles has kept youth and adult groups going with weekly Zoom groups and individual lessons with Burnfoot Buskers (Hawick) and Bannerfield Buskers (Selkirk) still going strong post-pandemic as a result.

“Riddell Fiddles is grateful for the support it has received at that time from the Scottish Borders Council’s Community Grant schemes.”

The group’s Burnfoot Buskers will hit the stage at Hawick Reiver’s Festival next month, and in May the group will embark on a 20th anniversary tour, including a concert in the heart of Hawick on May 13.

For more information, visit Riddell Fidelies website Or visit their site Facebook page.

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