The Forty Fiddlers
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The Forty Fiddlers, or Da Forty Fiddlers, was the name given by Magnus Magnusson to the massed fiddlers gathered together by Tom Anderson in 1960 to play in a Grand Variety Concert, one of the main events of the Hamefarin of that year. The Hamefarin, or Homefaring, was an organised return trip to their native isles made by some 150 Shetlanders who had emigrated and settled world-wide in such countries as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.
The group’s performances of traditional Shetland fiddle tunes were so well received that it was inundated by requests to perform all over Shetland and invited to play for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during a royal visit planned for August. As a consequence, the fiddlers formed themselves into the Shetland Fiddlers’ Society on 29th June 1960.
Over fifty years later, the Shetland Fiddlers’ Society still thrives, meeting weekly for practice, playing regularly for Shetland Folk Dance, and performing at events such as Shetland’s Folk Festival and Accordion and Fiddle Festival.
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