The Forty Fiddlers

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The Forty Fiddlers, or Da Forty Fiddlers, were formed by Dr. Tom Anderson MBE in the late 50's when he realised that there was a danger of the traditional style of Shetland fiddle music dying out.
He brought together the best local fiddlers, initially with the idea that they should share traditional tunes, but soon realised that there was potential to use this gathering of musical genius to promote the music in a broader sense by playing at public events.
One of the first major outings for this newly formed group was the Hamefarin in 1960. They also played for the visit of The Queen, Prince Philip, and the Queen Mother.
Soon they were playing at venues all across Shetland, and indeed further afield.
The Fiddlers stayed together until the late 70's, by which time traditional Shetland fiddle music was so much to the fore in the local culture, that there was little chance of it dying out.
The legacy of The Forty Fiddlers, and that of Tom Anderson, lives on to this day, with new fiddle talent appearing on the local music scene regularly.
Following the demise of The Forty Fiddlers, Tom formed Shetland's Young Heritage, in 1981, a group of young fiddlers which included talent such as Catriona Macdonald.

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