Tradition is everything to many families. While it’s completely okay to break from the norm every once in a while, there’s something about tradition that makes things feel nostalgic.
Several different traditions get passed down from generation to generation. While some traditions are considered cultural, others are unique to a specific family. But they all share the same purpose — to keep the tradition alive!
One famous family is trying their best to do so and if you or someone you know is a fan of fiddle music, you’ve likely heard this name before.
Natalie MacMaster is a Canadian fiddler from Nova Scotia. She is a well-known Cape Breton fiddle music artist.
Cape Brenton fiddle music is a violin-style of music that falls under Celtic music. It’s believed that although fiddle music has changed throughout the years, Scottish fiddle music has been best preserved in Cape Brenton.
Still, MacMaster has collaborated with musicians from different genres such as Carlos Santana, Faith Hill, and Yo-Yo Ma. Perhaps her ability to collaborate with other artists stems from her lengthy experience in the music world.
MacMaster comes from a family of musicians, fiddlers to be exact. She is the niece of the late renowned Cape Breton fiddler Buddy MacMaster. In addition, two of her cousins are also fiddlers. It’s no wonder that she began playing and performing at the young age of nine.
When she married fellow fiddler, Donnell Leahy of the Leahy family band, it was no surprise that their seven children would be able to play the fiddle as well. Those family gatherings must be eventful!
Over the years, the couple has brought their children to their shows and they have even performed with them on stage. At first, the parents were hesitant to allow their children to perform on stage. It started when their oldest, Leah, was three-years-old and wanted to perform.
“We said no because we were very confident that we didn’t want to have her on stage,” MacMaster told ParkRecord.
But after Leah showed them how badly she wanted it, they figured a minute or two wouldn’t hurt. The crowd absolutely loved it. They told her that if she kept practicing, she would be able to do it again. She did and by the time their son, Michael, turned two, he was motivated to do the same.
“…things grew from there,” she said.
It sure has! During a performance at the 2013 Dublin Irish Festival, all four of their oldest children performed to an encouraging crowd.
In the video, MacMaster announces her “little boy,” who is six at the time, to the stage. He walks out on stage with his fiddle wearing a tucked-in white button-up shirt and black pants. He looks a little nervous at first but he plays like a natural.
The audience claps on the downbeat as his mom stands behind him bouncing up and down with the music.
Soon after, he’s joined by his sister. She arrives on the stage smiling and confident. Her mom and the stagehand struggle to adjust her microphone. It’s a bit distracting to the viewer but doesn’t seem to phase the little girl one bit. She’s a professional after all!
Before we know it, all three are playing together and it’s a sight to see! They’re lined up by height (and age) and sound incredibly wonderful.
Eventually, the kids hand their fiddles over to the stagehand and begin Irish dancing! Is there anything they can’t do?!
But the show doesn’t end there! Another little girl runs out onto the stage wearing the same outfit as her older sister — a purple dress and black pants. Soon, she’s joined by an even younger girl. The audience goes wild as they Irish dance. It’s a wonderful performance.
This video is sure to bring a smile to your face! You can watch it below!
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