Alumna fiddles around with Canadian tradition

By Adela Talbot
March 07, 2013

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Don Wright Faculty of Music graduate Celina Di Cecca is coming back to London, bringing fiddle tunes with her, along with The Great Canadian Fiddle Show, performing at the Aeolian Hall this Sunday.

The soundtrack for Celina Di Cecca’s homecoming is lively.

The 2008 Don Wright Faculty of Music graduate is coming back to London this week, scheduled to perform at the Aeolian Hall with The Great Canadian Fiddle Show, a musical group featuring some of Canada’s top fiddlers, one she brought together after participating in a 2011 competition in Pembroke, Ont.

“I really enjoy performing and I always wanted to be part of a show like this. I want to bring this music back to the mainstream,” said Di Cecca, who picked up the violin at age 4 and hasn’t put it down since.

“Remember Ashley MacIsaac in the 1990s? I haven’t heard enough Canadian fiddling and I thought there should be more. This music touched my soul and my heart. It’s uplifting and therapeutic and it brings me to a different zone,” she said, noting it was listening to fiddle music early on that inspired her.

The Great Canadian Fiddle Show, featuring six musicians, two of them current Western students (Science student Kyle Charron and Brescia University College student Kerry Fitzgerald), has been performing for about a year. The group is on tour and features high-energy renditions of traditional Canadian fiddle tunes as well as step dance from the Ottawa Valley.

“What we like to do is bring the audience on a journey about Canada, from one end to the other by visiting different styles of Canadian fiddling. There are different styles like there are different dialects, and a lot of different ways people in the country will play the same tune,” she said.

The show also features a tribute to Canadian great Don Messer, who was a defining icon of the nation’s folk music in the 1960s and, arguably, brought fiddling to the mainstream.

Di Cecca noted while an older generation is more likely to come out to the shows, the group would like to see a diverse audience of all age demographics.

“Our audience feels like they’re part of a kitchen party or dance session. We get the audience involved and they dance in aisles. It’s a very energetic show; it’s very authentic and organic. We all bring our own personalities to the show – the audience wouldn’t be disappointed,” she said.

The group performed at the Aeolian Hall in London last year, and Di Cecca is excited to return for a second show, noting while she was studying Music at Western, she attended many concerts at the venue and dreamed of performing there herself.

 “It’s such a great feeling (performing). It’s a natural high and it’s about the music and the friends I make along the way. I want to bring more people to the music,” Di Cecca said. “I don’t want this music to die off.

“It’s part of our heritage and it should be celebrated.”

Di Cecca, a full-time musician, teaches private lessons in Toronto. She credits her Music education at Western for allowing her to do what she loves for a living.

The Great Canadian Fiddle Show also features Tyler Beckett and Alanna Jenish with Tony Nesbitt-Larking on backup guitar, drums and percussion.


The Great Canadian Fiddle Show, featuring Western alumna Celina Di Cecca and current students Kyle Charron and Kerry Fitzgerald, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 10 in Aeolian Hall, 795 Dundas St.



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