For Loraine Marshall, her favourite instrument is her fiddle. Although she has a working knowledge of 25 different instruments and reasonable expertise on several, she always defaults to her fiddle.
“I’ve been playing the fiddle since Grade 3, its the most fun and the one I play the best,” she said.
At 15-years old, Loraine isn’t sure what her career may be but she’s leaning towards music once she’s ready for university.
Recently she returned from the B.C. Old Time Fiddlers of B.C. Provincial Fiddling Contest in Kelowna with a lot of hardware. For the second year in a row she won the youth category and a couple of other awards as well. In past years, her competition has often been just a couple of other youth, however this year there were five other competitors. Loraine still triumphed.
Performing didn’t always come easy to Loraine who usually sought out a place in the back, but she said with her Correlieu Jazz Band experience (she plays tuba) she isn’t nervous on stage anymore, so competitions don’t phase her like they use to.
Music is music to Loraine and she enjoys both classical violin music as well as Old Time fiddle music.
She performs with an Eastman 416 fiddle with a Cadenza 2-star bow but dreams of upgrading to an even better instrument.
Loraine owns seven and half instruments but her household has about 13 which she dabbles with when the spirit moves her. Her mother Helene Brisebois, a SD#28 music teacher, shares her daughter’s love of music and says Loraine’s talent comes from a long line of musicians in her maternal family.
One of Loraine’s idols is vintage entertainer and fiddle player Don Messer, who pioneered radio and television shows featuring down-home country music from Canada’s maritime provinces. At one time his show, Don Messer’s Jubilee was the most watched on television, next to Hockey Night in Canada. Messer died in 1973 at the age of 64, however his music lives on with devotees such as Loraine.
During the recent provincial fiddling contest, she met another idol Calvin Vollrath who was also performing at the event. Vollrath is considered one of
the best fiddle players in the world.
From the first time she put the fiddle under her chin, Loraine figured this would be fun and she’s never been disappointed.