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Fiddle retreat in town brings young talent to light

By Staff | Feb 10, 2017

Submitted photo The Gans girls practice during one of the recent Fiddle Workshop sessions.

Gabrielle and Naomi Gans are two young fiddle players of the ages 13 and 11, who have been playing since they were four years old. These girls, as well as three more, Scarlett, age 10, Greta, age 9 and Hannah, age 6, were all a part of a fiddle retreat hosted by the organization Shepherdstown Music and Dance. Not only was this occasion the first time the Gans girls were in Shepherdstown; it was also they’re first contra-dance. However, this contra-dance wasn’t the only event at this fiddle retreat.

The retreat consisted of three days and had a variety of events. One of the biggest events being when the girls played a concert and work shopped with other artists and professional musicians.

Mother of Gabrielle and Naomi, Rebekah Gans said, “It was amazing seeing the girls with all of these teachers. These are professionals from all over the world and here they were working with my girls. It was an amazing opportunity for them.”

The Gans began playing at the age of four under the Suzuki method. This method consists of the children learning to play by ear. After they got older and began to read more often they then learned how to read music as well. Now the daughters are trained in classical music, which made the task of learning a new style of music much less daunting.

Rebekah said, “Classical style is hard, but since my kids already know that style, it made learning the contra-dance style much easier. The contra-dance style is more of a Scottish origin, but my daughters were able to pick it up fast.”

After the workshop, partial scholarships were also offered to the young fiddlers. The musicians are also encouraged to come to play another event whenever one is scheduled. To see when more events are scheduled by Shepherds-town Music and Dance, visit their website smad.us or visit their Facebook, Shep-herdstown Music and Dance.

The Gans are spreading their music throughout the area as they will play at another contra-dance in Hillsboro and at a sweetheart banquet for Fellowship Bible Church in Shenandoah Junction.