Colin '25 Earns U.S. National Scottish Fiddling Juniors

Events in 2020 may look a little different, but that didn’t stop Colin McGlynn ’25 from achieving his goal of becoming the U.S. National Scottish Fiddling Juniors champion.
The eighth grader has been working to earn the honor since he was 9 years old. The competition is annually held at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania and participants must qualify at a regional competition before being invited to compete at the national level.
Due to COVID-19, this year’s competition was held over Zoom. Colin took to the screen and won over the panel of judges and outperformed his competitors from around the U.S., including California, Ohio and Florida.
“With the help of my teacher and family, I worked on perfecting this set of tunes,” said Colin of his preparations. “I had so much fun learning these tunes, and I was honored to have been crowned the Junior U.S National Scottish Fiddle Champion!”   
What did Colin perform?
“Colin had to prepare four very different types of tunes,” said mother his Andrea McGlynn. “First, a slow piece, usually a lament. These are hard because you really must convey sorrow through the music. Colin played a piece that was written by Niel Gow in the mid-1700s. Then came three tunes in a row that are played without stopping. It’s called a march, strathspey, reel. The first tune is designed for marching and imitates the bagpipes. The strathspey is a uniquely Scottish type of dance, and the fiddle must play so the dancer feels they can levitate in the air. Lastly, the reel. This one is fast and furious, with variations in melody and a display of violin tricks.” 
What's next for Colin? 
Colin has been performing in several ensembles including The Glencoe Lads with Seán Heely (his teacher), the Hampton Roads Chamber Players, and in the music sessions around our area. The Glencoe Lads are planning on making a CD. 
Colin will be playing locally this Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Courtyard Cèilidh in downtown Norfolk. The outdoor concert will feature Celtic music and dance is presented by the Virginia Arts Festival and the Virginia International Tattoo. It’s also sold out.

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