Fiddler on the Floor

Seventeen year-old Kathleen Gorey-McSorely gets her first taste of the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo next week. As you will read here, the Fredericton, NB-based fiddler literally stepped off the stage of her high-school graduation ceremony and onto the floor of the Halifax Metro Center.

How, when and why did you get involved with fiddling?
When I was about seven years old I got to stay up late (late being 9:00, haha) with my Dad on Saturday nights and watch the ‘Grande Ol’ Opry’. Every time the cameras focused on the string sections I would say I wanted to play the fiddle. When I was eight years old I started music lessons. My parents had noticed when I was very small that I was drawn to music, but I think it was a surprise for everyone just HOW drawn to music I was once I started playing, especially as I come from a family of athletes. No one else plays music!

How did you get involved with the NS Tattoo?
I got involved with the Tattoo…well, to be honest I’m not exactly sure what happened! I was doing a series of shows with Derrick Paul Miller, who’s been the male soloist at the Tattoo for a few years, and a couple of the producers walked backstage one night at a Christmas show and asked me how I’d like to be in the Nova Scotia Tattoo. From there on out it was handled by my father who does all my bookings and here I am this week in rehearsals!

How does it feel?
Overall it feels great! It’s very busy, and sometimes rehearsals can be tense and nerve wracking, but I’m having a ball and can’t wait for the performances to start.

What other Celtic-related events have you been involved with in the past?
As an Irish musician, almost all the events I’ve been involved in were Celtic events. I’ve played in the US, Austria, Scotland, Ireland, and obviously Canada. So far my favorite festival has been Fleadh Cheiol in Cavan, Ireland. It’s the biggest traditional music festival in the world and it was such an honor to have a show there. It was a blast!

What other Celtic-related events will you be involved with this year?
This is my biggest event for this summer because I’ve just graduated from High School (I was actually late for the Tattoo so that I could attend my graduation ceremony!) but I am doing a whack of shows around the country, particularly in Atlantic Canada.

Is fiddling something that will be a part of your future?
Is fiddling something that will be part of my future? Oh my goodness, YES! I don’t know what I’d do without my music. I absolutely love every aspect of it. I definitely want to keep performing. And not just fiddle music either; I’ve really taken to singing jazz. I think that would be really cool to explore more.

If so, in what capacity?
This fall I’ll be starting university at the Dublin Institute of Technology. Yes, Dublin as in Dublin, Ireland! I will be getting my degree in traditional Irish Music and Performance and I can’t wait! I’ve been in contact with some of the professors, they all seem fabulous and the courses sound amazing.