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A legend in her own right: County says farewell to the First Lady of Fiddle Music

Theresa MacLellan, a violinist who helped pave the way for future female players and was commonly referred to as ‘The First Lady of Cape Breton Fiddle Music.’


-by April MacDonald

    It was a one-of-a-kind musical send off, a tribute fit for a queen, or better yet, a first lady of the fiddle.
    Theresa MacLellan, founder of the MacLellan Trio, was laid to rest by her friends, family, and neighbours last week. Playing her off-stage were 15 fiddlers; 12 women and three men.
    MacLellan was born in 1927 in Riverside; she passed away peacefully on August 31st, 2020, in the Port Hawkesbury Nursing Home. She was a daughter of the late Ronald “Big Ranald” and Mary Ann (MacDonald) MacLellan.
    At the age of eight she began to play the fiddle and showed a keen interest in it. Her brother Donald was an accomplished violin player and coached Theresa along. At nine she played at her first public performance at a picnic in West Bay Road.

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