A musical family affair

Keister Girls

The Keister Family Fiddlers strummed the crowd at the Coronation Community Centre into a delightful mood on Saturday, November 9 as they played a show put on by the Coronation/Consort Victim Services.
The talented Keister sisters consist of Quinn (18), Claire (16) and twins Faith and Paige (13), accompanied by mom Sherry on guitar and dad Loren on sound board.
The girls lit up the stage from the onset with matching outfits and broad smiles, launching straight into a set that never ceased to entertain.
Spot-on in their renditions of everything from traditional folk tunes to Guns ‘n Roses cover songs, the girls led the audience through a set that ranged from sentimental to uproarious.
The Keister Family spun amusing and humble anecdotes about their family life as a travelling band throughout the show. They even incorporated new sounds, such as traditional Newfoundland instrument the ‘ugly stick’ into their set for an ever-evolving show that kept the crowd on it’s tapping toes.
For the Keister girls, fiddling was seemingly in their blood from a very young age.
“We all started playing when we were six years old,” says Quinn, the eldest sister. She says a young, energetic fiddle teacher in Calgary was something of a muse for her six-year-old self when she started out.
“My teacher was really young and lots of fun,” says Quinn, “She was so fun that [the other sisters] wanted her as a teacher too, when they turned six. So that’s how we got started.”
Claire, the second eldest sister, notes that the group didn’t initially set out to make a family band but as they became more well-known through word of mouth it encouraged the girls to continue on playing as a family.
“We got invited to play at our gramma’s birthday party,” she says, “and from there they invited us to their friend’s parties, we played at stampede breakfasts, it was really word of mouth.”
Things really started revving up for the girls when they auditioned for the Calgary Stampede youth talent search around seven years ago. Though juniors at the time, and thus not able to participate in the contest, the girls were given the opportunity to play around the city, and ultimately even further afield.
“With the Calgary Stampede’s 100th Anniversary Celebration they were doing worldwide promotions, so they decided that they’d bring a little taste of the sound of Calgary with them,” says Quinn, “So we got to go to China twice, and we went to South Korea as well.”
The girls say that they hope their band can evolve to have a wider fan base and begin to incorporate their own songs into their repertoire.
“This is all we want to do right now, we’re having so much fun,” says Claire, “Being able to meet people and travel is something that we’ve all loved and want to continue doing.”

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