I see by an early online peek at the Chinook Observer that my article about this coming Sunday’s Music Vesper service made the deadline. Not only that, but it is illustrated with both of the photographs I submitted – one of “The Bays Family Band” and one of Willie and Owen Bays (ages 11 and 8 respectively) busking at a Farmer’s Market in the Seattle Area. Whoo Hoo! I’m glad there was space.
Had I known a little earlier, I’d have mentioned that Willie has just received a prestigious award: a full scholarship to the Cascadia Irish Music Week, but the announcement came by email just yesterday. It says the award was made to an exceptionally talented and dedicated young flute player, Willie Bays of Seattle. Willie is eleven years old and has played in many concerts and sessions with his family. Besides learning music from his fiddler parents, Willie studied flute with Marcus Hernon, Sean Moloney and other great musicians at the Friday Harbor Irish Music camp.
Pretty impressive! However, having known Willie and Owen and their amazing parents for years, we are not surprised. Just somewhat intimidated, at least in the musical realm of things. According to the Cork Examiner. Ireland’s second largest newspaper, Randal is “a rare beast, a master of both the fiddle and the guitar” and Fiddler Magazine claims he is “among the best Irish style fiddlers of his generation.”
Both Randal and the boys’ mom (Susan Waters) credit much of their sons’ accomplishments, musical and otherwise, to the fact that there is not (and has never been) television in their home. Each year at Vespers, Randal mentions their “no TV” philosophy and those of us listening to the family’s music can’t help but consider the possibilities and wonder “what if…”