Like so many during the time of Covid, many musicians were feeling the lack of people in their lives with whom they could share music. Susan Hanzelka invited a small group of friends to play music with her outdoors at a community lake-front lot. This group of five continued to play and realized they wanted to share their joy of music with others.
The “Fiddle Chix” came into being in the fall of 2021, and this talented group is now performing at several venues on Whidbey. The musicians in Fiddle Chix are:
Susan Hanzelka, violin
Nancy Oyler, ukulele
Caroline Penny, violin
Bev Heising, violin and mandolin
Penny Livingston, bass
The members of Fiddle Chix all found their way to Whidbey Island at different times, but have formed a bond that shows in the joyful way they play their music. Susan Hanzelka was drawn to Whidbey because of the island’s beauty and the simplicity of the life style here. She met Caroline Penny who was also drawn to the air, water and community of Whidbey. Nancy Oyler fell off her grandparents’ Brighton Beach bulkhead 70 years ago and has returned every summer since and now lives nearby.. Bev Heising met Susan and Caroline as fellow members of the local Whidbey Island Orchestra.. Her musical talents, teaching skills and the Whidbey Island Distillery owned by Bev and her husband, Steve are well-known on the island. Penny Livingston loves the community and plays almost every stringed instrument that can be named.
They love to share the theme that brought them together: “You are never too old or too young to play music.” Susan says they came together for the “pure pleasure of making music.” As they came together more often, and as their bows and fingers flew, so did the time. Susan adds, “Taking the separate parts and putting them musically together made magic.”
Last fall, just before the holidays, the Fiddle Chix volunteered their seasonal tunes at several venues on South Whidbey. Their music includes a large variety of bluegrass, country and Celtic tunes. Nancy quips, “We feel we are spreading joy like a farmer scattering seed.”
Upcoming performances by the Fiddle Chix: