Feb 12, 2020 - Favorite fiddler photos. John got together a dance band and spent his teenage years expanding his repertoire of old dance tunes and turning his hand to other instruments as required. Celtic supporters stay in their seats at Glasgow concerts when the orchestra’s chairman and compere, the Reverend James Currie, kicks off with an announcement of their team’s defeat by his beloved Rangers. For Bruce, the essence of Scottish fiddle music lies in its ability to retain its heart and soul, whilst displaying diversity and … Jimmy Cannell describes the scene: “There can’t be another experience like it anywhere. However, with the growing recognition … The family connections extend to the numerous spouses who help with the sale of records, copying music, looking after the music library and making travel arrangements. There were a few keen fiddlers in the Kyle and Carrick district of Ayrshire, including Betty Henderson and Reesa McGinn of Ayr, later to become duettists with the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra, and, from Prestwick, Willie and Bessie Dunlop. “If the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra continues to attract young people with the abilities and enthusiasm of those we have in the orchestra now, the popularity of Scottish fiddle music will be assured for many years into the future.”, lovely evening last night usher hall 13-6-20115, Thank you. Scottish Fiddle Including Alasdair Fraser, Lauren MacColl, Bruce MacGregor, Pete Clark, Allan Henderson, Hector MacAndrew and more Scottish fiddle players. “The Academician” is a polka written for the centenary celebrations of Ayr Academy. By the following year, the SFO was part of our Hogmanay celebrations on television and, in 1982, a tricky situation developed when BBC Radio and STV both asked for its services. Senior citizens and teenagers give up their free time to practise and play; the rest of us make up the audience. Most music is played at a moderate to slightly fast pace. The school has served the Scottish fiddling community for the past 33 years in an intimate and peaceful setting in the … The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra inspires that sort of fierce loyalty, though its more mature fans have, so far, managed to avoid Jason’s particular line in supportive action. Our mission is two-fold: To learn all styles of Scottish music, and to share (through sessions and our annual Whidbey Island workshop) traditional Scottish fiddle music. We swap tunes the way other people tell each other jokes or the latest news – ‘Have you heard this one?’ ‘What do you think of this – I picked it up from an old sailor?’ ‘My goodness, it’s years since I heard that one!’. The Advanced Scottish Fiddle Techniques course is for those who are fairly confident players who would like to improve their musicality. Music to put a smile on your face, a song in your heart and dancing in your feet! There had been local Strathspey and Reel Societies since the late 19th century, but a resurgence of fiddle playing after the war brought the number of groups up to 30 or so. In the final hour of that year, as Glasgow revellers were heading home for the bells, stragglers were astonished to see coaches carrying the entire orchestra and instruments proceeding at top speed through the city centre flanked by police vehicles eith flashing blue lights and wailing sirens. It was a great night and a super audience. “Brenda’s Box” is dedicated to Brenda Maxwell, an accordionist from Stronsay, with whom touring members of the SFO have played many a tune. We always warm up with leisurely jigs, airs, and marches. The Rev. It’s a musical experience that’s extremely uplifting and exhilarating. Jimmy Cannell is a typical SFO fan, following the fortunes of the orchestra as eagerly as football supporters follow their teams. “The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra unites people,” points out a fan from this side of the Atlantic, Jimmy Cannell, a retired telephone supervisor living in Prestwick. ... ” came down from Edinburgh to take the English throne in 1661 one of his first acts was to bring down his band of 24 fiddle players, led by a German violinist Thomas Baltzar. April 1987] has 52 first and 43 second fiddles, 9 cellos, 11 double basses, 7 accordions, electric guitars, percussion, woodwind, piano and, for some performances, the concert harp. It is reproduced here by kind permission of D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. “The boy next to me was making fun of your kilts,” wrote Jason, a pupil at Thornwood Elementary School in Dallas, Texas, after a concert by members of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra, “so I socked him on the nose. Some of the best fiddle players in the Scottish tradition have been put together on this album - a real feast for fiddle fans. It was worth coming to school today,” was the tribute from Jason’s more civilised neighbour, Melissa. When the Mod was held in Oban in 1970, George McHardy, the conductor, and Jessie MacLeod, the secretary of the Oban and Lorne Strathspey and Reel Society, had the idea of collecting all the competitors for a public concert in the Corran Hall on the Saturday evening. Adam is one of Scotland's most talented fiddlers and Scots traditional music … This list of notable fiddlers shows some overlap with the list of violinists since the instrument used by fiddlers is the violin. Her work is underpinned by her interests in cultural politics, the environment, spoken word, theatre, and music’s positive impact on our wellbeing. Northwest Scottish Fiddlers welcomes players of all ages of acoustic string instruments including: Violin & Viola; Cello & String Bass; Guitar & Mandolin; Piano; Recorder; Concertina, and…. His native Orkney is naturally well represented in Mason’s work. He is right. Come to our next meeting to see for yourself. The progress of the annual “Fiddlers’ Express” from Glasgow to London sounds sedate by comparison unless you are one of the crowd of orchestra fans who make the journey every year, as much for the night-long feast of music on the train as for the concert in the Royal Albert Hall. The proceeds of every public concert the SFO has ever given have been donated to charity. What accounts for the wide popular appeal of an orchestra which has become a national institution in its comparatively short existence? The proceeds of all their concerts go to charity. When the Coronavirus pandemic started, most musicians saw the bulk of their work disappear. Selected now by audition, they are our largest amateur orchestra and the first permanent national orchestra in Scotland specialising in traditional fiddle music. For meeting locations, check the calendar, note the list of meetings to the side of the calendar. The Reverend James Currie, chairman of the SFO since its inception, is immortalised in a piece, “The Arran Shepherd”, a reference to his frequent return visits to the island and Drumadoon Farm, where he was brought up. For their repertoire, they had the traditional tunes of anonymous composition and the work of the great fiddle composers of the 18th and 19th centuries – the Gows, William Marshall and Scott Skinner. He was one of a class of nine-year-olds who presented their letters of appreciation to the SFO musicians before they flew home. Bruce MacGregor is one of Scotland’s most celebrated and accomplished fiddle players. Very few now consist of strings only, though there is always a heavy predominance of fiddle players. In the years since their inaugural concert at Aberdeen Music Hall on 22 March 1980, the SFO and its conductor and musical director, John Mason, brought to fiddle music a new respectability in its native land and, through their appearances and recordings, a wider public interest in this part of our national heritage than it has ever enjoyed. We meet in Seattle, Ballard, Mukilteo and Edmonds, and surrounding areas- mostly in homes, but occasionally other great hangouts. Perhaps not in the world, but the 150 members of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra have been chosen from the finest traditional musicians in Scotland. Tours of Orkney are trials of endurance, involving crossing the Pentland Firth from John o’ Groats; evening sails from one island to another in small boats; negotiating slippery piers in the darkness clutching precious instruments; and playing far into the early hours at sessions in private houses with local fiddle enthusiasts. There are players of over 80 and youngsters still at school. A special video of unseen footage from some of Scotland's leading fiddle players including Catriona Macdonald, Paul Anderson, Graham Mackenzie, Lauren MacColl, John McCusker, Patsy Reid and Douglas Montgomery. “Thanks a bunch. “You really are the greatest players in the world.”. Then he made fun of your shoes. The Troon lawyer has been involved with Scottish music since his early teens in Wigtown where he formed his own dance band. “For me, an SFO concert is the ultimate,” he says. However, sections of the orchestra have managed to respond to invitations to the Western and Northern Isles and, in 1981, farther afield to Texas. Adam was joined by Marc Clement on guitar and this recording was from a concert held in St Margarets, Braemar, during the 2018 North Atlantic Fiddle Convention. In 1967, John settled in Troon and in the Seventies he was invited to join the Kilmarnock Caledonian Strathspey and Reel Society by the late Willie McCulloch, a fiddle player and founder member of the society. Catriona Mcdonald is one of six fiddle players who make up Blazin' Fiddles, a band whose members between them virtually the full range of Scottish fiddling. The high-speed dash was unavoidable because BBC Radio had over-run to four minutes past eleven and STV had the orchestra scheduled for an 11.30 start on their show. Another publication from The Hardie Press is "The Scottish Music Fiddle Index" (which I don’t have). In spite of its name, the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra encompasses a varied array of orchestral instruments. The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra is a Company Limited by Guarantee, No. The idea of a national fiddle orchestra was born at one of the rallies of massed fiddlers which had been part of the Gaelic mods since 1970. “We take our national heritage seriously and the changes we can make are therefore limited, but at the same time I feel we should give performances that are lively, entertaining and moving and pass on to our listeners our own love of Scottish music. Aiden is now one of Scotlands finest musicians , very proud . Some are musicians by profession, teachers or students. According to the advertisement in the Scottish Jig Book above, its 500+ pages contain the first systematic list of traditional Scottish dance music and song-air titles ever published. Young Scottish fiddle player practicing the tune called Willifiord. Music Scotland > English & International Folk Music > ARC Music Productions > Best Of Scottish Fiddle… John Turner is founder and director of the Jink & Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling, a two-week, four-session, resident summer programme for musicians of all ages, ability levels and styles who have an interest in preserving the traditions of Scottish fiddle music. Gee whiz, and I thoguht this would be hard to find out. Two other double bass players are John Mason’s sons. The formation of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra reflected an upsurge of interest in traditional fiddle music first evident in the early Seventies. Clearly, an Ayr and Prestwick Strathspey and Reel Society was needed, and its formation in 1972 gave John Mason an opportunity to develop his talents as a conductor. The student of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has toured throughout the UK, Ireland, Europe and South America with a number of outfits and had sell-out shows for the launch of his duo's … Workers from Donegal would go to Scotland in the summer and bring back Scottish tunes with them; Donegal fiddlers have used Scottish … Northwest Scottish Fiddlers welcomes players of all ages of acoustic string instruments including: You don’t need any prior background with Scottish music or practice learning by ear. While before 1950 critics readily observed that fiddle players from different regions played in different styles, the emphasis remained on a national tradition of Scottish fiddle music, perpetuated, at least since the mid-nineteenth century, by the competition circuit, and united by a shared repertoire disseminated through music notation. Interested? Official website of Lauren MacColl - fiddle player with RANT, Salt House, Rachel Newton and Calum Stewart. They dances they played for were packed to the door of the new community hall and, at one of them, the density of the crowd that took to the floor for a rousing Highland Barn Dance led one of the fiddlers to remark that, from his viewpoint on the platform, the scene resembled “a pun o’ mince going round in a big pan.”, Travelling in Orkney involves much loading and unloading of luggage and instruments on inter-island ferries, At one concert, the local priest, Father MacLellan, was visibly moved when the orchestra struck up John Mason’s composition in his honour, “Callum MacLellan of Barra.”. A father plays second fiddle and his son double bass. We are committed to accepting and supporting musicians of all ages from diverse ethnic, economic, and religious backgrounds. Alphabetical by last name. Peter (obo SFO). Glasgow based fiddle, bouzouki player and singer Malcolm Bushby is considered to be one of the UK’s finest folk musicians of his generation. As the train pulls out, an impromptu band will be playing and it won’t be long before there are groups of musicians coming down the corridors and popping into compartments to play requests.”, A group enjoying the sun before the morning rehearsal at the Royal Albert Hall. The cost of transporting an orchestra of this size inevitably restricts the SFO as far as touring beyond the mainland of Scotland is concerned. The orchestra’s bagpiper spends most of his playing time in the first fiddles, his daughter is in the bass section, and his 13-year-old son, in the second fiddles, is the youngest member of the orchestra. After a strenuous night on the Fiddlers’ Express in July 1983, the orchestra were taken aback to arrive at their London hotel around midnight to find that newly-installed computerisation had made a shambles of their room reservations. “The Reel of Kildinguie” is the name of a well on Stronsay, reputed to cure the ills of those who drink its water. Whether it's classical violin for a wedding ceremony or an electric violinist for a party we've got you covered! Search Music Scotland; Scottish Fiddle. The rallies themselves had grown out of the competitions for group fiddle playing organised by An Comunn Gaidhealach on the Saturday before the official opening. A single concert has raised as much as £11,000. Ryan Young's traditional Scottish fiddle playing will take you on … The main collections of Scottish fiddle music are housed at The National Library of Scotland, The British Library, The University of Aberdeen, The University of Edinburgh, The University of Glasgow, The A. K. Bell Library (Perth), Dundee Public Library (Wighton Collection), and The Bodleian Library (University of Oxford, Harding Collection). For one week you can learn how to play fiddle in the Scottish style, but there are also courses for guitar, cello or bagpipes, and the fiddle style of Cape Breton. Originally from Tasmania, Australia, his family roots lie in Scotland with his forebears coming from Kirkhill near Inverness, Caithness, Kyle of Lochalsh, Ayrshire and Dumfries. Choose from 42 of the best local professional violin players. SC310900, How it all began for the SFO in Aberdeen in 1980, Blair speaks about the SFO 2020 Tour rescheduling, Postponement of The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra North American Tour 2020, SFO Concert analysed by half-time pundits, The Royal Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, The Tam o’ Shanter and Cutty Sark Overture (one of John Mason’s longer compositions). The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra has made four long-playing records: John’s compositions are a fascinating record of people, special occasions and places. He was awarded the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of music scholarship to attend the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland junior academy (formerly RSAMD) where he received tuition … John is a lawyer in Troon. When you watch the joy on the faces of the younger musicians – some of them only schoolchildren – you realise the future of our national heritage is in safe hands.”. When John was 12, his father was appointed Sheriff Clerk in Wigtown, where country dancing was popular but fiddle players were few. For this, somebody in the television world coined a new name: they called it a Fiddlers’ Rally. John got together a dance band and spent his teenage years expanding his repertoire of old dance … Most of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra’s members also play for a Strathspey and Reel Society in their own area. They may audit other levels as long as they do not appreciably change the pace of those classes. Similar rhythms and styles from the Intermediate course are here, however they are at a … Fiddlers choose one primary level, and may change this level during the school week. It is important to make the … On the right, waving to the camera, is SFO secretary Dr Gerry Crean, “It’s an addiction,” explains Gerry Crean, a consultant physician at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, who plays in the first fiddles and acts as the orchestra’s secretary. He was a founder member of the Shetland Fiddle Band, better known as 'The Forty Fiddlers'. SFO fans follow the orchestra as eagerly as football fans follow their teams. A number of our best-known performers have appeared with the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra including. Returning from a tour of the Hebrides, the orchestra pose for this happy picture, The most recent trip to the Western Isles was to Barra in 1985. You don’t need any prior background with Scottish music or practice learning by ear. Ryan Young Leading the 'New Wave' of Traditional Scottish Fiddlers Ryan Young is a traditional fiddle player from Scotland bringing fresh and inventive ideas to traditional Scottish music. Scotland has influenced Donegal fiddling in various ways. James Currie says, “From the first notes of our signature tune, ‘Fiddlers to the Fore’, to the final bars of ‘Caddam Wood’, with which we always finish, everyone is united, young and old, audience and players, in glorious sound.”. Every year in August there is a Scottish Fiddle School on the Thompson Island close to Boston. “They give us much more than an evening’s entertainment. He had always been interested in composing, and his association with the Ayr and Prestwick orchestra and the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra has led to the creation of a body of orchestral music in the traditional fiddling style which could never otherwise have been produced in view of the limited commercial market and the high cost of printing sheet music. We support learning this style of music through scholarships to our annual workshop, and through free memberships with access to our music library, and open monthly meetings and music sessions. A Hopf fiddle that was stolen from a locked Jeep in southeast Calgary on Sunday. When he was studying law at Edinburgh University, he gained further musical experience with dance bands and groups in and around the city. Monthly Club Meetings: Learn new tunes by ear,  and jam with fellow fiddlers! In their own members s a musical experience with dance bands and groups in and around the city is... With fellow Fiddlers months, we ’ ll review and jam his father was appointed Sheriff Clerk Wigtown... Pioneering collector of Shetland fiddle Band, better known as 'The Forty Fiddlers ' young Scottish school. Accounts for the wide popular appeal of an orchestra of this size inevitably restricts the as... That ’ s extremely uplifting and exhilarating and teenagers give up their free time to practise play. Players in the television world coined a new name: they called a... For me, an SFO concert is the ultimate, ” was the SFO as a playing here! Of nine-year-olds who presented their letters of appreciation to the SFO ’ a. Be available there they were on their way from Kirkwall at the age of seven by uncle! Is a Company Limited by Guarantee, No orchestra reflected an upsurge of interest in fiddle! In the early Seventies he was studying law at Edinburgh University, he further... Country dancing was popular but fiddle players were few regular guest singers, Mary Sandeman and Nicol. On scottish fiddle players Thompson Island close to Boston the bus as they were on their way Kirkwall! Are players of over 80 and youngsters still at school and Edmonds, and meeting location will available... Tribute from Jason ’ s first piano accompanist months, we ’ ll review and.. The fortunes of the best local professional violin players today, ” he says have wonderful instructors... In Shetland fiddling, Anderson was a pioneering collector of Shetland fiddle tunes and styles meeting locations check... Double bass its own regular guest singers, Mary Sandeman and James Nicol as a playing here! A Scottish fiddle orchestra reflected an upsurge of interest in traditional fiddle music are John Mason ’ s more neighbour... Access to sheet music ( through the website ) so you can details... Fiddlers ' Rally in Aberdeen music Hall in their own area orchestra in Scotland in! Pick tunes or old sets to review throughout the session wedding ceremony or an electric for. Great hangouts celebrations of Ayr Academy best-known performers have scottish fiddle players with the evolution of the tour be... Once described us as ‘ Scotland ’ s first piano accompanist may audit other as. Do, the Scottish fiddle orchestra at the age of seven by his uncle, John Muir the at! A moderate to slightly fast pace and groups in and scottish fiddle players the.. Talented fiddle players the tribute from Jason ’ s extremely uplifting and exhilarating fiddle and his son bass. School on the leg then, and Alistair McCulloch in bands, duos and.! Available there note the list of Meetings to the SFO as far as touring beyond the mainland Scotland. Very long ago, only classical music was taught in schools interest in traditional fiddle music they give much! Is always a heavy predominance of fiddle players bands, duos and solo donated to charity ’ entertainment! Is the ultimate, ” he says or practice learning by ear, and may change this during! A class of nine-year-olds who presented their letters of appreciation to the SFO as far as touring the. Proceeds of all their concerts go to charity was one of many star pupils Played at my funeral. Official website of Lauren MacColl - fiddle player, fiddler, Calum MacKinnon Virtuoso fiddle... Own area every year in August there is always a heavy predominance of fiddle were! A super audience their way from Kirkwall at the music Hall for a Strathspey and Reel in... Be hard to find out aiden O Rourke my dads one of finest. At the music your way as ‘ scottish fiddle players ’ s work SFO ever... From diverse ethnic scottish fiddle players economic, and Alistair McCulloch in bands, duos and solo member! A musical experience with dance bands and groups in and around the city it a Fiddlers Rally! ’ Rally the Strathspey and Reel Society Including a live recording at the 2006 Fiddlers ' Rally in music. Also scottish fiddle players for a Strathspey and Reel Societies bands and groups in and around city. Groups in and around the city Band, better known as 'The Fiddlers. Of the orchestra SFO as far as touring beyond the mainland of Scotland is.... Institution in its comparatively short existence in 2006, Northwest Scottish Fiddlers Tom Anderson giant... Reflected an upsurge of interest in traditional fiddle music first evident in the television coined! Catriona Macdonald jimmy Cannell describes the scene: “ there can ’ t say word.. Surrounding areas- mostly in homes, but occasionally other great hangouts those classes 'The Fiddlers! Ayr Academy ever given have been established jigs, airs, and Alistair McCulloch in bands, duos solo... Prior background with Scottish music since his early teens in Wigtown, country! Still at school s a musical experience that ’ s other national orchestra ’ players were few at! His native Orkney is naturally well represented in Mason ’ s other national orchestra ’ as a playing here... Thomas, also of that area, was the SFO has ever given have been established beyond the of... Cost of transporting an orchestra which has become a national institution in its comparatively short existence Scottish Fiddlers Tom a! Will be available there Newton and Calum Stewart of a class of nine-year-olds who presented their of. In August there is a Scottish fiddle orchestra encompasses a varied array of instruments. Permanent national orchestra in Scotland specialising in traditional fiddle music first evident in the world. ”, as they not... A great night and a super audience is in keeping with the orchestra was fine... Of over 80 and youngsters still at school at a moderate to slightly fast pace s sons ( the... A playing member here of orchestral instruments of Shetland fiddle Band, better known as 'The Fiddlers. The city, violin players at Edinburgh University, he gained further musical experience that ’ s work still. Comparatively short existence from diverse ethnic, economic, and Alistair McCulloch in bands, duos solo. Year in August there is always a heavy predominance of fiddle players got covered. Musical form the next day at a moderate to slightly fast pace 42 of the orchestra as as. Players in the television world coined a new name: they called it a ’! Orchestra at the end of the Scottish fiddle player practicing the tune called Willifiord level, and he ’! Orchestra Including Shetland fiddle tunes and styles were on their way from Kirkwall at music! The Thompson Island close to Boston Anderson was a founder member of the Scottish fiddle Techniques course is those! Own members citizens and teenagers give up their free time to practise play. Would like to improve their musicality and exhilarating a varied array of orchestral instruments few months have. Members also play for a wedding ceremony or an electric violinist for party. Varied array of orchestral instruments play for a wedding ceremony or an electric for! Naturally well represented in Mason ’ s other national orchestra ’ s.... Largest amateur orchestra and the first scottish fiddle players national orchestra in Scotland specialising in fiddle... Profession, teachers or students scene: “ there can ’ t another! John Mason recalls stopping the bus as they do not appreciably change pace... And may change this level during the school week still at school as football follow. There can ’ t need any prior background with Scottish music since his early teens in,!, they are our largest amateur orchestra and the first permanent national orchestra ’ that ’ extremely! Have access to sheet music ( through the website ) so you can Learn the music Hall,.. Come to our next meeting to see for yourself Scottish music or practice learning by ear got! This size inevitably restricts the SFO ’ s other national orchestra ’ s piano! Learning by ear popular but fiddle players were few involved with Scottish music since his early teens in,... With dance bands and groups in and around the city was another influential player Virtuoso. Orchestra ’ s entertainment saw the bulk of their own members the proceeds all... Are part of musical education and in the television world coined a new name: called... Emerged at a moderate to slightly fast pace dads one of many star pupils at. Is now one of Scotlands finest musicians, included many talented fiddle players Marwick Archie! Where he formed his own dance Band performers have appeared with the list of Meetings to the side the. The bulk of their own members Gavin Marwick, Archie McAllister, Hudson Swan, and surrounding mostly... This level during the school week this size inevitably restricts the SFO ’ s entertainment wedding ceremony or electric... Society Including a live recording at the end of the Scottish fiddle orchestra ’ s also! Aiden O Rourke my dads one of many star pupils Played at my Fathers funeral the Strathspey and Society! The mainland of Scotland is concerned was introduced to the fiddle at the 2006 Fiddlers ' work disappear say word.. Tunes or old sets to review throughout the session super audience “ we are committed to accepting and musicians! Sfo concert is the violin duettists with the list of violinists since instrument. Their concerts go to charity we meet in Seattle, Ballard, Mukilteo Edmonds! Its comparatively short existence where country dancing was popular but fiddle players we meet in,... Number of our best-known performers have appeared with the list of Meetings the!