Fiddlers to the fore at annual Garioch Rally

Young Fiddler of the Year Finlay Morse and Kira Cooper who was named Best Player U15 with Garioch Fiddlers Chairman Joe McDowall
Young Fiddler of the Year Finlay Morse and Kira Cooper who was named Best Player U15 with Garioch Fiddlers Chairman Joe McDowall
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The Garioch Fiddlers’ Annual Rally was held in Inverurie on Saturday, April 18 before a packed and enthusiastic Town Hall audience.

A varied programme of traditional fiddle music was complemented by the superb singing of Robyn Stapleton, the BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year for 2014.

Robyn and her guitarist accompanist Paddy Cummins had just returned from a very successful tour of Denmark and were pleased to be performing in Inverurie and to receive such a warm welcome.

Kira Cooper was presented with the Alex Garden Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the best player under fifteen years old from the Junior Orchestra.

The Bill Johnston Memorial Trophy for the Garioch Fiddlers’ Young Fiddler of the Year was presented to Finlay Morse, who also won the Bert Morgan Cup for the best Slow Air.

Finlay performed his winning repertoire with confidence and panache for Saturday’s appreciative audience.

Colin Dempster conducted the main programme and also acted as Compere for the evening. He introduced all the sets and ensured continuity with great use of his warm, couthy, humorous yet unassuming manner

Colin not only conducted the orchestra with skill, he also told stories, danced and sang.

The orchestra was accompanied by Anne Watt on piano and Kirsty Livingstone on double bass.

At the beginning of the second half the Junior Orchestra, conducted by Nicola Tierney, performed their concert programme which was warmly received by the assembled house.

Neil Hehir, the Leader of the Senior Orchestra, conducted several sets and took part in a wonderful performance by five past winners of the Society’s Young Fiddler of the Year Trophy: Finlay Morse, Morna Holmes, Kenneth MacBeath Nicola Auchnie, and Neil himself.

The Garioch Fiddlers were delighted to be supported by a number of Guest Players from other Societies, including Strathbogie, MacDuff, Banchory, Ythan, Dundee, Aberdeen and the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra.

Chair Joe McDowall gave the vote of thanks.

The Garioch Fiddlers Strathspey and Reel Society was formed in 1982 in Inverurie.

Throughout the many years of the Society’s existence they have performed, and continue to perform all over the North-east to raise funds for church groups, charities and local organisations.