The Garioch Fiddlers Strathspey and Reel Society was formed in 1982 in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire by the late Bruce Turnbull with around fifteen founder members. When Bruce left the group in the mid-eighties, deputy conductor Alex Garden took control for a short time. On the sudden death of Alex Garden in the spring of 1986, Dorothy Ferguson took over as conductor and musical director, and it was under her leadership and with her musical arrangements that our Society developed its own particular “sound”. Since Dorothy's retirement in the summer of 2011, Colin Dempster took over the Conductor's baton until this summer (2016) when Colin announced his retirement. The Conductor's baton is now in the capable hand of Susan Simpson. Susan is supported by Assistant Conductor Neil Hehir, who is also Orchestra Leader. The society is very fortunate to have a strong Junior section which is very ably led and conducted by Nicola Tierney. This team continues to ensure a balanced programme suited to the occasion is always produced.


Membership is open to anyone who wishes to support the Society in its objectives and activities and may join as either a playing or non playing member. We welcome visiting players to our practice nights and no fee is payable. Regular players are expected to join the Society by paying the nominal fee. The fee for playing and non playing members is set annually at the A.G.M. and for 2019/20 is set at £5 and only £2 for people in full time education.

There are some seventy players in the senior orchestra and around forty members in the juniors.


We meet every Monday evening; holidays excepted, in the Function Suite at the Kintore Arms Hotel, Inverurie.  Juniors meet from 6.30 to 7.30 p.m. Seniors meet from 7.30 to 9.00p.m. Dress is totally informal for practice sessions. Visiting fiddlers are always welcome.



One feature of the Society has been the steady encouragement of young fiddlers and their inclusion in all aspects of the Society’s activities. They range in age from very young to older years, and from players relatively new to their instruments to those passing more senior grades. Our juniors are so committed that it is a very encouraging sign for the future of traditional Scottish music.

Our Music

The distinctive sound of the Garioch Fiddlers is due to the musical arrangements/harmonies written by previous conductor and founder member, Dorothy Ferguson, for the predominantly violin based orchestra which also includes accordions, flutes and mandolin with piano and double bass backing. The music played includes the range of traditional Scottish tunes - strathspeys, reels, marches, jigs and waltzes.