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Garioch Fiddlers Strathspey and Reel Society

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. We have a wide repertoire from which to chose including tunes written by several of our members and are played at concerts and on our CD's.

In furtherance of our objectives of the promotion of Scottish music and in addition to concerts in the Scottish north east, we have been guests at Accordion and Fiddle Clubs, where we have been enthusiastically received. Our society has also made memorable visits to Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, to Hexham, Harrogate, Oban, Melrose, Strathpeffer, Dumfries, Biggar, Alnwick and Aviemore.  Our trip to Perth in October '16 included a concert to raise funds for Perth, North Church. A stramash was held in the Salutation Hotel, Perth, where musicians from the area joined us.

As a society we have, over the years, entertained official delegations from, among others, Germany, Russia and the USA, as well as playing for formal dinners for International Round Table and at Clan re-unions. Highlights for the the Society have been our appearances on Grampian Television's Ceol na fidhle over the three year period of its transmission. This undoubtedly increased our popularity and helped us and other societies to enhance our stage presentation. Our society was honoured to be asked to play the signature tune for the last two series.

CD's may be purchased online from:


Photographs by Lorraine Hehir & Craig Murdo



 This latest CD from the Garioch Fiddlers is particularly poignant as it is the last of the series directed by Dorothy Ferguson, who is retiring after 25 years as conductor, although she will be continuing as a playing member. Her own commitment throughout these years has been fundamental in achieving the polished musical blend which can be heard on "Heart of the Garioch", a musical compilation which includes original compositions by members - The Golden Globetrotters by Colin Dempster, and the slow air Bert Morgan by Ian Coutts. The 6/8 March The Battle of Harlaw  is another link on the 600th anniversary of the battle.

As well as maintaining the high musical standard of the Garioch Fiddlers, this CD will be a collector's item. Hope you enjoy it.


Photograph by Ellice Milton


 This CD celebrates 25 years of musical enjoyment for both its young and not so young members playing a range of Traditional Scottish tunes, among them tunes by J Scott Skinner and the late great accordionist - Jimmy Shand, and some of "our own".

 On this, our fourth CD, we feature a mandolin solo by Peter Fraser; the whistling of Colin Dempster; Margaret McLaren's 'spoons' heard in  Black Maria; the Slow Air, Hannah's Cradle Song composed and played by Ian Coutts accompanied by Dorothy on violin and Anne on piano; and lively jigs composed and played by Ian Thow.  Bill McIntosh's Floo'r O' the Garioch features Neil Hehir and Nicola Auchnie on violin while Colin Dempster's two step is given rousing treatment by the full orchestra. Together these show the range of talent both in playing and composing within our Group and we feel that we have much to celebrate in this our 25th Year.   


Photograph by Douglas Hardy


 With our continued success and local popularity and in spreading our music farther afield  to such as Hexham and Melrose the time had come to record more of our Scottish traditional music including several tunes by that well known composer and fiddle player, J Scott Skinner, and to blend this and others with our members' recent compositions. Enjoy two compositions by accordionist and Chairman, Ian Thow - Manda written in recognition of  the work of our long-serving treasurer, and Melrose Bound with the Garioch Fiddlers as a reminder of our recent visit to the Scottish Borders. Colin Dempster, violin player and Assistant Conductor, has written Sheila Margaret's Waltz and Ian Coutts on accordion plays his own hauntingly lovely tribute to Blairdaff Kirk accompanied on violin by Dorothy Ferguson.

 Again in this CD Neil Hehir gives an excellent solo violin performance as does Nicola Auchnie, the Garioch Young Fiddler of the Year 2004.  


Photograph by Still Images, Inverurie


 Mony a Guid Tune is a good example of the North-east of Scotland understatement.  They are all good tunes!  In this CD our Conductor, Dorothy Ferguson, has again managed to bring together a combination of styles and tempos from the compositions of the well-known and popular Phil Cunningham's slow air Quendale Bay, and Belle Mere's and Donna's Waltzes to the wealth of talent from within the Society - The Twa Ians' Polkas, the Littlewood Court Polka  by Ian Coutts, and Gillian Sorrie's Polka by Ian Thow - two of our long standing accordionists. Gillian is our hard working Secretary and a fiddler herself.  A duet played by Maryam Sherhan and Victoria Atkinson, two of our award winning players, includes fiddler Sharon Hassan's composition Miri's Kiwi Juice on this CD and follows on her 'Orcadian Nights' played on our Musical Bridges disc. Also enjoy listening to Sharon playing a violin solo accompanied by Neil Hehir, and a solo medley  by the accordionist composer, Ian Coutts. 



Photograph by kind permission of Aberdeen and Grampian Tourist Board


Musical Bridges is our fourth album and our first on CD.  It is a collection that is as interesting as it is enjoyable. The bridge on the fiddle, the main instrument used in the Society; the many bridges around the countryside of the Garioch; our music as a bridge between players crossing the age gaps, a bridge to the New Millenium, its hopes and aspirations - Musical Bridges is a very apt title.

 Our choice of music includes the Ovie Gilbert Two-Step composed by one of our accordionists, Ian Thow, and is a tribute to a well-loved and respected former playing member with the Society. Bruce Edmonds on violin takes you to Ireland with a solo performance of the Londonderry Air.  Colin Dempster's Return to Orkney reflects the speed  at which the Society wanted to return to the Island, while Sharon Hassan's evocative air, Orcadian Nights, which was played during a special service in St Magnus Cathedral on our second visit, will remain a treasured memory for those of us who were present.  These tunes composed by our members fit well into the long established Scottish traditional music also recorded on this disc