More Previews of Traditional Music Tour

Item Posted: Friday 14th May, 2004


A great treat is in store for schools and communities in Argyll, with the advent of a week long tour- mainly to be held this time in Cowal- from 25th May to 1st June. The tour is presented by Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop in collaboration with Live Music Now!


Anna-Wendy Stevenson won a scholarship to lead an orchestra in the USA at the tender age of 19, but her return to her native Edinburgh rekindled her love for traditional music. Since then she has joined forces with other leading musicians: with the all-woman quartet “Calluna”, and concertina wizard and composer, Simon Thoumire. As a member of “Anan”, Anna-Wendy has toured the USA, Europe and Japan, and last year had a sellout tour of Australia with her band “Fine Friday”.

James Ross is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and Drama, and has focused on exploring the possibilities of using the piano as a melody instrument, rather than in its conventional role as percussive accompaniment. After graduation he trained with the Irish piano maestro, Michael O’Suilleabhain, and now James is well known for his innovative and delicately responsive style of playing.

Anna-Wendy and James have been part of Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now! scheme, which takes high quality live music to a great variety of community settings, since November 2002 and November 2001 respectively.

Argyll is fortunate to have the opportunity of hearing musicians of their calibre in schools and community halls.


Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop was set up as a charity in 2003 to:

“advance education, in particular by promoting the performance, learning, and appreciation of Scottish traditional fiddle music and its contemporary development…”

As well as raising funds to teach over 60 children and adults, it enables professional musicians to play in local schools and community centres. The Workshop also arranges “Come and Try” Fiddle sessions, author events, arts and crafts weekends and regular music concerts.

Realising that many people in Cowal might be enthusiastic, but find it difficult to access their concerts in Lochgoilhead, they arranged this tour to give schools and communities in the area the opportunity to hear quality traditional music – but on their own doorstep!

In the last year the workshop has held 20 come and try sessions attended by 227 people from age 7 to 84! The workshop provides the fiddles and the tutors-all you have to do is come along and be prepared to make a noise and have some fun. No prior musical experience is needed an certainly no-one should say “ I can’t do it”. It will be an enjoyable taster, and while we may not have a budding Yehudi Menuhin in the crowd, everyone will go away with the satisfaction of having tried and played a wee tune.


As well as performing a series of free school concerts in local primary schools – in Dunoon, Tighnabruaich, Lochgilphead, Ardrishaig, Kilchrenan, and Kilmodan, and a concert for the elderly in Kirn, there will be a number of public concerts:

Wednesday 26th May 7.30 p.m. Kirn Parish Church Centre.
Friday 28th May 7.30 p.m. Ardrishaig Public Halls
Saturday 29th May 6.00 p.m. Loch Fyne Food Fair
Sunday 30th May 2.00 p.m. Loch Fyne Food Fair
Tuesday 1st June 7.30 p.m. Glendaruel Village Hall

Do come to the event which is closest to you, or on a day or evening when you can make it!


Ever fancied having a go on the fiddle!?
In the last year the Workshop has held 20 come and try sessions, attended by 227 people aged 7 to 84! The Workshop provides the fiddles, and the tutors- all you have to do is come along and be prepared to make a noise and have some fun. No prior music experience is needed, and certainly no-one should say “I can’t do it”. It will be an enjoyable “taster” and whilst we might not find a budding Yehudi Menuhin in the crowd, everyone will go away with the satisfaction of having tried and played a wee tune.

The Come and Try Fiddle Sessions will be held as part of the Loch Fyne Food Fair festivities on the weekend of 29th and 30th May in Cairndow:

Children Come and Try Sessions:
Saturday Midday
Sunday Midday

Adult Come and Try Sessions:
Saturday 2.00 p.m.
Sunday 4.00 p.m.


ScottishPower, main sponsors of the event, “are delighted to fund this opportunity for young people in Argyll to become more involved in music, especially traditional and folk music, much of which has its roots in this area. As a long term generator and supplier of power in Argyll we aim to assist local communities wherever we can. Live Music Now is an excellent example of an organization which works in the community as a social and educational initiative and we look forward to hearing of many people taking part.”

Live Music Now! was set up by the late Yehudi Menuhin to promote the enjoyment and experience of live music amongst people whose access is normally restricted, while simultaneously assisting gifted young musicians at the outset of their performing careers.

Carol Main, Director of Live Music Now! Scotland, commented: "The philosophies of our two organizations blend brilliantly. The Workshop is keen to encourage people both to both play and to listen to music. They have already established an outreach programme beyond their immediate location, so collaboration with Live Music Now! For a tour such as this has been a logical extension of our joint efforts.”

Important extra funding came from Loch Fyne Oysters. “The Food Fair always tries to include not only the best local produce, but a range of interesting events for all the family. Giving support to a traditional music tour of local schools and communities, as well as accessing quality musicians for concerts and come and try sessions for the weekend, was too good an opportunity to miss,” said Virginia Sumsion, Loch Fyne Oyster’s Marketing Manager.

Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop and Live Music Now! are most grateful to the sponsors of this tour.

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