Our Current Tutors
Sarah Naylor is one of Scotland's leading young traditional musicians
with a fiddle style that is both technically accomplished and emotionally
communicative. The assured playing that has impressed judges at competitions including The Young Scottish Traditional Musician of the Year 2005 and The Oban Fiddle Masters 2004, which Sarah won, belies the reluctant first steps that she made as a nine year old on her first instrument, the home-made fiddle which Sarah's mother created out of a man-size Kleenex tissue box.
Sarah was born on the Isle of Skye and grew up in the small fishing
village of Uig at the north end of the island. Her grand mother, June Halliday, played fiddle and having been taught by the much-loved and
respected Highland fiddler and tunesmith Donald Riddel, was keen for Sarah to carry on the family tradition.
Sarah wasn't so sure, but after wrestling with her cardboard box
while lessons were being arranged, she took to her first proper fiddle
enthusiastically and within a year was playing in a fiddle group and busking on Uig pier during the summer months for modest returns. She also became a founder member of the award winning show Skye Scene, which she worked with for seven years.
Attending summer courses in her teens at Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the Gaelic
college on Skye, brought Sarah into direct contact with world famous
musicians, including Buddy MacMaster, Bruce MacGregor and Alasdair Fraser, who introduced her to material and techniques that have greatly influenced the energetic and fun side of her playing.
Another visitor, Hanneka Cassels, a fiddler from Boston and a graduate
of Berklee College of Music, in Massachusetts, was particularly
influential, encouraging Sarah to invent her own tunes and giving her the confidence to experiment with all styles of fiddle music, As a result, Sarah has a real love for contemporary music and for developing grooves and riffs from the traditional Appalachian and Bluegrass fiddle strains and working them into her own style.
At the same time, as a student of the old style of Scottish fiddling,
which she originally learned from Christine Martin on Skye and continues to
study with Hugh MacGilp, Sarah also remains passionate about Scottish music.
She was runner-up in the Glenfiddich Fiddle Championship 2004 and she
enjoys passing on old Scots tunes and fiddling tips to school pupils through
her education work for Celtic Connections in Glasgow, the Hebridean Celtic
Music Festival on Lewis, and the Feisean movement throughout the Scottish
Highlands and Islands
In March 2004, as part of her BA Applied Arts course at Strathclyde
University, Sarah travelled to the United States, where she taught
traditional music to young children and small communities and played concerts in New York and Pennsylvania. She returned to the US in December 2004 to play more concerts in Chicago and will perform main stage this September at Chicago's Celtic Festival. As well as reaching the final of the Scottish Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2005, Sarah has won a Celtic Connections Danny award.
Sarah graduated with First Class Honours form Strathclyde University, Glasgow, with a BA in Applied Music. She was awarded the Alexander Stone prize for excellence in Solo Performance and she hopes to continue developing as a soloist and in her duo with Douglas Millar.
Instruments: Fiddle & Banjo
Raised in Galloway, Amy is now at the forefront of contemporary Scottish Fiddle playing as a performer, teacher and composer. She has performed in Scotland and Europe with various artists including Tannas, the Scottish Step Dance Company and Savourna Stevenson and now works primarily with all female group Maysha.
Her fiddle style has developed over the years through playing with a numerous musicians in an eclectic variety of musical styles including, for example, a performance on a tribute album to Brian Wilson and this year a new piece of music for the Edinburgh Mela, working with Chinese and Pakistani musicians.
This all converges to result in an assured and unique fiddle style firmly rooted in Scotland yet enhanced by an increasingly broad wealth of musical experience. Amy is now based in Edinburgh and is a full time musician, performer and teacher.
Fiona Dalgetty from Nigg began playing the fiddle at the age of 11, studying under local violin instructor Debbie Ross. At school, Fiona was a member of traditional music group Gizzenbriggs as well as participating in the local Fčis, Fčis Rois.
Fiona developed an interest in the Gaelic language through her involvement with the Fčisean and she recently graduated MA (Hons) Celtic Studies from the University of Edinburgh.
Fiona currently works with pianist and step dancer John Sikorski. She is a member of the dynamic young ceilidh band, Ňr, and she also plays with the Edinburgh-based Auld Reekie Ceilidh Band. She has performed as far afield as the USA and Romania and she was delighted to be invited to play Niel Gow’s fiddle when she performed as guest artist at the Fiddlers’ Rally at the Royal National Mod in Perth in 2004.
In addition to performing, Fiona is increasingly in demand as a fiddle tutor. She currently teaches regular classes for Fčis Dhůn Čideann and the ALP Scots Music Group in Edinburgh, as well as the Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop. Forthcoming teaching engagements include The Gaitherin’ in Aberdeenshire, Fčis Rois nan Deugairean in Ullapool and a Youth Gaitherin’ Workshop at Fiddle 2005.
Anna-Wendy Stevenson is one of Scotland’s top young fiddlers. Born and brought up in a family of well – known musicians and instrument makers, Anna-Wendy began her musical career following in the classical footsteps of her grandfather, the pianist and composer Ronald Stevenson.
At the age of 19 she won a scholarship to lead an orchestra in the USA. On return to her native Edinburgh she rekindled her love of Scottish fiddle music and has gone on to make her living performing and teaching the fiddle music of Scotland. Over the past 4 years she has toured the world with Anam and Fine Friday – two top groups from Scotland.
Anna-Wendy is passionate about all forms of Scottish music and loves the spontanaeity of a pub session as much as the professional setting of a concert. Anna-Wendy plays a fiddle given to her by her father – the renowned fiddle maker – Gordon Stevenson.
She has recorded on more than 10 different albums and performed with many artists including: Anam, Gaelic singer/piper Anna Murray, Savourna Stevenson, Russell's House, John Rae’s Celtic Feet and Fine Friday and performed as a soloist in Simon Thoumire’s orchestral works.
Television appearances include: Tacsi (STV) Sorchar nan Reul (MnE), and Edinburgh Nights (BBC TV). Anna-Wendy also recorded on the soundtrack written by her aunt Savourna Stevenson for the BBC TV Omonibus film Tusitala.
Theatre credits include: The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil with Wildcat Theatre co., Jimmy C with Theatre workshop, Factional Theatre’s In Silence and Tears for which she composed the music.
Ann has been running our Inverarary children's classes since their inception in September 2004. Ann comes from a musical family, and has played in various bands for gigs and dances, but is best known for her teaching. She has been teaching music for 15 years in Lismore, Ardchattan Primary and Barcaldine.
As a Feis registered tutor she has helped out the Oban Feis for 12 years, and gets a great kick of helping children find out that ‘they CAN do it.'
We are now running out of school youth monthly mandolin and fiddle workshops, in Strachur, supported by the Youth Music Initiative Scheme.
For mandolin tuition, FiddleFolk has joined forces with the Lanarkshire Mandolin Association. Alan Jones will travel from Hamilton for each of the Workshops. As well as playing for the Ceilidh Band Hot Toddy, Alan teaches at Glasgow Fiddle Workshop and for South Lanarkshire Council. So the youngsters will be benefiting from some of the best available tutors around!
This scheme, started in October 2009, brings together youngsters from different geographic areas, and of mixed ages and musical abilities.