Alasdair Whyte (Gaelic)
Graham Dickie, Tim Ridley (Percussion)
Derek Fraser (Piping)
Allan Craig (Pipe Band Drumming)
Fiona McLean-Buechel (Strings), Ellen Martin (Strings)
Alan Fernie (Brass)
Libby Crabtree, Karen Anderson (Woodwind)
Dance: Jimmie Hill (Scottish Country Dancing)
Liz Alcroft (Baton Twirling)
Maureen Rutherford, Anne Holland, Robert Duncan,
Andrew Johnston and Dougie Flower
Liz has been involved in dance for over 50yrs, starting dancing at the age of 4 and qualifying as a teacher of Highland Dancing and Baton at the age of 16.
She loves all forms of dance, but baton is her passion. She coaches with her daughter in her baton club and holds Judge and Clinician qualifications with both Twirl Sport Scotland and the British Baton Twirling Association. Liz has worked with twirlers at all levels from grass root beginners to International representatives.
She is excited to be involved in our festival and is looking forward to seeing all the twirlers.
Ken started playing French Horn at school and, following several years attending Junior RSAMD, went on to study with Maurice Temple at the RSAMD (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, going on to play in the Scottish Opera Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, meanwhile teaching at the Junior Conservatoire, taking the role of Head of Brass at Douglas Academy and coaching a number of Youth Orchestras.
In 2003, Ken left the RSNO to take up the position of Senior Teacher in East Renfrewshire Music Service and continues to play regularly, adjudicate at festivals and conduct Croy Brass Band.
After graduating from Cambridge, Libby sang and recorded with The Sixteen and other leading Baroque ensembles for over 30 years. She now focuses on conducting, presenting workshops, and examining. She also teaches the choristers at St Mary’s Music School Edinburgh and runs adult courses in sight reading and musical theatre. ABRSM examining, ten years’ experience as department Head of Music, and acting and singing on stage in London’s West End, have combined to give Libby an unrivalled breadth of expertise. Libby is an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals.
...and the accompanists
Dougie is a freelance musician, teacher and Musical Director, based in Perth.
He works with various groups including Scottish Police and Community Choir, National Youth Choir of Scotland, Horsecross Arts and the Kinross Kacophony Orchestra. He also teaches piano at Morrison’s Academy and Strathallan School
Maureen Rutherford was born into a musical family in Keith, Banffshire. She started dancing at the age of 3, and commenced piano lessons at 4. Mo graduated from Aberdeen University with a Bachelor of Music (honours) in performance, specialising in piano.
Whilst in Aberdeen, she frequently appeared on Grampian TV as both a pianist and dancer, and at the same time began to feature regularly in broadcasts of Scottish music by BBC Scotland. Mo then trained as a music teacher, and worked for many years in the classroom, ultimately becoming a Principal Teacher of music at a Dundee school.
However, she realised that this was not working out, so in 2002, joined Allan Young's team of instrumental instructors in Perth and Kinross, and quotes that it was the best decision ever. Mo loves her daytime career as a piano instructor and accompanist, but has other "strings to the bow" as well.
Mo is a former director of music for the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, a role that has taken her to Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa along with her husband, accordionist Neil Copland.
She plays fiddle in Neil's band and is well respected in Scotland and abroad as a performer, teacher and adjudicator of Scottish and classical music, but in particular, has been a major influence
in raising the standard of accompaniment for Scottish fiddle music to artistic levels.
’S ann à Muile a tha an Dr Alasdair C. MacIlleBhàin. Tha e air a bhith a’ seinn sa Ghàidhlig on a bha e beag. Bidh e tric air àrd-ùrlar agus air meadhanan eile a’ seinn agus a’ cleasachd. Chaidh Bonn Òir a’ Chomuinn Ghàidhealaich a bhuileachadh air ann an 2006. Bidh e cuideachd a’ dèanadh nan òran aige fhèin agus a’ sgrìobhadh ann an cruthan eadar-dhealaichte. Tha Alasdair a’ fuireach ann an Glaschu an-ceartair far a bheil obair làn-ùine aige na rannsaiche aig Oilthigh Ghlaschu. Chaidh ainmeachadh mar Thosgaire na Gàidhlig le Riaghaltas na h-Alba ann an 2019 agus 2020.
Dr Alasdair C. Whyte belongs to Mull. He was brought up in a family of musicians and has been singing in Gaelic for as long as he can remember. He regularly sings and performs and is as equally comfortable singing unaccompanied as he is in mixed-media performances. He was awarded the Men’s Gold Medal at the Royal National Mòd in 2006 at the age of 19. He writes his own songs, as well as poetry and prose. Alasdair currently lives in Glasgow. He holds a full-time Research Fellowship at the University of Glasgow. He was named Gaelic Ambassador of the Year by the Scottish Government in 2019 and 2020.
Graham Dickie MBE
Graham studied piano, singing and conducting at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He has worked as a singer, a conductor, a musical director, a vocal coach and a repetiteur with many major companies across the UK, including Independent Opera, D’Oyly Carte Opera, English National Opera, Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera and Glasgow Grand Opera. In 1998, Graham founded and established the national Musical Theatre Course, and recently became an examiner for ABRSM. Graham is an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals and was recently honoured with the MBE for services to Musical Theatre and Education.
Tim studied the organ, percussion and church music at the Royal Academy of Music, London, later followed by PhD studies at Brunel University. On leaving the RAM in 1988, Tim toured the world as a session keyboard and percussion player, while a regular band member with the Brotherhood of Man and The Supremes. He covered many other musical bases, ranging from orchestral piano with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to playing keyboards for the first ever pantomime to be performed in Dubai, also working as a peripatetic teacher of drums, percussion and jazz piano at various schools in the south of England.
Tim was appointed to the full-time music department staff at Marlborough College in 1996, in charge of Music Technology and, later, Director of Chapel Music. Since 2009, he has been Director of Music at Glenalmond College, responsible for the day-to-day running of the Music Department, together with teaching academic Music and Music Technology and directing the Chapel and Chamber Choirs. Tim is a member of both the Main and Jazz Examiner Panels for the ABRSM.
Born in Scotland, Patricia is a graduate of Guildhall and of Stranmillis University College, Belfast and is an adjudicator member of both The British and International Federation of Festivals and the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama. A speech teacher based in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland, her pupils enter both festivals and examinations with Trinity College London, many now working professionally in all aspects of theatre throughout Great Britain and Ireland and also In television, radio and film.
Patricia has presented drama workshops to groups of all ages throughout Northern Ireland and has been tutor and co-ordinator for several organisations in County Down. Her productions have won numerous national and international drama festivals and have appeared at the Royal National Theatre and in Europe, Asia and the USA. A member of Actors Equity, she has appeared on stage, television and radio and has worked as tutor with BBC Television in Ireland, England and Scotland. Patricia has been involved in the Festival Movement since an early age as competitor, teacher, administrator and Adjudicator.
Jimmie was an English teacher with Edinburgh City Council. Originally from Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae, he is a qualified RSCDS teacher of country dancing and has been an adjudicator for over 10 years, having worked at the Inverclyde, Arran, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Dumfries Festivals. He founded the Brighton Branch of the RSCDS and on returning to live in Edinburgh has taught in Edinburgh, Falkirk, and Dunfermline. He has taught at workshops and summer schools in Scotland, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and the USA. He has been closely involved with the work of the RSCDS and TAS, the teachers’ association for Scottish country dance teachers. Recently, he produced a new book for the teaching of country dancing in Scottish primary schools - Start Dancing - an attempt to kick-start dance teaching after lockdown. He is a CPD provider for schoolteachers. Having learned to dance in school himself, he is committed to encouraging all Scottish schools to include it in the curriculum.
A native of Dumfries, Derek was a pupil of Walter Cowan and Tom Speirs. He competed successfully on the professional solo piping circuit in the 1970s and 1980s when he won many prizes, including the Silver Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering in 1989. He is currently a committee member of the Solo Piping Judges’ Association and judges at solo piping competitions throughout the UK. He is also the Convener of the Northern Meeting and the Honorary Secretary of the Piobaireachd Society.
Allan is currently the Pipe Band Drumming and Drum kit Music Instructor for Skye, Lochalsh and Lochaber schools. He has over 40 years of experience teaching and playing in pipe bands and ceilidh bands and other types of bands musical genres; including rock, pop and jazz and has also taught students drumming and percussion at Feis Lochabir Feis Phàislig, Feis Bharraigh and Fèis Tìr an Eòrna on a regular basis over the years. Allan has been the lead Drumming Instructor for the RSPBA Summer School in Glasgow for the past nine years is a full-time RSPBA Drumming Adjudicator and PDQB Assessor, holding the highest levels of music certification within the RSPBA.
Before moving to his current teaching position in the Highlands, Allan was Leading Drummer of the Grade One Pipe Band: Lomond & Clyde; where he won many band and drumming titles; including two World Drumming titles as Leading Drummer. He has been Lead Drummer at the Grade One bands of 100 Pipers Whisky and the Glasgow Skye pipe band, winning many band and drumming titles. Allan also had an illustrious band solo career where he has won many awards as a solo player at juvenile and adult level and making the final of the World Solo Drumming on many occasions where he obtained a top three position in the final.
Liz has been involved in dance for over 50yrs, starting dancing at the age of 4 and qualifying as a teacher of Highland Dancing and Baton at the age of 16. She loves all forms of dance, but baton is her passion. She coaches with her daughter in her baton club and holds Judge and Clinician qualifications with both Twirl Sport Scotland and the British Baton Twirling Association. Liz has worked with twirlers at all levels from grass root beginners to International representatives. She is excited to be involved in our festival and is looking forward to seeing all the twirlers again.
A former Lead Tutor for Strings at Trinity Laban Junior Conservatoire, Fiona is currently a Lecturer in violin for the RCS Junior Department and for RCS Dumfries House Project. She has a passion for performance and empowering others to get the most out of their music making. She combines a busy career as a performer and educator; writing creative and collaborative national and international performance projects & delivering Masterclasses and Professional Development sessions for UK and International Students and Teachers.
Fiona is a founder member of National Youth Orchestra Scotland and an alumnus of Junior RSAMD and St Mary's Music School, Edinburgh. On leaving St Mary's, she trained at the Royal Scottish Academy in Glasgow and the Royal Academy of Music in London. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician In the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall and throughout Europe, Russia and the Ukraine.
Whilst a specialist tutor of violin at the Junior Guildhall School of Music, she became a proactive member of the school’s external examination and development team. She also lectured and was a professor at Colchester Institute, Goldsmith’s College, visiting tutor for National Children’s Orchestra and Head of Strings for London Borough of Bexley.
In 2005 Fiona co-founded and was course director for a collaborative venture with the Dartington International Summer School, the Dartington Plus Summer Youth Strings Programme. She subsequently founded and is Creative Director of SouthWest Camerata and the registered charity JUTPMUSIC whose work was nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society for Education and a cover story for ESTA. Her ensembles are frequent performers at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and make regular concert appearances across the UK. She has been a visiting professor of violin at Dartington College and Cardiff University, lectured for the European String teachers Association, Cardiff University, South West Sound and U3A. Her string quartet are recording artists featuring regularly in shows for BBC TV.
Having practised Mindfulness for most of her professional life, Fiona has gained accreditation from the Youth Mindfulness Kids Training Programme and has developed a series of workshops and seminars for Musical Mindfulness, delivering seminars on Mindfulness for Performers and Educators on behalf of the British and International Federation of Festivals at Music EXPO 2016, and the Federation Conference in Edinburgh also at Cardiff University, Trinity Laban Junior Conservatoire, Musicians Union, IAPS, and the Chipping Norton Festival.
Fiona is an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals.
Alan was born and brought up in the Scots mining village of Newtongrange, where he learned to play the trombone both at school and with the local brass band. After studying music in Glasgow and London, he has worked extensively as a teacher and conductor throughout the UK and beyond. His first compositions and arrangements were written whilst he was still a student, and his music is now performed, published and recorded all over the world. In 2009, he received “The President’s Award" from the Scottish Brass Band Association, for services to banding, and, in 2018, was appointed musical director of the National Children's Band of Scotland. He now lives in the lovely Scottish Borders, finding time to teach, write, perform, judge and conduct bands at all levels.
Ellen Martin began her career in Birmingham where she taught cello for the Birmingham Music Service and at the Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department, also studying with the British Suzuki Music Association at this time. She now runs the Ayr Suzuki Cello Group and is the founding teacher of the award-winning string project in East Ayrshire, taking her groups to many conferences and events including a performance with James Macmillan in the House of Lords. She also teaches for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is a director of the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra. Ellen regularly teaches and delivers training sessions at conferences and workshops, worldwide.
After graduating from Cambridge, Libby sang and recorded with The Sixteen and other leading Baroque ensembles for over 30 years. She now focuses on conducting, presenting workshops, and examining, also teaching the choristers at St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh and running adult courses in sight reading and musical theatre. Acting and singing on stage in London’s West End, examining for ABRSM and being an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals have combined to give Libby an unrivalled breadth of expertise.
Karen studied clarinet with Lewis Morrison and John Cushing at the RSAMD, winning the Glasgow Society of Musicians Prize for Woodwind in 1990. She went on to freelance extensively in Scotland and the North of England. Karen is currently Principal Music Instructor for the North Highlands, clarinet tutor for the Highland Regional Youth Orchestra and saxophone tutor for the Highland Youth Big Band, as well as being an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals and an ABRSM examiner.
Mo was very much involved in Scottish traditional music from a very young age, playing both fiddle and piano in her dad’s bands. She went on to study music at Aberdeen University, graduating with honours in piano performance.
Mo was Music Director for the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society for 10 years and has been our official SCD accompanist for many years, as well as adjudicating some of our traditional music classes.
Andrew has performed as a chamber musician and soloist in Britain and abroad, including concerto performances of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no. 1, Grieg Piano Concerto and Beethoven Piano Concerto in Kiev, Ukraine. Andrew has performed with many eminent ensembles, including the Edinburgh Quartet, Goldsmith's Symphony Orchestra and the Calton Consort. He also works regularly with soprano Colleen Nicoll, tenor David Douglas and violist Jessica Beeston. He is accompanist and joint Musical Director for Pitlochry Choral Society, teaches at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Junior Department, Kilgraston School, Glenalmond College and Strathallan School.
Dougie is a freelance musician, teacher and Musical Director, based in Perth. He works with various groups including Scottish Police and Community Choir, National Youth Choir of Scotland, Horsecross Arts and the Kinross Kacophony Orchestra. He also teaches piano at Morrison’s Academy and Strathallan School.
Anne has recently retired from a music teaching career spanning over 40 years, the latter half spent at Strathallan School where, in addition to teaching piano, she regularly accompanied pupils in concerts and exams. Anne has been very involved in many local music groups as participant, accompanist and conductor.
Robert grew up in Aberdeenshire. He studied piano and organ at the Royal College of Music in London. However, Robert's first love was accompaniment and he won the accompanist's prize in his final year at the RCM. Robert teaches the piano at George Heriot's School in Edinburgh and at Strathallan. He has been the accompanist for Tayside Opera since 2011. Robert plays for recitals and choral concerts all over Scotland enjoying the teamwork and the supportive role of the accompanist.