Meet the 2019 Tutors
World Class Talent
EACH TUTOR HAS A DISTINCT STYLE TO THEIR FIDDLING...
Each of our tutors will guide you in the unique style and nuances of their particular craft. You will have the opportunity to learn from one of Scotland's finest in four half day sessions, each one spent with one of our amazing artists.
Alistair from Ayr, will look at interpreting pipe tunes on the fiddle, including embellishments, as well as featuring a couple of his own compositions. He will also cover techniques to improve slow airs.
Kevin from Shetland will guide you through the magical music from the Islands.
Gordon from Wick will delve in to modern compositions from the North of Scotland as well as improvisation and variations for performance.
Rua who hails from Nairn from will be your expert in stagecraft and performace.
Alistair McCulloch hails from Ayr in Scotland and is one of the country's best known fiddle performers, teachers and composers with many appearances on radio and television. Past winner of many fiddle championships, Alistair is fiddle instructor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has tutored many of the new generation of rising stars.
The Alistair McCulloch Trio featuring Aaron Jones of Old Blind Dogs, and former Capercaillie whistle wizard Marc Duff, regularly tours and Alistair is also a long standing member of the well known ceilidh band Coila and the Iain Cathcart Scottish Dance Band. He has also collaborated with many of Celtic music's best known musicians.
To date Alistair has performed in over twenty countries, including Australia, New Zealand, China, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Venezuela, the Middle East and throughout Europe and North America. Says the Scotsman of his work:"As the mountain of fiddle CDs rises even higher, this one can climb straight to the summit ridge".
His second tunebook the 'Alistair McCulloch Collection Volume 2' was recently published which includes a number of previously recorded pieces (fully scored arrangements available). Commissions have included a suite for William Grant & sons of Glenfiddich whisky and an orchestral score to celebrate the visit of the Olympic torch to southern Scotland.
Alistair has directed several fiddle groups and ensembles including the dynamic young group 'Innovation' and was formerly a soloist with the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra. His playing style is driving and precise, described by the Living Tradition as "fresh, fiery and full of fun". Alistair is an enthusiastic and inspirational teacher and has recently been invited to tutor at the Swannanoa Gathering Celtic Week in North Carolina, the Southern Hemisphere International School of Scottish Fiddling in New Zealand, Boston Harbor Fiddle School, the Akademia Muzyczna in Wroclaw, Poland and closer to home, Feis Rois in Ullapool. "This collection confirms him as one of the finest fiddlers and composers of his generation" Living Tradition "a second collection that showcases a master of his instrument taking its capabilities to the edge of the envelope" Scots Magazine "a tremendous first album from an outstanding musician" Folk Roots
Kevin Henderson comes from the Shetland Islands, one of Scotland´s archipelagos with one of the richest fiddle traditions in the world.
He is regarded as one of Shetlands finest fiddle players and is in hot demand playing with some of the best known groups and musicians in the folk music scene.
He began playing the fiddle at the age of 9 taking private lessons with highly renowned Shetland fiddler Trevor Hunter and at the age of 10 studied under the late great Willie Hunter, arguably Shetlands finest ever fiddler.
He is a founding member of award winning Shetland powerhouse, Fiddlers’ Bid, formed in 1991, has been a member of folk music legends, Boys of the Lough, since 2001, a member of Scottish super group Session A9 since 2004 and co-founded the Nordic Fiddlers Bloc in 2009.
In 2011 Kevin released his debut solo album, “Fin Da Laand Ageen” to great critical acclaim. The album was a celebration of Shetland´s traditional fiddle music and featured the fantastic playing of Mattias Pérez from Sweden on guitar and mandola. Such was the response to the album, and the duo´s take on presenting Shetland´s music, the duo now tour together.
Kevin has toured extensively throughout the world including the US, Canada, Japan, Australia and throughout Europe.
He has performed on TV and radio programmes all over the globe and has featured on many albums over the years.
Gordon Gunn has been described as "one of the most exciting and innovative fiddle players of the times."
Born & brought up in Wick, Caithness, Gordon was taught by the highly respected violin teacher Margaret Henderson who taught many pupils in the north of Scotland.
Gordon is also a founding member of Scottish group Session A9 who were voted best live act at the 2012 Trad Awards.
Whilst working with Session A9, Gordon also tours with Session A9's Brian McAlpine on keyboards and include a variety of musicians including Marc Clement on guitar and vocals.
Gordon has released two albums for Greentrax Records, “Shoreside” and the most recent release “Wick to Wickham” released in 2015. These were released too much critical acclaim and brought his music to a wider audience at home and abroad.
"The band is tight and the musicians literally play their hearts out. Two slow pieces -"Orkney" and "Slow Air for Margaret" moved me to tears when I was fortunate to hear Gordon Gunn and the band play live at a concert in Inverness and they are just as powerful on the recording as they were in person. Gunn has a rare gift with the fiddle and the other musicians keep right up with him. This is a beautifully balanced album; if you're a fan of the Scottish tradition, it's not to be missed." Chicago Press
Gordon is also a respected fiddle tutor, composer, session musician and producer. His compositions have been recorded by many artistes including Session A9, Ingrid Henderson, American fiddler Rodney Miller, "McGregor, Brechin & O'Headra" and Marc Duff to name but a few.
Gordon is also an NC tutor at The National Centre of Excellence in Trad Music in Plockton and is also in demand teaching fiddle & groupwork classes. He has also taught many workshops for Feisean nan Gaidheal, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Edinburgh Youth Gaitherin, Edinburgh Fiddle Festival, Feis Chataibh, Feis Alba, Feis an Earraich, Feis Nairn, Feis London, Newcastle Folk Works, Inverness Trad Music Workshops, Orkney Trad Music Project, UHI’s Applied BA Music Course and has also taught in Canada, USA and the New Zealand.
Gordon is very much in demand as a session musician and has worked on over 60 albums to date. These albums include a wide diversity of genres from Aidan O'Rourke's "Sirius”, Bruce MacGregor's "Lochness" well respected Skye musician Blair Douglas's three latest releases, gaelic singer Eilidh MacKenzie's “Bel Canto” and in November 2016, English melodeon/guitarist Tim Edey’s new album “How do you know”.
Gordon was a soloist in concertina maestro Simon Thoumire's Scots Fiddle Concerto, band member in Wendy Wetherby's "A Scots Quair", touring with Christine Hanson's "Cremation of Sam McGee" and was commissioned to write for Caithness writer George Gunn's "Atlantic Forest" project some of these compositions feature on the latest album “Wick to Wickham”.
Gordon has been in demand in various house bands for Celtic Connections including “A Scottish Songbook”, “The Clyde and the Commonwealth” and “Slainte Mhath” which was also a tv show for BBC Scotland.
Originally from Nairn, in the Scottish Highlands, fiddler Rua Macmillan is quickly making a name for himself in the world of Scottish traditional music. Having graduated with a B.A. (Honours) in Scottish Music from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2008, he has already toured extensively throughout Europe and the U.S.
In February 2009, Rua was awarded the prestigious title of BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year. The following summer he performed at Cambridge Folk Festival, the UK’s biggest folk festival.
His debut album ‘Tyro’ (CDTRAX 346) was released on the Greentrax label in May 2010 to great critical acclaim, being voted ‘Instrumental Album of the Year’ in the Fatea Awards, and picked as a ‘Top of The World’ album by Songlines Magazine.
Rua was also a founding member of the Paul McKenna Band, who were voted ‘Best Up and Coming Act’ in the 2009 MG Alba Trad. Music Awards.
‘Rua MacMillan is one of the brightest of the current generation of rising stars to emerge from the R.S.A.M.D.’s Scottish Music course – a fiddle player with already great experience of major live events, from Cambridge Folk Festival to the St. Louis Highland Games. As a stylist of Scottish fiddle he is second to none. As an arranger of traditional music in the modern idiom there is no one I’d listen to more! I await the future development of his career with great anticipation.’
Brian McNeill, founder of the Battlefield band and former head of Scottish Music at the R.S.A.M.D.