The Rally at the 1983 Mod (SFO Podcast)

This edition of the podcast focuses on a television performance from 1983.

The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra has its roots in fiddlers’ rallies, so it is fitting that we should highlight a concert which featured a sizeable proportion of SFO members.

This 40-minute recording was originally broadcast live on BBC 1 television at 10pm on 08 October 1983.

The performance includes jigs, reels, marches, a Strathspey, polkas and Highland Schottisches, as well as 3 songs by Mary Sandeman,

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SFO Podcast – a night in Inverurie

This podcast features snippets from the SFO’s concert at Inverurie Town Hall in September 2019.

Podcast 2 – The SFO at Inverurie – September 2019

The following music and song is featured:

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What 5 words about the SFO?

You may have heard of the what3words project or app.

Every 3m square in the world has been given a unique combination of three words: a what3words address.

The idea is that you can find, share and navigate to precise locations anywhere in the world using just 3 words.

Greetings from nosedive.bungalows.scam or thereabouts.

The SFO is putting some time and energy into identifying groups of 5 words.

This is part of a branding analysis exercise.

One side of this is finding 5 adjectives or words that best describe the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra’s ideal customer.

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Scottish Fiddle Orchestra Podcast

Press ‘Play’ to listen:

Podcast 1 – Half-time chat at Perth 2020 and Hogmanay Show 1981

NOTE: The above audio is in mp3 format and is also downloadable, if you wish to listen at a time when you may not have a reliable internet connection. Other devices are available but, on a PC, for example, if you right-click on the 3 vertical dots at the right side of the audio player, the drop-down menu should offer the option to “Save as…”

In this Podcast, we look back to the recent past and the distant past in SFO terms.

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How it all began for the SFO in Aberdeen in 1980

There is a symmetry to the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra’s 40th anniversary.

The SFO has existed for as long in the 21st century as it has in the 20th century.

How did it all begin?

The inaugural concert of the SFO was held in the Music Hall on Aberdeen’s Union Street on 22 March 1980.

The poster for the SFO’s first ever concert – in Aberdeen in March 1980.

Much has changed in 40 years but, given that some traditional music is several hundred years old, it’s little surprise that much has stayed the same.

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Blair speaks about the SFO 2020 Tour rescheduling

Scottish Fiddle Orchestra Conductor, Blair Parham, has delivered a video message to set out the reasoning behind what was, in the end, an inevitable postponement of the 40th Anniversary Tour to the USA and Canada from 28 March 2020 to 08 April 2020.

Watch the following video for details or read a full transcript of the text of what Blair says, set out below the video.

Hi there.

Blair here – Conductor of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra.

Some bad news, I’m afraid, in that the tour to North America – that we were so looking forward to coming on – has had to be rescheduled.

We’re not cancelling; we’re postponing it for the time being.

As I’m sure you’ll agree, the situation with the coronavirus has hit everyone globally in many different ways and unfortunately our tour has had to be rescheduled.

We had been reviewing the situation for the past few weeks very closely, looking at all the eventualities and came to the decision several days ago that actually it would be best if we postpone it. Obviously, in the last couple of days or so, that decision has been made for us, anyway, with the travel bans that have been put in place.

We’re really sorry.

I’m sure you understand the reasons why we’ve taken this decision but we’re looking forward to coming next year – April and March 2021.

So, we’re visiting North Eastern United States and Eastern Canada – as I say, the end of March into April 2021.

We’re really sorry not to see you this year, on our 40th anniversary celebrations, but hope to see you when we turn 41.

Stay safe. Take care.

Bye for now.

Postponement of The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra North American Tour 2020

A message from SFO Chairman, Bob Diament.

The SFO Board and our Promoters, Culture Path, jointly took the difficult decision to postpone our planned North American Tour at the end of last week.

After weeks of increasing uncertainty and anxiety generated by the worldwide onslaught of the Corona virus, we thought that the risk to our players, their families, our guest musicians and our audiences was too high.

The subsequent implementation of an international travel ban from the UK would have made the Tour impossible. However, our decision had already been made on the grounds of safety.

Culture Path have started to work on rescheduling our concerts in 2021.

We will be coming – just not this year.

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SFO Concert analysed by half-time pundits

Who wants to follow in the footsteps of such renowned half-time pundits as Alan Hansen, Graeme Souness and Ron Manager?

Our own Catriona MacLean, Willie Kidd and Jamie Mason subjected themselves to interrogation by SFO Chairman, Bob ‘Lineker’ Diament, during half time at our Perth concert (22 February 2020), the whole of which was streamed live on YouTube.

Rising above periodic heckling from the PA system, these brave souls touched on subjects as diverse as

  • cymbals,
  • nepotism in the SFO,
  • (appropriately) Monty Python, and
  • (as confusingly as possible) the SFO’s forthcoming North America Tour.

They packed a lot of information – some of
it relevant – into 10 minutes and 43 seconds of chat.

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SFO Just Giving Appeal

The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra 40th Anniversary North American Tour 2020

(NOTE that this post is superceded by the fact that the SFO’s Tour to North America in 2020 has had to be postponed in March 2020)

The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2020.

As tradition bearers for Scottish music we will be touring the USA and Canada. Leaving from Edinburgh on 28th March we will perform at concert halls in New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Quebec.

The SFO is a registered charity, run entirely by volunteers.

This tour will feature not only fiddles, but flutes, cellos, and our very own piper.

With a touring party of 50 musicians, we will be ambassadors for Scotland.

We hope to foster strong social and cultural links, widening access to traditional Scottish music, and promoting one of Scotland’s most recognisable cultural exports.

We will present 7 concerts in a 12-day period.

In addition, we plan to lead workshops with young local musicians.

We will be inviting members of local communities with physical, mental or behavioural constraints to attend our rehearsals. Our aim is to help to expand access to music for those who find it difficult to attend formal concerts.

At each concert location, a local pipe band will join us on stage to help us perform our signature Orchestra and Pipes showpiece arrangements, such as Rose of Galloway and Highland Cathedral.

We would really appreciate your donations towards our travel costs.

We have set up an SFO Just Giving page, for that purpose.

In return for donations, we are delighted to offer the following rewards:

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Songs of Scotland with the SFO

Scottish Fiddle Orchestra concerts include fiddle music. But we have a host of other instruments besides violins.

Cellos, Double Basses, Flutes, Accordion, Percussion, Piano – sometimes Organ too – and, last but not least, the Human Voice.

At the foot of this article, you will find a video clip of the SFO accompanying one of our good friends and regular singing guests, Colette Ruddy.

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