Rose of Galloway (CD)

Rose of Galloway CD - The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra

This CD was released in 2011 in tribute to John M. Mason, MBE (1940 – 2011), founder and musical director of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra until his death on 22 January 2011.

See below for a full track listing.

The price of the CD is £8, and postage and packaging is a further £2 on top of that.

John Mason’s vision and legacy

Music in general – and Scottish music, in particular – had been the life-long interest of this lawyer from Troon in Ayrshire, whose fiddling stemmed from his Orcadian roots, followed by his later upbringing in Wigtownshire.

The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra is largely John’s creation.

He was its director of music and principal conductor from the first performance in 1980 right up until his death.

With few exceptions, the SFO’s orchestral arrangements, both instrumental and vocal, have been penned by John and, at the time of his death, these amounted to approaching 500 items.

He maintained that he could wallpaper his house with all the handwritten parts but felt it would be a bit boring.

In 1987, John’s efforts both in music and in the raising of charity monies through music were recognised in his being awarded the MBE by Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace: a day he never forgot.

It is generally accepted in Scottish musical circles that John has been very much responsible for the “popularising” of Scottish fiddle music. Over his time at the helm of the SFO, he saw the change in teaching attitudes towards traditional music – from being regarded as the “poor relation” in violin teaching to the vibrant force “fiddle” music presently enjoys.

Background to the Rose of Galloway CD

In the summer of 2010, John Mason envisaged recording a live performance of the orchestra in its 30th anniversary year. This CD is the realisation of his wish, recorded at DG One in Dumfries and Perth Concert Hall in October and December 2010, respectively. Battling through illness, John conducted part of the Dumfries concert: this was the last time John took up the baton. Indeed, the title, and final, track of this recording was the last piece John conducted.

Track listing

  1. Fiddlers to the Fore
  2. Highland Barn Dance: Lord Macdonald of Macdonald (Kinloch Lodge) / Captain Horne
  3. A Gordon for Me (Dennis Haggerty, Tenor)
  4. La Russe Reels: La Russe / Sean Trews / Lottie and Chattie (Bridgend Bar, Oban) / The girl I left behind me
  5. Take it to the Hills (of Galloway) (Soloist: June Nelson)
  6. Scott Skinner’s Compliments to Dr MacDonald Set:
    March: Compliments to Dr MacDonald
    Strathspey: The Laird of DrumBlair
    Reel: Davie Work
  7. Lonely Scapa Flow (Colette Ruddy, Mezzo Soprano)
  8. The Fairy Nuff Polka
  9. Carol of the Bagpipers
  10. Petronella (Reels): Original / Neivie Neivie Nick Nack / Come let us dance and sing / Wee Jamie / French Air / Brenda’s Box
  11. Down in the Glen (Dennis Haggerty, Tenor)
  12. Salute to the Cornkisters: McFarlane o’ the Sproats o’ Burnieboosle / The Barnyards o’ Delgaty / Mormond Braes / The Bonnie Lass o’ Fyvie / The Muckin’ o’ Geordie’s Byre
  13. Silent Strings (Duettists: Yla Steven and Stewart McCreath)
  14. The Shetlander (Duettists: June Nelson and Caroline Winn)
  15. Will Ye No’ Come Back Again (Colette Ruddy, Mezzo Soprano)
  16. The Irish Washerwoman (Jigs): Original / The Rakes of Kildare / Sorry to Part / The Rollicking Irishman
  17. Rose of Galloway