Enroute to the Doric Festival concert in Rothienorman I had my first ‘High Tea’ at Kintore Arms, Inverurie- High Tea= main course (scampi, neeps, chips, green beans, vegg), toast, and then fancies with tea. Quite the ‘tightner!’ The Doric festival featured bothy ballads, fiddle tunes and Doric verse.
The trip to Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven is a trip I will never forget. The ruins tower over the cliffs that lead to the sea. Breathtaking. It was a wonderful day with class-mates, in awe of the beauty of the castle and the power of the sea.
Next was a trip to the Ellon Accordion and Fiddle club. Performers from age 10 to 80s. My rendition of Ashoken Farewell was complimented throughout the night and onstage by the featured musician- Iain MacPhail, whose band was foot stomping awesome!
This weekend was the Perth All Scots Accordion and Fiddle Festival. Perth is a beautiful city with quite different architecture from Aberdeen. Looking forward to heading back there to explore more sometime.
I was so happy to see all the fiddlers, the junior, senior and under 12 — 29 competitors in all. So I was able to see many renditions of march, strathspey and reel sets. When I went to the Kirriemuir Festival there was only one fiddler- I was wondering what that meant for the status of fiddlers but this festival in Perth was a better look at the scene. Actually, the one fiddler from Kirriemuir ended up winning the Senior Solo Championship in Perth! The judge for the fiddlers was Marie Fielding- a well known musician, composer and fiddler. Got to see her perform at a session and concert that evening. She was inspiration during the fiddle auditions – stressing the importance of the fiddler and traditional music.
The accordion and band championships were also amazing- blazing talent!! It was said that the senior accordionists were of the highest quality ever, and after the six finalists had played for the second time the judges went away to deliberate and when we left an hour later, they still had not produced a result! Of course, had to have a few ‘tightners’ – breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs, tomatoes and toast. Lunch ‘denner’ was minestrone and dinner, ‘supper,’ was tasty spaghetti and meatballs at an Italian restaurant!
I have band rehearsal tonight with ‘Oval is Back,’ a four piece band with fellow University students. We have a charity performance coming up next week. And I’ve had my first performance with Denis and the Menace- traditional and local popular music trio at Denmore residential home a couple weeks ago. As Denis reminds me, I will have to be on my toes for future performances as the other 2 members are regularly dragged out in mid-performance to move their cars (and occasionally get locked out leaving the third member to run the show). Between all that, yes I am keeping up with my classes- essays, research, keeping busy and loving it!
And a quote from Denis of things to come: “Natalie has still quite a bit to go to becoming an Aiberdeen quine. She still has to experience real haggis, neeps and tatties, the malt whisky and the eightsome reel, and she disna even ken fit first-fittin’ or a reid puddin’ supper is!”