Society’s 50 years on the fiddle

From the moment Billy Anderson opened the Angus Strathspey & Reel Society's 49th Annual Concert, the Webster Memorial Theatre was engulfed with traditional Scottish music and song.  Billy introduced the leader, Lindsay Downie followed by Conductor, Frank Robb and the orchestra commenced the evening with a lively two step followed by several well known marches, jigs and reels. 'The Angus orchestra was joined by several Fiddlers and bass fiddles from all parts of Scotland and enhancing the sound was Joan Blue on the piano.'As well as the great banter from Billy, it was with great delight Billy introduced his band 'Albany' and we were toe-tapping all the way.   The sound was phenomenal.   Ian Anderson was on rhythm guitar, on drums was Kenny Downie and on piano was Alan Kitchen who gave a great performance of Scott Joplin's The Entertainer.   During the second half of the show Alan joined Billy in some duets, both on accordions. 'The guest singer for the evening was Maggie Findlay who never fails to delight an a

From the moment Billy Anderson opened the Angus Strathspey & Reel Society's 49th Annual Concert, the Webster Memorial Theatre was engulfed with traditional Scottish music and song. Billy introduced the leader, Lindsay Downie followed by Conductor, Frank Robb and the orchestra commenced the evening with a lively two step followed by several well known marches, jigs and reels. 'The Angus orchestra was joined by several Fiddlers and bass fiddles from all parts of Scotland and enhancing the sound was Joan Blue on the piano.'As well as the great banter from Billy, it was with great delight Billy introduced his band 'Albany' and we were toe-tapping all the way. The sound was phenomenal. Ian Anderson was on rhythm guitar, on drums was Kenny Downie and on piano was Alan Kitchen who gave a great performance of Scott Joplin's The Entertainer. During the second half of the show Alan joined Billy in some duets, both on accordions. 'The guest singer for the evening was Maggie Findlay who never fails to delight an a

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AN ANGUS Scottish traditional music group will be celebrating their golden anniversary at this year’s Fiddlers’ Rally.

The Angus Strathspey and Reel Society will mark 50 years of performing Scottish music at their annual Fiddlers’ Rally in the Webster Memorial Theatre on Saturday, April 20.

The show will be compered by Robert Lovie, a well known entertainer from Fyvie and guest artists will include accordionist Wayne Robertson and violinist Claire Telford and concert pianist Joan Blue will accompany the orchestra.

Curtains are up at 7.30 p.m. and tickets are available from the Box Office on 01241 435800 priced at £10.

The group has evolved from the eight founding members in 1963 to a cadre of 30 regular players who meet in St Andrew’s Parish Church, Kirriemuir, every Monday.

Of the original eight players, Bob Spalding, the current president, is still playing and they have counted among their ranks a host of well-known and skilled fiddlers who have played on a national stage or earned names as ‘unforgettable characters’.

In the group’s long history there have only been two conductors in 50 years, Angus Cameron who founded the society and who carried the baton for 38 years and Frank Robb who took over in 1990.

The current band leader is Lindsay Downie who also doubles as festival secretary and they are one of the few orchestras adhering to tradition by allowing only stringed instruments and excluding accordions.

Notable concerts in the society’s past have included broadcasts with the BBC and Grampian Television on programmes such as ‘Mostly Magnus’ in 1971 and a concert at Blair Castle with Yehudi Menuhin and Hector McAndrew in 1973.

They have also appeared frequently on music programmes by Radio Clyde and Radio Forth.

The Angus Strathspey and Reel Society are always looking for new members, anyone interested in finding out more can contact Frank Robb on 01307 4641162.

For more information on the history of the society or upcoming events visit www.asrs.org.uk