Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School Redux
- Trad Celtic
Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School celebrates its 16th and alas final year on Thompson Island, 12-18 August. Since its foundation in 2003, BHSFS has drawn to the island many world-renowned fiddlers in the Scottish and Cape Breton traditions, along with well-known proponents of other instruments.
This year’s illustrious faculty includes fiddler Pete Clark of Perthshire, Scotland, great proponent of the music of Niel Gow and other 18 th and 19 th century figures in the Scottish musical heritage; Troy MacGillivray of Lanark, Nova Scotia, renowned fiddler, pianist, and step-dancer in the Cape Breton tradition, also a key figure in a long family line of musicians who have preserved their Gaelic roots in Nova Scotia; Anne Hooper of Quincy, Mass., classically trained violinist with a passion for Scottish fiddling, who has also served for several years as Music Director of BHSFS; Andy Imbrie of Berkeley, California, accomplished Scottish pianist and accompanist of many of our contemporary great fiddlers, also much loved teacher of Scottish piano accompaniment; Eamon Sefton of Boston, much sought-after Celtic guitarist who cultivated much of his musical talent at BHSFS and who performs regularly in Boston area.
The campers enjoy fiddle, piano, and guitar classes during the day and creative happenings in the evenings, which include dancing to their own ad hoc bands, especially on Band Night and on the final Ceilidh Night (Scottish talent show and dance party). At spontaneous moments during day and evening, they may be heard individually or in clusters, playing new or favorite tunes.
Anne Hooper, a two-time winner of the U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship, has performed frequently for dance events of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society since her introduction to Scottish country dancing in 1984. Anne has served as Music Director of several RSCDS Boston Branch concerts and at Pinewoods Camp. She has performed with the dance band Tullochgorum for many years, in both the U.S. and Scotland. In her other guise as a classical violinist, Anne is an active member of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and the Boston Philharmonic. She teaches violin and Scottish Fiddle at the Rivers School Conservatory in Weston and at the New School of Music in Cambridge. As well as teaching at BHSFS for many years, Anne also serves as Music Director.
Pete Clark, performer, composer and teacher, lives in highland Perthshire, where he has many private students, coaches an enthusiastic weekly fiddle group in Dunkeld, and runs his own fiddle courses at the Birnam Institute. For 15 years Pete was a tutor in the Scottish music degree course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. Born and raised in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, Pete is now based in Perthshire not far from the birthplaces of two significant historical figures in traditional Scottish music, Niel Gow and Robert MacIntosh. He has performed and recorded with many notable musicians including Dougie MacLean, Rod Paterson, and John Watt. In recent years he has presented workshops and master classes at Edinburgh’s annual fiddle festival, Stirling University Summer School, Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Common Ground Scotland, and fiddle schools throughout Scotland and beyond. He has twice been on the adjudication panel at the annual Glenfiddich fiddle competition at Blair Castle.
Raised in Lanark, Nova Scotia, Troy MacGillivray’s musical prowess can be attributed to an especially rare combination of commitment and family tradition. By the age of six, Troy was already impressing audiences with his step dancing skills. By 13 he was teaching piano at the renowned Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in St. Anne’s, Cape Breton. He has completed grade seven of the Toronto Conservatory of Music for classical piano, has spent four years in a stringed orchestra and has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music from St. Francis Xavier University. From repeat appearances at Scotland’s Celtic Connections Festival to a tour in British Columbia to appearing at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Championships to promotional tours in Toronto, Ottawa, Boston and Chicago, Troy continues to impress and amaze audiences around with world with his incredible array of talent. In between his busy touring scheduled, he also managed to complete the Applied Music Technology program at McKenzie College.
Andy Imbrie is an accomplished Scottish pianist and has accompanied many of today’s leading Celtic fiddle talents, including Deby Benton Grosjean, Judi Nicolson, Calum MacKinnon, Ryan McKasson, Hanneke Cassel, and David Knight. He leads the Scottish dance band Reel of Seven, which has recently released its third CD,Gotta Dance. Its first two CDs,Dance for Joy (2009) and Dance for Joy Encore! (2012), were released to wide acclaim. Andy appears on six other CDs for dancing and listening. Andy began Scottish Country Dancing in Berkeley in 1977, earning his preliminary pass teacher’s certificate in 1984. He began studying classical piano as a child, and started playing for Scottish Country Dancing in 1984 with the encouragement of Kim McGarrity and Barbara McOwen. He plays regularly for dances throughout the US and Canada, and has been on music staff for several tours, including two to New Zealand and one to Scotland, Orkney, and the Shetland Islands. He has also been on staff at TAC Summer School and Pinewoods and had the honor of teaching piano accompaniment at the Valley of the Moon Scottish fiddling school for several years.
Eamon Sefton is a sought-after Celtic-style guitarist from the Boston area. His percussive rhythm and clever use of harmony have made him an ideal guitarist for many traditional musicians around Boston. He cultivated much of his talent at the Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School, where he has become our regular guitar teacher. He studied at Berklee College of Music, greatly furthering his understanding of harmony and guitar technique. Most recently, Eamon has been performing with his bands Cat and the Moon, Fresh Haggis and the Bywater Band at places like Club Passim, the Beat Hotel, the Burren, and on WGBH’s A Celtic Sojourn.