10 Days Left!

Gather your Gillies. Smooth your sashes. Prepare your kilt pins.

The New Year’s ball is just a few short days away. Be sure to register in advance to let us know you’re coming. Or just show up ready to dance and you can pay at the door.

We’ll see you on January 21 at the Baker Center in St. Charles!

October 2016 Updates

Greetings to all!

Hope you are putting, or plan to put, Scottish Country Dancing in your life this Fall. Between our Loch Mich and Silk&Thistle classes, you should have plenty to choose from and keep your life busy.

You won’t want to miss the Silk and Thistle Halloween Party on 10/25, nor the special Star Trek 50th Anniversary Loch Mich evening on 11/30.

Remember about our SAGM and Fall Dance on 11/12 at Fermilab. Hope to see you there.

Regional events you may be interested in:

Milwaukee Scottish Dancers Halloween Dance
October 29, 2016, 2 pm
New Berlin, Wisconsin
$10.00 admission with potluck following the dance.
Address and program available here: http://milwaukeescd.org/program16-10.html
RSCDS Twin Cities Scottish Country Dance Workshop
November 18-20, 2016
With guest instructor Ron Wallace and live music by Ken Steffenson (fiddle) and friends
The weekend will feature a social dance on Friday night, Workshop classes all day Saturday and on Sunday morning, and a potluck party on Saturday night
More information and registration details, costs on http://rscds-twincities.org/events.html
See you soon!
Charles and your Chicago Branch Committee of Management

Chat with a Scottish Dancer

View More: http://studiostarling.pass.us/mcdaniel-canfield

Chicago’s very own Tim Macdonald showed off his fiddling prowess at the Glenfiddich Piping and Fiddle Championships in Scotland last month. We caught up with him after his triumphant return at the Fall Dance to find out what it was like playing on the international stage.

How was it performing at such a prestigious competition?

Delightful, of course! Naturally it was an honor to be chosen, and there was a real ambiance to it that I haven’t found in America—there’s the factor of bringing the music back to Scotland where it all began, but the venue itself was incredible. Perthshire was the birthplace of many of the Scottish fiddling greats, including Niel and Nathaniel Gow, and Robert Mackintosh, and Blair Castle (where the competition was) is where Niel worked for many years. His portrait hung on the wall right next to where I played. And it wasn’t just the setting of course—the event brought together eleven top-notch fiddlers, half a dozen premiere accompanists, and hundreds of appreciative audience members, and it was really satisfying to get to meet other lovers of Scottish music.

How do you think you did?

No performance is perfect, but overall I was very pleased with how Jeremy and I played.

The word through the grapevine is that your set was the most popular. How did the audience react?

The audience had been a little bit subdued throughout the competition (there was even a sign prohibiting foot-tapping) but they were pretty enthusiastic after we played. Fiddle music—folk music—is fundamentally music for everyone, not some elite sect of concert-goers, so I was really glad that our playing helped open them up. And I was thrilled to have many different people come talk to me after the competition and say how much they enjoyed the performance and that they’d never heard music like that before.

What was your favorite part of visiting Scotland?

So many things to choose from! I’d have to say it was meeting so many wonderful people, from those at the Glenfiddich to the six musicologists I got to have a conversation with to the dozens of people I got to talk to and play with at jam sessions.

What is your next goal as a musician?

I have some interesting composition projects coming up, but I think the most exciting challenge I have coming up soon is to help the BBE stage The Gentle Shepherd, Scotland’s first opera.

And where is the link to you performing on the BBC website?

The fiddling starts at 1:18:08. Tim starts at 1:35:40

Just for fun, enjoy this video of Tim on the pocket fiddle:

Photo courtesy of Studio Starling

Who Wants to Speak Gàdhlig?

gaelic_1_front

Ceud mìle fàilte

This is a fun toy that a few of us discovered a while back. You can head to LearnGaelic to start speaking Scottish Gaelic (or Gàdhlig) with free, interactive, online lessons.

The intro lessons include audio and illustrations, starting with food, physical descriptions, and (of course) the weather. Over 100 words for rain, apparently. It’ll also help if you ever visit the Outer Hebrides and want to ask a native whether the forecast is for a drizzle or monsoon.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/Lktt_DlpsJA?rel=0

Once you get the basics down, the site has options for using and watching Gaelic and building up your grammar skills. Before you know it, balls will be talked through all in Gàdhlig, so get going with those lessons!

Sealbh math dhuit!