Marianne Taylor's encouragement and spirited teaching of Scottish and international dancers of all levels in the Boston area and elsewhere has been tireless. She recently completed 30 years of teaching Scottish dancing for the Boston RSCDS. Marianne wrote this dance to get people on their feet and meeting each other, the Scottish way.
The music consists of three 6/8 marches. The title tune happened while playing for a Highland class studying, of all things, the Scottish Lilt (a 9/8 dance), but it fashioned itself best as a pipe-style march that's well suited to this dance. Farewell to the Creeks is popular both as a pipe tune and as music for the World War II song, "Farewell Ye Banks of Sicily." Pipe Major Sam Scott is one of the happiest 6/8's I know. I learned it from Alasdair Fraser.
Jeanetta McColl, long a teacher and leader in the Boston Branch RSCDS, wrote this dance originally as an exercise for beginners, but it turned out to be a popular dance for experienced dancers as well. It demands a bit of alertness in the reels, and so was aptly named late one Friday night in Alistair Duncan's Stow class, where Jeanetta sometimes teaches.
Gillan's Reel is a tune I came to from two completely different angles: the playing of Cape Breton fiddler Joe Cormier and Scottish fiddler Hector MacAndrew. The Kilt is My Delight is a traditional tune that caught my fancy through the playing of Alasdair Fraser in the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club's 1985 Scottish Fiddle Rally concert. Battle of the Boyne was found in the Gow Collection. [When I learned of the political meaning of this title, I asked Irish fiddler Seamus Connolly what he thought, and he said basically: it’s music, you’re not making a political statement--play the tune!]
Ms. Gillian McMullen of Cambridge
The title tune for this dance was named after a dancer in the Cambridge RSCDS class, in imitation of an 18th century tradition in which Scottish fiddlers would name tunes after ladies and gentlemen of their liking. I suppose the giveaway here is the "Ms." In true tradition, perhaps the tune would have been called "Lady Launie"! In 1986, it won the U.S. Scottish Fiddling Revival's composition competition.
Barbara Russell, our harp and bass player, wrote this flowing dance for Gillian's birthday.
Boston Scottish Fiddle Club Jig
Evelyn Murray has been a teacher and organizer in the Boston Branch RSCDS as well as in other Scottish activities for many years. In writing this dance for our record, Evelyn dedicated it "to the members of the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club, led by Ed Pearlman." The Fiddle Club now has nearly 120 members and is very active in monthly meetings, jam sessions, and concerts. Beth and Gary are currently members of the Club.
This selection of tunes is also suitable for the dance “Last of the Lairds,” or for any good jig. The music is a tour of seven of our favorite jigs. Several of them are favorites in the Fiddle Club.
This dance is a favorite in Boston not only because it is great fun, but also because the dance camp Pinewoods is close to the hearts of many dancers and musicians. Among those charmed by the cabins, ponds, and dance pavilions of Pinewoods was a Scot, John Bowie Dickson, who wrote this dance and dedicated it to Mrs. Richard K. Conant of Pinewoods Camp.
The title tune, Da Tushker, along with Millbrae and Calum Donaldson, are popular tunes written by Ronnie Cooper, the late Shetland pianist. For Calum Donaldson
I thank Freeland Barbour for the written version and Aly Bain for the performance that fixed the tune in my heart and fingers. Da Grocer was written by Tom Anderson, who has spent much of his life preserving and teaching traditional Shetland tunes, and writing many of his own. Tame Her When da Snaw Comes and Sleep Soond ida Moarnin are traditional and are available thanks to Tom Anderson's publications, Haand me Doon da Fiddle (with Pam Swing), and Ringing Strings.
No dance is complete without the final waltz. These are tunes written by Beth and me. Man on the Couch was written for Beth's fiance, AI Murray, and Lady Lepley was a farewell present for Margaret Lepley