The 267-year old violin belonged to Burns’ dance teacher, and will be played at Alloway Music Evening
Ayr, Scotland, September 2019 – Scotia Arts Ltd, a Troon-based events company, introduces the inaugural Land o’ Burns Fiddle Weekend. Launching on 27 – 29th September 2019, the festival aims to support, sustain and encourage Scottish fiddle music. Scotia Arts has vast musical event organisation experience involving local, national and international musicians. Company Director, Blair Parham, who is also the conductor and musical director of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra, organises the annual Stirling Bridge International Arts Festival, a week-long event in July, which brings international musicians to Scotland to enjoy a combination of performance and travel.
The Ayrshire region is bursting with music lovers, musicians, open mic nights and weekly jam sessions, however, Scotia Arts recognises the desire for more fiddle workshops and concerts. The Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra is evidence for the number of fiddle-lovers in the area, and the Land o’ Burns Fiddle Weekend is designed to offer a weekend of fiddle music.
On Saturday 28th September 2019, there will be an intimate concert at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum open for the public, where the sought-after fiddle tutors will be showcasing their skills. The museum has generously granted special permission for the Gregg Violin to be used on this evening; the 267-year-old violin which belonged to Robert Burns’ dance teacher, William Gregg. Burns was a keen and capable fiddler himself, so he would have undoubtedly played on the famous Gregg Violin. The baroque violin appears in Visit Scotland’s e-book, The History of Scotland in 25 Objects.
When Burns was a teenager, he started taking dance lessons. He had hoped dancing would help to ‘give my manners a brush’, but instead it helped the young poet to rebel against his father, who did not approve of such corrupt behaviour.
Over the last 200 years, the violin is said to have remained within the Gregg family. However, it deteriorated over time. In 1995, the violin was restored and repaired by Wallace Galbraith, of the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra.
For many years, the Gregg Violin was taken on international tours by the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra and is now stored at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, under the care of The National Trust for Scotland. To see and hear this magnificent instrument, which dates back to 1750, a stone’s throw from Burns Cottage will be something to remember! Alongside our talented tutors, we have special guest Seán Gray, renowned Scottish guitarist, promising to make this concert a very special evening.
Saturday 28th September 2019: Alloway – Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. You can purchase tickets here.