Aberdeen City Music School (ACMS) is a national specialist centre of excellence
of the highest quality serving the whole of Scotland. ACMS caters for young
people with well above average musical ability, and offers a specialist music
curriculum within the comprehensive secondary setting of Dyce Academy. This
exciting music school has been made possible as a result of funding from the
City Music School
Tel: 01224 774773
Aberdeen Music Centre
Main Contact - Music Co-ordinator
Tel: 01224 717524
Aims to provide the opportunity for young people to play together
in bands, orchestras etc in addition to the facilities offered in schools
Guitarist & Composer
Until late 2004, no one on the
Scottish folk music scene had ever heard of Bob Knight, not even in his
native Aberdeen. Bob had spent his entire musical career playing in professional
and semi-professional bands in Aberdeen, but it was only when he stopped playing
regularly in 2001, and after a gap of two years, that he started writing songs
in late 2003 using his Doric mother tongue.
As Bob explained, "I'd been
playing in bands for over thirty years, and due to the type of material being
performed, had always sang in an American accent. When I started writing my own
songs, I was determined right from the outset, before writing even one single
word, that this time I would be singing in my own voice." Between
September 2003, and August 2004, Bob wrote around twenty songs. Not quite sure
how these would be accepted in the folk scene, he started going to the
occasional pub folk session, then to Aberdeen Folk Club, to perform, and gauge
the audience reaction to his songs. "Initially I was worried that they might
think I was just some chancer, but happily, right from the word go, I've
received nothing but help, and encouragement from everyone I've met."
While Bob has always had an
interest in folk music, even buying the occasional album by the likes of Planxty,
The Bothy Band, and Silly Wizard, he readily admits to there being large gaps in
his knowledge of the folk scene. "At first I thought that was a
disadvantage, but eventually I realised that what it really meant was that I
hadn't been influenced by anybody else. If you come to see me, that's what
you'll get - me! I haven't modelled my singing style on anyone, because quite
frankly, I didn't really know anyone else. It's that simple."
Of course, no musician is
entirely un-influenced by what goes on around him, and Bob is no exception. His
musical interests range from Classical to Country, but for his Scottish
influences he owes much to his mother's family: his uncles, aunts, and numerous
cousins who sing, play bagpipes, fiddle, accordion, piano and guitar.
"There always seemed to be music around when I was growing up. Pipers seemed to
outnumber every other instrument by about three to one, which probably explains
their love of grace notes when singing. I think a little of that has rubbed off
on me too!"
Peter Buchan and and his
Secret Songs of Silence
This is a brilliantly entertaining collection of over 70 bawdy songs and ballads
gathered in Scotland during the early 1800s. In 1832 the Scottish ballad
collector Peter Buchan presented an anthology of risqué and convivial songs and
ballads dedicated to a Highland Laird. When Professor Francis James Child of
Harvard was preparing his magisterial edition of The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, he made
enquiries about it, but it was not made available in time to be considered for
his work. On his death it was presented to the Child Memorial Library at
Harvard. Because of its indecorous content, the manuscript has languished there
High-Kilted Muse is a magnificent volume that brings the manuscript
– its songs and ballads – to life. The edition features an introduction to the
compiler, including a treatment of the so-called ‘Peter Buchan controversy’,
and the Scottish bawdy tradition, as well as the fully annotated text of more
than 70 bawdy songs and ballads. The volume fills a great gap in the study of
Peter Buchan was
born in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, in 1917. A fisherman's son, Peter was educated
at Peterhead Academy until he left school to "go to sea" at the age of 16. He
married Agnes Cowe, a local "quine" in 1940, and later had two daughters, Agnes
and Alison. Peter's first collection of poems, "Mount Pleasant" was
published in 1961. He then began to write short stories portraying the middle
ground in fisher life which had formerly been portrayed at the two extremes of
either drunkenness or religious fanaticism and he found a large readership for
his work both at home and abroad.
regularly on radio and was interviewed several times on television following
publications of books. He was vice-president of the Buchan Heritage Society from
1988-90, then Patron until his death. He also edited five editions of the
society's magazine "Heirskip" (inheritance) from 1987-91. For many years
Peter Buchan was the voice of Scotland's North East fisher community, dispensing
wisdom and good humour in his poems and short stories. A great interest in
people provided the main source of his inspiration to write. "Human naitur" he
called it, and his observations around his home town and further afield, in the
fishing ports from Stornaway to Yarmouth, resulted in many marvellous character
He was unique,
writing mostly in his native North East Dialect, exactly as he spoke it every
day of his life. He was one of the caretakers of the rich beautiful language and
used it with great skill when describing the lives of the fisher folk. Peter
died in Peterhead on 12th December 1991.
songs didn’t stand comparison with those of his brother-in-law.
who sang mostly his own material, also relied heavily on gross women and
slapstick, but he was a much cleverer wordsmith.
His songs are much
easier to sing. The Hash o Bennagoak, Neeps tae Pluck and
Muckle Friday Fair
have an authentic ring of the 'ferm touns' that Willie didn’t often achieve.
The Buchan Bobby
portrayed left here by George Morris and
A New Lum Hat
are comic party pieces.
Buchan Plooman and Aikey Brae
are just very good songs.
The Lum Hat Wantin' The Croon - a top hat with its lid adrift.
The burn was big wi' spate
And there cam tumblein' doon,
Topsalterie, the half of a gate
An auld fish-hake, and a great muckle skate,
And a lum hat wantin' th' croon
The auld wife stood on th' bank,
As they gied swirlin' roon,
She took a guid look, and syne says she,
"There's food and there's firin' gaen tae th' sea,
And a lum hat wantin' th' croon!"
So she gruppit th' branch of a saugh,
And she kickit off ane of her shoon,
An' she stuck oot her fit, but it caught in the gate,
An' awa' she went wi' th' great muckle skate,
An' a lum hat wantin' th' croon!
She floated fu' many a mile,
Past cottage and village and toon,
She'd an awfu' time astride of the gate,
Though it seemed t'gree fine wi' th' great muckle skate,
And the lum hat wantin' th' croon!
A fisher was waukin' th' deck,
By the licht of his pipe and th' moon,
When he sees an auld body astride of a gate,
Come bobbin' along in the waves wi' a skate,
And a lum hat wantin' th' croon!
"There's a man overboard!" cries he,
"Ye hear?" quo she, "I'll droon!
A man overboard? It's a wife on a gate!
It's auld Mistress Mackintosh here wi' a skate,
And a lum hat wantin' th' croon!
Was she nippit tae death at th' Pole?
Has India bakit her broon?
I canna tell that, but whatever her fate,
I'll wager ye'll find t'was shared by a gate,
And a lum hat wantin' th' croon!
There's a moral attached tae my song:
On greed ye should aye gie a froon!
When ye think of the wife that was lost for a gate,
An auld fish hake and a great muckle skate,
And a lum hat wantin' th' croon!
Meaning of scots words:
tapselterie - topsy-turvey
fish hake - fish hook
lum hat - top hat
syne - since
saugh - willow
shoon - shoe
skate - flat rayfish
gree - be in harmony
nippit - frozen
The Strategic Music Partnership is funded by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire
Councils and the Youth Music Initiative (YMI) through Creative Scotland and is
supported by the Aberdeen International Youth Festival. The partnership aims to
promote a fresh, cross boundary approach to the planning and delivery of music
activity for children and young people aged up to 25 across the north east of
Aerdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra
Presently rehearsals take place in Portlethen or Inverurie
Academy 5.30pm – 7.30pm. Members are required to make their own way to
rehearsals. Membership is free. This is a Youth Music Initiative Project, funded
by the Scottish Government via Creative Scotland
Aberdeenshire Jazz Ensemble.
South Aberdeenshire Music Centre Big Band
Aberdeenshire Jazz Ensemble,
Aberdeen Jazz Orchestra
karen addison, gary gibb, laura henry, norman
moy, caitlin o'carroll
scott anison, joe leonard,
eddie macgovern, emma macleod, kieran Macleod
gerry dawson, jennifer
gourlay, alan haggart, kevin haggart, james marr, edward marr, pauline wallace
percussion: chris overton
The Lemon Tree began life as St Katherine's Club, built in the
1930s by the Young Woman's Christian Organisation as an activity centre to keep
women off the streets of Aberdeen. Originally it hosted regular, strictly
alcohol-free dances, and many a local resident met their future spouse at such
occasions. The venue remained a popular local fixture, and during the 1980s,
changing its name to St. K's, the dances continued while housing various
community arts groups and a vegetarian restaurant.
The Lemon Tree entered a new and exciting chapter in its history.
Aware of what The Lemon Tree has come to mean not only in the city but
nationwide, Aberdeen Performing Arts strives to continue the tradition of
showcasing the very best musicians in the downstairs 550-capacity Lounge.
Talented young jazz musicians from Aberdeen Music Centre perform
at The Lemon Tree Lounge. Jazz Bands are part of the Music Centre programme and
meet on a weekly basis to rehearse. They feature the best of Aberdeen's young
musicians, many of whom also play in the other bands and orchestras at the
Centre. A good evening of foot-tapping music is guaranteed!
Aberdeen Jazz Festival
121 Gallowgate, Aberdeen AB25 1BU. Tel: 0845 111 0302 (Over 18s only)
great jazz club atmosphere at The Blue Lamp has been central to the success of
the Festival in the past, and The Lamp is the heart of the Festival
"Probably the best jazz club in Britain" (The
Scotsman). Inviting and intimate the Blue Lamp's cabaret style seating allows
audiences to experience top class jazz up close and personal.
Sapphire is Aberdeen's only exclusive late night Champagne, Cocktail &
Cabaret Piano Club.
Sapphire, 62-64 Shiprow, Aberdeen, AB11 5BY
Kate Gieben Jazz Band live on stage at Club Sapphire.
Kate, Col, Grigor and Bill
May - Jazz Singer
Mary May started singing on the club scene before concentrating
on singing jazz a few years ago, and has since sung with some of the greatest
jazz musicians in Scotland. She has sung at many of the top jazz venues in
Scotland, including the Blue Lamp Jazz Club and The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen,
Henry's Cellar Bar in Edinburgh, as well as taking part in Glasgow Jazz Festival
and Callander Jazz Festival with her own Quartet. She has been reviewed as one
of Scotland's best Jazz Singers, and as a natural improviser. Check her
website for Jazz artwork.
Her sound has been described as a 'cross between Nancy Wilson and Eartha Kitt'
and her interpretations and phrasing has won praise from such great jazz
luminaries as Nancy Kelly, Jimmy Scott, Cleve Douglass, Mark Murphy and Sheila
James Scott Skinner
James Skinner was
born in Arbeadie village, in the parish of Banchory-Ternan, Aberdeenshire, on
the 5th August 1843. His father William Skinner, a dance teacher, had
been a gardener until a shotgun (fired as part of wedding celebrations) took off
three fingers of his left hand. After his accident, he learned to play his
fiddle by holding the bow (instead of the fiddle), with his damaged left hand.
James’s mother Mary Agnew came from Strathdon, Aberdeenshire. James was
the youngest of six children.
William Skinner died in
1845. Seven years later, Mary Skinner remarried, so James moved to
Aberdeen, where he lived with his sister Annie and attended Connell’s
Skinner (1833–1883) taught his young brother James to play tunes on
the violin, and to ‘vamp’, or play a bass line on the cello. By the time he was
eight, James was playing the cello at dances with local fiddler Peter Milne
(1824–1908), who came from Kincardine o’ Neill, Aberdeenshire.
As there were no village
halls, dances were usually held in barns. Young James often had to trudge many
miles to play at these dances. For this, Peter Milne paid him five
shillings (25p) a month.
In 1855, ‘Dr
Mark’s Little Men’, a boys’ touring group, visited Aberdeen. Sandy arranged for
James to audition with them. James, by now aged eleven, signed up for a six-year
apprenticeship (on cello and violin). The boys, who were based in Manchester,
performed throughout Britain. In return, Dr Mark fed, clothed, and educated
Skinner was giving concerts all over the North-east of Scotland. The programmes
normally included some of his own compositions as well as virtuoso violin solos
by such composers as
or his old teacher,
Skinner made his first recording in Glasgow, in
He was one of the very first Scottish artists to be recorded. By 1905, he had
embarked on a recording career, which lasted until
In this way, his music spread worldwide. During this time, he continued to
perform in concerts throughout Scotland. In
Sir Harry Lauder’s
suggestion, he formed
‘The Caledonian Four’
who performed in that year at the opening of the
he bought his first (and only) house at
25 Victoria Street,
Aberdeen, where he lived with his housekeeper, Mrs Lily Richards. Four years
later, he was invited to take part in a fiddle competition in the United States.
He went, but unhappy with the competition rules, refused to take part. He
returned to Aberdeen, where he died the following year, on 17 March
His many friends and admirers raised a subscription for a marble
memorial at his grave in
Aberdeen. This was unveiled in
Sir Harry Lauder,
an old friend. The memorial includes a bronze bust of Skinner, a violin, and
some bars from one of his most famous compositions, ‘The
Bonnie Lass o’ Bon Accord’.