Chair - David Taylor
David is sadly not a musician, yet.....He has worked in management in a number of venues: Warwick Arts Centre, Eden Court Theatre, Cumbernauld Theatre and the Tron Theatre. He then went on to fulfil a range of roles at the Scottish Arts Council and Creative Scotland (CS), including Director of Performing Arts and Head of Strategic Projects. He represented CS on the Scottish Government's Traditional Arts Working Group, and chaired the CS Traditional Arts Advisory Panel for four years. He has an MA in Philopspy and English Literature, a BA in Art History and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing. Now retired, and when not listening to Traditional music, David likes cycling and fly fishing.
Secretary - Richard Ward
Richard is a retired solicitor living in Aberdeenshire. He was until recently chair and is now vice-chair of Scottish Culture and Traditions (SC&T). “I play the guitar and sing and was in a ceilidh band for over 20 years. I have been involved with SC&T since its inception in 1997, initially as a student and later as a board member. I joined the board of the TMF at the same time as I became chair of SC&T in 2010. My legal background enabled me to oversee the establishment of both organisations as Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations. I have been privileged to be able to use my legal and administrative experience to contribute to an organisation which emphasises enjoyment of learning and playing with like-minded people. That’s really what it’s all about!”
Carol is Founding Director of Live Music Now Scotland and Live Music Now International Development (UK). Live Music Now works with emerging artists, widening access to high quality live music across a range of genres. Since the scheme started in Scotland in 1984, with classical musicians, she has driven the development of recruiting traditional musicians who now make up 40% of the current roster of classical, traditional, rock/pop, jazz and world ensembles. She is also a freelance music journalist and Creative Scotland Peer Reviewer. Carol is a Governor of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Board Director of the Association of British Orchestras and the Traditional Music Forum and was a founding a member of the Advisory Council of the Creative Industries Federation. Carol was awarded an MBE for services to music in the 2015 New Year Honours.
Christine is a singer and educator. "Traditional music means fantastic stories and tunes. History, social justice, reflections, and life lessons are all captured inside our songs, whether in old bothy songs and ballads or those contemporary songs which cover rich emotional and nuanced ground. Some of it is about arranging and performing on a stage, some about listening and sharing in a session or house ceilidh. In the end, it’s all about our experience as people.I sing, accompanying myself on guitar and piano/keyboard. I can knock something musical out of some instruments if required- dulcimer, clarsach, percussion! I’m a vocal coach, educator, onstage and in schools and community (Ceilidhmakers) I facilitate groups with dementia (Living Voices), teach community singing groups (Kist o Sangs) I work alongside an Alexander Technique practitioner (Singing for Delight). Working currently as a freelance musician, I am fortunate to gig with many of the top singers and musicians in our country. I recently graduated with a Masters in Ethnology and Folklore, University of Aberdeen, Elphinstone Institute, writing on South Ronaldsay Boys Ploughing Match, Orkney.
Joshua is Head of Traditional Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Born and raised in Alaska, he arrived in Scotland in 1992 to study Scottish Gaelic at the University of Aberdeen (MA, 1996). He then undertook doctoral research in the history of the piping tradition of the southern Outer Hebrides at the School of Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh (PhD, 2001). Josh is a piper, having performed publicly in the contemporary Gaelic music scene with Na Trì Seudan and in Allan MacDonald’s award-winning 2004 Edinburgh Festival recital series, From Battlelines to Barlines.
Iain plays the fiddle and teaches. His first traditional tunes were learned from his Dad at an early age. Stirling Strathspey and Reel Society was another early influence as was competing in the Mod. Between 1990-1995 he took on and developed the Glasgow Fiddle Workshop from a small group meeting in his house to a broad range of classes operating in central Glasgow. He’s been actively involved and supportive of the Feisean movement for almost 30 years. He was principal fiddle teacher in the Scottish Music Department of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland between 1995-2005 before being appointed Head of Instrumental Music for the Scottish Borders Education Authority until 2011. He is now Music Director at the Merlin Academy of Traditional Music in Melrose. Being on the TMF board provides an opportunity to put something back into a music tradition that he cares deeply about.
Prof. Ian Russell
Ian is a researcher, singer, musician and festival director, who champions the local traditions of North East Scotland. Since 1969 he has conducted extensive fieldwork into the singing traditions of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, especially Christmas carolling. Recent research has focused on the traditional culture of Aberdeenshire, including singing and instrumental traditions. Ian is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Institute and has written and edited several books on folk and traditional music. He founded the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention (NAFCo) in 2001, the Traditional Singing Weekend at Cullerlie in 2000, and the Button Boxes and Moothies festival in 2003.
Katch Holmes is one of the directors of the Knockengorroch World Ceilidh music festival in Dumfries and Galloway. She organised mulit-arts project The Droving Project, further music events and recently a piece of Arts and Humanities Research Council research about ‘folk' music and participation. Her love of traditional music began in the 90s when she picked up a tin whistle. ‘I got involved with TMF when I first attended an AGM in 2012. Traditional music for me is the necessary link between past and future. I see it as constantly evolving, expanding, involving all generations, copious amounts of creativity and differing interpretations. I am also fascinated with how music and music traditions travel across borders, cultures and countries.’
Andrew is CEO of the John Muir Trust. Organiser of the Blackford Fiddle Group.
"For the last 11 years I have been the leader of the Blackford Fiddle Group (BFG), a community based music group that has over 60 members whose ages span 70 decades. I joined BFG a couple of years after it was started in 1996, mainly to encourage, support and accompany my own children who joined first. It has subsequently become an obsession and a huge and valuable part of my life. The group believes strongly that music participation should be open to everyone, that there are no tests of ability that are relevant to that end and if not having an instrument is a problem that BFG will provide one. BFG plays about 35 gigs every year for ceilidhs, and to entertain in care homes at parties and community events. It encourages all its members to become involved in performances and to play at formal and informal sessions. As well as my time with BFG I bring many years of experience to TMF of government and NGO work that spans policy, fundraising and public engagement". As well as being a learner on the fiddle for the last 8 years Andrew plays flute and whistle, he says he is "a truly average accompanist on guitar and bodhran". Often to be found in sessions.
Eilidh is the Fèisgoil Manager at Fèisean nan Gàidheal with responsibility for the formal education arm of the organisation throughout Scotland.
Raised on the Isle of Lewis within a family who enjoy singing, she was surrounded by Gaelic song, the greatest influence being her Dad, Traditional Music Hall of Fame inductee Rod Mackenzie. For many years she delivered song workshops to children and adults and in 2005 produced and co-wrote the first Gaelic musical, Taigh Màiri Anndra. She has led YMI classes and song groups throughout her career, Fèis na h-Òige's teenage group Canntaireachd and Highland Council's region-wide group for secondary pupils, Còisir G (current) among them. A graduate of the University of Glasgow in Celtic Studies and Music she has also studied these subjects as a post graduate including a year at ST FX in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. A past member of groups Mac-Talla and Mackenzie she spent several years in Abernyte near Dundee and a year in Umeå, Sweden, before settling along with her husband and four children on the Black Isle near Inverness.
Director - David Francis
David Francis has been involved in the Forum since it started as an ad hoc advisory group for the old Scottish Arts Council and is part of the management team at TRACS. He works with Simon Thoumire on the Distil project, plays a bit of guitar and writes songs, calls dances and recently began dabbling in storytelling as well. He is attempting to finish a Masters degree at the Elphinstone Institute.
Membership and Communications - Tina Rees