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Aberdeen Strathspey and Reel Society supports charity as it prepares for concert

By Kyle Ritchie

Aberdeen Strathspey and Reel Society is in final preparations for its upcoming concert and has also donated funds to charity.

It works to play and promote traditional Scottish music and encourages amateur and semi-professional musicians to get involved in its rehearsal sessions and participate in its performances.

Its forthcoming concert at Aberdeen's Tivoli Theatre on Saturday, November 18 is the Fiddlers’ Rally where it will be joined by other musicians from all around Scotland.

Tickets are currently on sale via the Aberdeen Performing Arts website.

This year the society's guest artists are Cameron Nixon and Rachel Campbell from Culter. The compère will be Gary Coull.

Society treasurer Robin Ferguson said: "During the rest of the year we normally organise at least two other public concerts and our afternoon group is regularly invited to play sessions for care homes and sheltered housing in the city and surrounding areas, as well as for the Living Well Cafés.

"These café events are held at various social centres around Aberdeen and allow people living with dementia or memory problems and their care-givers to socialise and relax in a safe and supportive environment.

"At these sessions, to witness audience members getting up for a dance, joining in singing or tapping their feet is hugely rewarding, both for us and them.

"Membership subscriptions, donations and tickets sales from these activities all accumulate to cover the costs of running the society but there is often a surplus, so society members vote at our AGM as to what charities they wish to support.

"This year we were pleased to donate £500 each to two charities, Befriend a Child (Aberdeen) and The Association of Ukrainians in Aberdeen.

"Recently we visited Befriend a Child’s offices at Bon Accord Square and Emily Findlay received our cheque on behalf of the charity.

"She met with our president Tom Cumming, Fiona Dunbar and myself at the charity's offices in Aberdeen.

Befriend a Child’s Emily Findlay receives the fundraising cheque from Aberdeen Strathspey and Reel Society's Tom Cumming, Robin Ferguson and Fiona Dunbar.
Befriend a Child’s Emily Findlay receives the fundraising cheque from Aberdeen Strathspey and Reel Society's Tom Cumming, Robin Ferguson and Fiona Dunbar.

"Fiona also volunteers for Befriend a Child which aims to support children and young people growing up in difficult life circumstances across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to develop into confident young adults and help them reach their full potential.

"In the past 12 months the society has not only supported the Ukrainians financially, but also donated 50 free tickets to them for the 2022 Fiddlers’ Rally at the Tivoli so that they could come and enjoy the music and experience a little of Scottish culture.

"During the concert the orchestra included the Ukrainian tune Bandura Waltz in the programme and Paul Anderson, who was our guest artist and compère, played a moving rendition of the Ukrainian national anthem.

"The amazing atmosphere in the theatre that this created was appreciated by everyone present.

Aberdeen Strathspey and Reel Society rehearses most Monday evenings from September through to May.

Visit aberdeenstrathspey.org.uk to find out more about the group.

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