Angus Folk has grown from a class, called "Singing For Fun", that was taught by Christine Kydd (www.christinekydd.com) at Angus College, Kirriemuir, from 2002 to 2004. Christine encouraged her class to form a committee and Angus Folk were launched as an independent group which she developed in conjunction with the committee. Since then, Angus Folk are proud to have (and to have had) a wide range of highly distinguished tutors. In the past few years we've been taught, either in Tuesday evening classes or at weekend workshops, by some of the country's very finest, including…...
Amy started singing in her early teens at Dunblane Folk Club and has been greatly influenced by her family, in particular her mother who is also a singer. She obtained a BA Honours degree in Scottish Music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2007 and whilst there, studied under some of Scotland's most respected Scots singers, including Gordeanna McCulloch, Alison McMorland and Rod Patterson. Amy teaches Scots Song to several traditional singing groups in Scotland and runs a successful women’s singing group in Dunblane called ‘The Liltin’ Lassies’. She was the winner of the ‘Women’s Traditional Singing’ cup at Auchtermuchty Folk Festival in 2006 and is currently a finalist in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2008 competition.
Maureen inherited her love of singing from her mother, the late Jane Hillis. From the age of four she was brought up in the old Overgate, which sadly no longer exits. As she got older Maureen suffered terribly from shyness and found it difficult to sing in front of people. It was not until she returned to Scotland (having spent fifteen years in England) and became friends with Christine Stewart, a fellow Dundonian and folk singer in the sixties, that she rediscovered her voice!!. She discovered that it was okay to sing unaccompanied in her own voice and dialect. It was Christine who introduced her to such singers as the Stewarts of Blair, a traveling family who had now settled in Rattray near Blairgowrie. When they first heard Maureen sing they paid her a great compliment by saying she had the "coniach"
Maureen then started entering competitions. Even though it was difficult she was very successful in winning all over Scotland. This gave her confidence and got rid of some of her shyness. Maureen has never looked back and is a great favourite at clubs and festivals through her love of songs, her warmth and great sense of humour.
From Arbroath in Scotland’s eastern lowlands, Steve has been immersed in traditional music since early childhood, and continues to write and arrange songs in his native Scots tongue. Now in his late twenties, he is becoming one of Scotland’s most sought after accompanists, especially for traditional song.
Best known as a founder member of innovative Scots folksong group Malinky, he's worked with Scots songstress Emily Smith (2002 Young Traditional Musician of the Year), rising Gaelic singing star Julie Fowlis, and is an occasional accompanist for stellar piper Fred Morrison.
A trained ethnologist - as a graduate of Edinburgh University's School of Scottish Studies - Steve applies his deep knowledge and love of Scottish traditions to all aspects of his musical career, whether as a performer, teacher or workshop leader.
A doctor to trade, a fly-Fifer by birth, singing is Barbara’s main hobby, passion and interest. She literally learnt Scottish and Irish songs at her grandparents’ knees, but until joining Dundee University Folk Club in the 70s, didn’t realize anyone would want to listen to her singing them. With friends made at that club she formed the all-female a cappella group Fair Game. Barbara was also a founder member of the band Ceolbeg, one of the finest traditional bands to emerge in the late 70’s.
For a while Barbara’s singing became limited mostly to lullabies, nursery rhymes and children’s television themes due to the arrival of 3 sons. As work and childcare permitted she had a couple of brief forays into 2 other bands in the 80s and 90s; Rathlin and Fon a Bhord - with a selection of weel-kent Scottish traditional musicians.
Now the kids are all grown up rugby players, currently Barbara sings solo, or with a cappella divas Palaver, and occasionally in a duo with with tradition-bearer Maureen Jelks. She’s a bit of a musical hing-oot and enjoys singing with anyone who asks really. A more recent venture is the duo Sinsheen with Christine Kydd.
Scott is one of Scotland's top traditional singers, and has been performing at concerts and festivals across the country since his schooldays. Brought up on a farm near Forfar, he is best known for singing the bothy ballads and songs of the north-east, many of which he learned from Tam and Anne Reid of Cullerlie, Aberdeenshire. He performs at many gatherings and festivals throughout the year. Scott has a particular love of local Angus folk songs and is on the organising committee of the Kirriemuir Festival, and the Angus branch of the TMSA.
Career highlights include representing Scotland at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in the USA, winning the Bothy Ballad World Championship in Elgin in 2003, and an 18-year run of performances at the Kirrie Pensioners Christmas Party.
Scottish Borders-based songwriter Karine Polwart has been nominated three times for Best Original Song at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and, indeed, won the award for the second time at the 2007 event with her deceptively simple ode to lost innocence "Daisy". Since her treble Folk Award winning breakthrough success in 2005 with debut album "Faultines", her follow-up albums "Scribbled in Chalk" (Shoeshine Records, April 2006), “Fairest Floo’er” (Hegri Records, 2007) and “This Earthly Spell” (Hegri Records, 2006) have reinforced her reputation for refreshingly honest and unaffected vocals and a humane and literate song-writing sensibility.
Alison Burns is a songwriter, music facilitator, educator and community choir director. She writes songs for community and folk choirs as well as for schools. Her music has been heard throughout the UK in theatre and in public art installations, and in the repertoire of many community choirs. Inspiring audiences, workshop participants and critics alike, Alison’s music “shivers and crackles with delicious harmonies”. The List
Alison is a well-respected community musician with an outstanding record of workshop tutoring. She has worked with choirs and singing groups worldwide, and has her own choir, the Feral Choir, based in the Scots borders.
Over the last ten years, singer and harp player Corrina Hewat has emerged as one of the most distinctive, original and versatile artists on the contemporary Scottish scene. Synthesising the energies and idioms of traditional, jazz and classical music, in formats ranging from entirely solo to a 31-piece "folk orchestra", Corrina's combined talents as a vocalist, instrumentalist, composer and arranger have won steadily increasing acclaim among critics, fellow musicians and audiences alike.
Gordeanna McCulloch began her singing apprenticeship in Norman Buchan's Ballads Club in the sixties and went on to become a fully fledged tradesperson with the Clutha, travelling extensively at home and abroad singing powerfully and mainly traditional songs. More recently she has an important role in the Glasgow based Eurydice Choir, (thus called because it's not the Orpheus Choir!) and in performing in duo with Chris Miles. Gordeanna was formerly a member of Palaver when they were a quartet. Although she retained a strong traditional element to her singing, her powerful repertoire also includes all kinds of songs.
Scotland's leading traditional singer, Sheena Wellington was born in Dundee into a family of singers and factory weavers. Sheena’s repertoire covers everything from Burns to ballads to the best of contemporary songwriting, drawing from the rich Scottish tradition passed from musician to musician through the ages. A passionate and articulate advocate for traditional music, she has played a leading role in the fight for recognition, status and improved funding for Scotland's traditional arts.
2005 USA Song Writing Competition winner, Scots Singer of the Year 2005 nominee and former BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year (2002), Emily Smith has established herself as one of Scotland’s finest young singers. A respected interpreter of traditional song, with a particular passion for those sourced in her home region of Dumfries & Galloway, Emily gives a refreshing and modern slant to ancient songs which blend easily alongside her own compositions.
Over the last few years Emily has been gathering interest and recognition as a songwriter and in 2005 she became the first ever winner from Scotland in the USA Songwriting Competition where she won the folk category with her song ‘Edward of Morton’. She has released two solo albums to date ‘A Day Like Today’ (2002) and ‘A Different Life’ (2005) as well as having collaborated with various artists including Karine Polwart, John McCusker, Davy Scott and Nick Keir.
Janice Clark from Aberdeen, sings with the group Iolair and performs and teaches at various traditional festivals. Janice's aunt, Lindy Cheyne, was a founder member of the Aberdeen Folk-Song Club and introduced her to the scene at an early age. There she listened to some of the giants in Scots song such as Jeannie Robertson, Lizzie Higgins and Jimmie MacBeath, and she holds a wealth of traditional songs, especially those from the north-east, but is also known for her jazz-chord accompaniments and contemporary interpretation of traditional songs.
Yvonne has been singing and playing music all her life - at home, in school and church and with friends - then later on in folk clubs and pubs, and then bands. She lived in Zimbabwe and then Malawi as a writer in the 1980s and came home with over a hundred gorgeous songs and choruses buzzing in her ears, many of which she’s been teaching and singing in Scotland and elsewhere ever since. While living in Fife in the 1990s, singing, playing and facilitating music groups provided most of Yvonne’s livelihood, and when she was offered the job of directing the Voice House community choir in Edinburgh in 2001 she turned to music as her profession. Since then she has arranged and composed music with great enthusiasm and now runs monthly "spirituals" workshops (or "Songs of the Earth and Heart"), teaching her own chants and songs, in addition to teaching regular singing groups and choirs in the Fife and Edinburgh areas. Her philosophy is simply that everyone can sing. She typically teaches African, gospel, blues, pop and traditional songs in three or 4-part harmonies. Please see her website for more details of her work: www.yvonneburgess.co.uk
Sarah has been facilitator of the Dundee Rep Women’s singing group (known as Loadsaweeminsingin) for the last three years. She took over as musical director after singing with the group for 5 years. The group is a lively mix of women of all ages and backgrounds who sing a wide range of acapella arrangements from Gospel, Pop, African and Eastern European to traditional Dundee and Scottish songs. Raised on a diet of Gilbert and Sullivan and Rogers and Hammerstein, with a bit of classical music for good measure, Sarah discovered a more relaxed and free way of learning songs and using her voice when she joined Loadsaweeminsingin. Sarah teaches in the oral tradition and welcomes anyone and everyone who enjoys singing and thrills to the sound of harmonie - regardless of how much or little confidence or experience they may have.
She aims to make her sessions fun and inclusive.