Taransay Fiddle School 2002 Report.
Tutors in Taransay at the 2002 fiddle camp were Buddy Macmaster,Cape Breton,Alan Henderson ,Lochaber,Patsy Reid ,Perth ,Alistair White,Stornoway.
There were advanced and intermediate classes with an even split in both classes.Additional after school classes were available also for those that required additional tutoring.Thirty two paying students took part in classes.Many more could have been accommodated if services had allowed.
Gaelic conversation classes were also well attended with volunteers taking these classes as well as stepdancing.
The final ceilidh and concert in Tarbert were a success with both events being very successful and well supported by Harris people and visitors alike.
All participants enjoyed a successful week with everybody wanting a repeat every year.With a considerable amount of project finance being spent in Harris plus visitor spend
in b+b`s,hotels etc the Harris economy benefited from the presence of the fiddle school.Between students,tutors,staff and volunteers there were 40 people involved in the project in Taransay.If as rumoured there are to be additional toilet facilities installed at Taransay there is definitely room for expansion with the fiddle course.
One suggestion is to have a piano course running side by side with the fiddle course.
A part-time co-ordinator would definitely be a requirement next year do to excessive demands put on volunteers.
Some quotes from Taransay Fiddle School
Hello dolan, how are things? Am having a ball traveling around but somehow
think that Taransey will be one of the biggest highlights of the trip. I had an
absolutely fantastic time – well done to all of you who help make it such a
memorable experience.Lisa Christenson,Melbourne
The memorable thing about Taransay is that it was much more than just
another fiddle school. I believe that the overall island experience of
getting there, living, and coping with the environment made the event
different and unique.Alex Sutherland,Errogie
In my opinion the tutors were excellent and were an integral part of the
overall experience. Buddy clearly
enjoyed the experience and it was a bonus having his view on playing. There
was no obvious split between tutors and the rest of us, as appears in some
(most) other courses. This could be attributed to the fact that everybody
had to muck in to make it work, but a lot of credit has to be given to the
natures of the four tutors. I had many an evening/early morning yarning
with Allan and Alistair not to mention the fact that they were usually
available for a tune.Robbie Leask,Aberdeen
I want again to thank you and Woody (and everyone else with anything to
do with the organisation) for a fantastic week.Chris Davidson,England
Hi dolan, I thought the week was excellent.Angus Macdonald,Aberdeen
For me, it was a very special week spent with very special people and I feel
trully blessed to have had the opportunity to experience it all.Joy Hosie,Dundee
Back in Vermont now… Wow, what an incredible week that was – I’m still
reeling (ha ha)! I cannot thank you enough. It was sheer magic. I also
wanted to thank you for the list of tunes.Susan Pufahl,Washington
Beautiful day the next day but spent all day
travelling on trains and things to get to the isle of
Harris off the west coast where all of us who were
going to a fiddle school thingy on Taransay (island
off Harris) met up in the pub and played a few tunes.
Nexty day a few of us did a wee tour of the Harris
beaches but it was too cold for swimming so we caught
the boat over to Taransay. Gorgeous uninhabited island
where people from BBC Tv series ‘castaway’ held
themselves captive for a year. We held ourselves
captive there for 6 days under the spell of various
great and wonderful fiddle tutors such as Buddy
McMaster from Canada, Alastair Whyte from Battlefield
Band, Patsy Reid (rhythm specialist extraordinaire, CD
out soon) and Allan Henderson from Blazin Fiddles. Or
just plain blazin. Lots of great tunes were learnt, or
started to learn, played
football for the first time in years, played golf
first time ever, in a sheep field, went on a few great
walks around the island, one of which was with a local
historian who took us around all the old ruins from
when people used to live there, old iron age
fortresses etc., and even managed a swim on a warm
day. Fantastic beaches and rocks, a bit similar to
Wilson’s Promontory but a bit smaller. Of course… We
had our own ceilidh in the marquee and got piped by
(one of the) mad Allan (‘s) from there to the kitchen
in the morning for our early morning cup o tea
and leftover soup. Everyone stranger or not got on
well and it was very sad to see the end of the week.
We had a finale concert and ceilidh back on Harris
which was a bit wild (never seen such a shimozzle made
of the Orcadian Strip the Willow) and then we all had
to say dismal farewells.
My friend Lisa from Melbourne had journeyed from there
to find me on Taransay after an epic 3 day trip using
plane, buses, ferry, car and twin engined
rib and defeated the jetlag triumphantly.Melinda Moore,Aberdeen.