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Mari Black Workshop – November 13th, 2022 1:00-3:00 pm

by Wilson ~ October 20th, 2022
We requested a set of tunes that could both be used for a performance AND would catch the fancy of some new younger members of our group. Mari has  put together a set that should do both those things very successfully:
Strathspey:  Calum’s Road (D)
Strathspey:  The Laird of Drumblair (A)
Reel:           The Marquis of Tullybardine (A)
The sheet music (see November 2022 tunes) includes careful markings of chords for non-melody players, and we’ll work on stylizing and orchestrating each tune so the whole set can sound really great with the whole group.
Looking forward to it with Mari.

Concert Music Read Through with Gordon Peery

by Wilson ~ October 2nd, 2022

We will be meeting in the CCMS Community Room, October 9, 2022  1:00 – 5:00 pm, when Gordon Peery will lead us in an initial read through of our concert tunes for the 2022/23 program year. While we do not have anything set in stone on our calendar, we anticipate April performances for NEFFA and in Peterborough, and hope to return to the Portsmouth Library later in the spring. Do you have ideas for other concert venues? If so, contact a board member and we can look into it.

So now is the time to go to our website and print out the concert sets (and start practicing). In addition to a file for each set, you will find two sets containing all the tunes for an easier time printing. We encourage you to print the music single-sided and hole punch both sides so that you can move the music around if we change the order or delete a tune. If you have any trouble finding the music, shoot me an email  (alancwilson ‘at’ and I’ll happily help you out.

Even if you don’t plan to play in any of our concerts, please come to the gathering. The music is great fun to play.

After the tea break we’ll likely continue with the read through. Hopefully there will be time as well to play through this month’s new tune, a William Marshall slow air Chapel Keithack.

Workshop with Dan and Cindy Roy

by Wilson ~ September 2nd, 2022

Sunday, September 11, 2022   1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Concord Community Music School   *find the links to the mp3 recordings below, and under ‘Audio’*

At the forefront of the Franco American community in the Greater Portland area, one finds the musical duo of Don and Cindy Roy who have long entertained audiences in the Southern Maine area and beyond. Don is a champion fiddler with depth in many styles of fiddling. Hailing from roots deep in the Maritimes and Quebec, the Roys’ musical passion lies with the French Canadian tradition, followed closely by Celtic music.

Don and Cindy have been members of many successful groups, including bluegrass, Irish, and French music , and directed the popular Maine French Fiddlers for its duration. Don is the music director of Fiddle-icious, a community fiddle orchestra of over 100 members. Cindy is well known for her step dancing and her piano accompaniment, which is among the best in New England. Augmented by her “rhythmic feet” she adds life and enthusiasm to the music. Cindy and Don will entertain you with a blend of fiddle and piano styles and step dancing that are common to traditional musicians of Maine.

In 2018 Don and Cindy received a National Heritage Award, the highest honor given to traditional musicians in this country.

The Workshop

During this workshop we’ll discuss a few things pertaining to the execution of tunes in a set as an orchestra, such as how to manage transitions in key and tempo. We’ll play through the Eleanor of Usan [DOWNLOAD]set from your 2022/23 concert sets, and work on turning it into a polished performance piece. Here is the mp3.

As time permits we’ll play through Tom Rae, Clock in the Steeple (mp3), and Two Fingered Reel. Click to DOWLOAD

While this workshop is tailored to SRS members, others are welcome to participate. Donations to SRS are always appreciated.



by Wilson ~ May 30th, 2022

June Gathering
June 12, 2022  — 1:00 – 5:00
This month we will gather for a jam session. Bring this month’s tunes and your session
book (if you have one). If you don’t have a session book or copies of recent years of tunes, don’t worry.

Come anyway. We’re a friendly sharing group. We have some session books available for
purchase; the cost is $15.

The music committee has been asking for suggestions for new sets to add to our concert repertoire and folks have been suggesting that we include more recent tunes from our repertoire.  If you have some ideas, please bring them and we can try them out.

So, bring your collection of tunes from the previous three years or so.

Here is a file with the tunes of the month (that were not part of workshops) to catch up on – including the months since October 2021

Mari Black Workshop – April 10th, 2022 1:00-3:00 pm

by Wilson ~ April 8th, 2022

The theme of the workshop will be exploring ways to build exciting variations and arrangements, both from a melodic and a chording / accompaniment perspective. We’ll look at some zesty chord substitutions, different rhythms for accompaniment, effective melodic variations (that work well with a group!), creating harmony parts, and more. This will be tons of fun, and I’m super excited to see you all in April!
The Tunes
The Auld Wheel (D) by James Scott Skinner  + Chord Chart
The Bogannoch (Bm) by Niel Gow
Pottenger’s (F) by Tom Anderson [Shetland tune!] 
The Marquis of Tullybardine’s Reel (A) by Niel Gow
I’ve chosen all four of these not only because they’re each phenomenal tunes in their own right, but because there are countless different ways to arrange and play each of them! They’re such fun and flexible tunes, that can take on a whole range of characters depending on how we choose to play them — which is exactly what we’ll be exploring in the workshop. (Bonus: there are a BUNCH of different options for combining 2 or more of these tunes into different sets, which will all sound different depending on what order you put the
tunes in and how you choose to handle the transitions between tunes!)

March 27th, 2022 Rehearsal for Wilton Concert: 1-5pm

by Wilson ~ March 24th, 2022

Gordon Peery will lead the rehearsal again. Check out the audio clips from the ZOOM recording of the last rehearsal under the 2021-2022 Concerts heading.

Wilton Concert is from 2:00-3:25 pm, arrive at 1:00 pm – not earlier. (listen to this!!!)

April 10th, 2022: Mari Black Workshop

by Wilson ~ March 20th, 2022
This from Mari:
Here are 4 reels I think we’ll have a blast playing with at the workshop in April:
– The Auld Wheel (D)  [includes both a melody sheet and a chord options sheet]
– The Bogannoch (Bm)
– Pottinger’s (F)
– The Marquis of Tullibardine’s Reel (A)
The theme of the workshop will be exploring ways to build exciting variations and arrangements, both from a melodic and a chording / accompaniment perspective.  We’ll look at some zesty chord substitutions, different rhythms for accompaniment, effective melodic variations (that work well with a group!), creating harmony parts, and more.  This will be tons of fun, and I’m super excited to see you all in April!  Please let me know if you need anything else from me.
I’ll be playing that same weekend with my new all-female Celtic trio:
– April 9, 2:00 p.m.

FCBC Concert Series — Celtic Concert
With Mari Black, Frances Cunningham, and Anna Colliton
First-Calvary Baptist Church
586 Massachusetts Ave
North Andover, MA
Free Admission — Suggested donation at the door $10


– It looks like the same trio will also be giving a house concert at Anne’s house the evening of April 10th, after the SRSNH workshop, exact time TBD.

Wilton SRSNH Concert – April 3, 2022

by Wilson ~ March 9th, 2022

Rehearsals at March Gathering (March 13th) and March 27th – CCMS.

Concert leader is Gordon Peery – sets are from the NH Highland Games plus unused 2021 sets.

So practice the PEI Tunes: Attwood’s March & Princess Reel

Coilsfield House Set: New Claret Jig (Note that there is an updated version on the website)
Finale: Practice to get this up to tempo
Note that there is an updated version of the polka set Maggie and Jock and Marianne’s Polka..
Finally, in the Signature Tune set we will be dropping the second half (parts C & D) of Mr. Jack Ramsay.
Check out the Wilton concert flyer for more information.

Elizabeth and Ben Anderson Workshop, February 13th 2022

by Wilson ~ February 17th, 2022


Highland Whisky, Lady Madelina Sinclair, Glenfiddich


Inver Lasses


Click here for the pdf of the strathspeys and reel with violin bowings indicated.

Click here to see a short video demonstrating the up-driven bow.

Click here to see a video of the 3 strathspeys and the reel.

CANCELLED: Don and Cindy Roy Workshop, January 9th 2022

by Wilson ~ December 28th, 2021

Sorry, but the travel conditions are not good.

Don and Cindy will be back next September,

Content to be announced later.


Peter Macfarlane Strathspey Workshop – Nov 14th

by Wilson ~ October 30th, 2021

Here are the tunes – with and without the SRS numbers

Here are the notes for Evolution of the Strathspey

For your listening pleasure here is Nicola Benedetti playing the Dean Brig of Edinburgh (srs34.08) and Banks (srs 32.06)

Update Your Membership

by Wilson ~ September 30th, 2021

If it is that time again…. you should have received a note in Anne’s monthly email.

Go to Downloads > Non-Music > Membership to find the new form

or just click here for the 2021-2022 Membership Renewal Form