Media release: Scottish Fiddle Orchestra to bring the sound of the Northern Isles to Edinburgh’s Usher Hall this June

Scottish Fiddle Orchestra_UsherHall_Image

THE much-loved Scottish Fiddle Orchestra is set to bring their lively programme of traditional Scottish music to Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Saturday 10th June 2023.

The 80-strong orchestra – led by conductor, Blair Parham – will share the stage with special guests The Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton Trio for an evening of world-class entertainment in one of Edinburgh’s most iconic venues.

This year, the orchestra is celebrating the music of Orkney and Shetland, with traditional pieces from the Northern Isles at the heart of their performances.

Ross Ainslie’s mum Aileen has been part of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra for 32 years, and the Usher Hall concert will see the two perform together on stage for the first time.

The Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton Trio, featuring Jenn Butterworth on guitar, will bring their renowned repertoire of original tunes to the event, as well as performing some special pieces with the orchestra.

Ross and Ali met at the Vale of Atholl pipe band when they were 12 years-old, before going on to play in many leading Scottish bands including Treacherous Orchestra, Old Blind Dogs and Shooglenifty.

After years playing in different bands and line ups, the pair decided to concentrate on creating music together, releasing their albums Symbiosis and Symbiosis II in 2016 and 2018, and appearing on a multitude of festival line-ups. Ross’s piping shot into the international spotlight earlier this year when he welcomed Snoop Dogg to Scotland with a rendition of Still D.R.E. on the pipes which made news around the world.

At the Usher Hall, music lovers of all ages can expect to enjoy toe-tapping reels and jigs, lively strathspeys and marches, poignant slow airs and well-known favourites performed by the skilled members of one of Scotland’s foremost traditional music organisations. The proceedings will be hosted by MC for the evening, Robert Lovie.

Bob Diament, chair of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra, said: “This June we will be going on a musical journey from Edinburgh to the Northern Isles and back – without getting our feet wet, and we hope you can join us! We can’t wait to perform at the iconic Usher Hall once again – the audience in Edinburgh are always amazing, and we’re delighted to be joined by the incredible Ross Ainslie, Ali Hutton and Jenn Butterworth. It’s shaping up to be a fantastic evening of live music led by our skilled conductor Blair Parham, with Robert Lovie overseeing proceedings.”

Ross Ainslie said: “It’s an honour to be sharing the stage with my mum and the wonderful Scottish Fiddle Orchestra for the first time this June. A lot of my first public performances out with the pipe band were with various fiddle orchestras that my Mum played with so will be really nostalgic to be playing in that setting again, especially at such an amazing venue!”

The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra is a charity run by volunteers and is fully self-supported. The orchestra makes donations to other musical-related charities and partner pipe bands. Bucket collections at all of the orchestra’s events allow them to support medical charities and the RNLI.

The SFO’s Usher Hall performance starts at 7.30pm on Saturday 10th June 2023. Tickets are priced between £7.50 – £25 and are on sale now at:


Notes for editors:

For more information, interview or asset requests please contact: Lily Black E: M: 07799897516 or Corrie Campbell E: M: 07900 981 073

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About the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra

The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra (SFO) is one of Scotland’s foremost traditional music organisations. The orchestra was formed in 1980, deriving its origins from Fiddlers’ Rallies which were – and are – held throughout the country. After one of these rallies, a group of enthusiasts met to consider the formation of an orchestra which would draw its members from a’ the airts and would form a cohesive, vigorously rehearsed group of musicians.

The inaugural concert of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra was on 20th March 1980 in the Music Hall, Aberdeen. Since that time, the orchestra has settled into a sequence of six or seven major concerts each year in: The Royal Concert Hall (Glasgow), The Usher Hall (Edinburgh), The Music Hall (Aberdeen), Perth Concert Hall DG-One, (Dumfries) and a major venue South of the Border (e.g. York Barbican; The Sage, Gateshead).

A small number of other ‘special’ concerts are also undertaken each year and the orchestra has also toured to Ireland, Canada, China, Australia, New Zealand, Orkney and Shetland.

Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, became the SFO’s patron in December 1993. All of the orchestra’s concerts are given in aid of one or more charities; over the years these charities have benefited by a sum in excess of £1 million.

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