Food & Fiddle fortnight ends this weekend

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Royal Deeside’s Food and Fiddle Fortnight will reach a crescendo this weekend with a number of musical performances, one of which will be a world public premiere.

On the final day of the two-week festival, members of the pipes and drums of The Royal Highland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (2 SCOTS) will perform the first public recital of the new pipe tune ‘The Longest Reign’.

The tune, a march, has been composed by Pipe Major of 2 SCOTS Stuart Gillies to commemorate Her Majesty The Queen becoming the longest reigning monarch in British history.

The historic recital of the tune will take place at a free to attend event at Deeside Activity Park near Aboyne on Sunday, 18 October at 2:00pm, and will be one of the final events of Food and Fiddle Fortnight. The pipe band’s performance will also feature a medley of other traditional tunes.

Pipe Major Gillies composed the vibrant tune at the request of 2 SCOTS company commander Major Alastair Colville. ‘

The Longest Reign’ marks the date – Wednesday, 09 September 2015 – that Her Majesty surpassed the milestone which her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria had previously held. It was played for her at Balmoral Castle on that date.

The Royal Highland Fusiliers have been on Royal Guard duties on Royal Deeside for the past three months and presented Her Majesty with a copy of tune at the end of her annual summer stay. Sunday’s performance at Deeside Activity Park will be one of the final engagements that the fusiliers will carry out on Royal Deeside before returning to their barracks in Edinburgh next week.

A video of two pipers from the band performing the tune high on the hills above Ballater has been viewed nearly 80,000 times on the regiment’s Facebook page.

Organised by Visit Royal Deeside, Food and Fiddle Fortnight is an annual celebration of the area’s culinary and cultural talents and heritage. The two-week festival draws to a close on Sunday evening, by which time more than 60 events will have been held at venues across Deeside and Donside, bringing together local food producers, businesses and musicians.