New tune composed for Banchory Rotary Club's 50th anniversary

Renowned Deeside fiddle maestro and composer, Paul Anderson, has composed a new tune to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of Banchory Rotary Club.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 6:41 am
Fiddler Paul Anderson

The club’s 50th charter dinner was postponed due to Covid restrictions but members and friends of the club, who were joined by guests from as far away as Pennsylvania in the USA and Nelson in New Zealand, heard the tune, entitled the Banchory Rotary Club March, for the first time at the club’s weekly virtual meeting two weeks ago.

“Members were captivated by Paul’s lovely composition which soon had the toes tapping,” said club president, Elainesarah Freelove, who welcomed Paul to the meeting before handing over proceedings to 50th anniversary committee chair, Edwina Keown.

Paul, who still lives and works in his native Tarland, has a long association with Banchory through the Banchory Strathspey and Reel Society, who nurtured his early talent, and regularly entertains at the club’s biennial concert for senior citizens.

The new tune is very much in the genre of the famous Deeside fiddler and composer, James Scott Skinner, who was the leading figure in Scottish music in the second half of the 19th century and early 20h century, and whose huge output of Strathspeys, reels and marches Paul has done so much to revive and popularise. An estimated 40,000 people lined the streets of Aberdeen for Skinner’s funeral on March 17, 1925.

Paul himself has composed around 600 tunes and has recently filled his time during lockdown recording all the compositions of Skinner and other celebrated composers of the time, such as Peter Milne (the Tarland Minstrel), Neil Gow and his son, Nathaniel, Simon Fraser and William Christie.

As well as entertaining members with a selection of Scott Skinner music and some of his own compositions – not to mention some American Bluegrass – Paul regaled his audience with the stories behind many of the tunes he played.

“It has been a wonderful evening and we are very lucky to have such a gifted musician in our midst with such a deep knowledge of the traditional fiddle music of the North-east,” said Ms Keown. “We are particularly grateful to Paul for the thought he has given to composing such an appropriate tune to celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary.”