Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My Musical background!

I am a Scotsman whose Great Grandfather played the Fiddle and whose Grandad was a Piper who also played the Fiddle, so I'm happy to say that Traditional Music is in my blood.
I have been playing the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland now for over forty years and in 1995 I launched my own music school, while living in Ballintoy, Co. Antrim and named it the Jim McGill School of Traditional Music, in honour of the Late Jim McGill,
a local man who did so much to encourage local youngsters to play music.

As a Scot, living in North Antrim, I am in the unique position of having a huge amount of experience in both Irish and Scottish music. 
As a former member of Comhaltas, I entered the annual national music competitions and gained a 2nd prize medal at the All Ireland Fleadh.
I was also awarded my T T C T, Traditional Music Teaching Diploma with Comhlatas. 
As a former member of the Ulster-Scots Folk Orchestra I toured throughout Ulster and Ireland promoting the Scottish music of Northern Ireland. 
Believing wholeheartedly in the cross community benefits of children learning to share and enjoy traditional music I, with my wife Sabine who is a musician too, offer a musical presentation entitled Lyre to Laptop, to schools which demonstrates the history and development of all the traditional instruments of Ulster. 
Using over 50 different musical instruments we give Musical Presentations in authentic period costume, more usually in a cross community context to a mixed group of children from Maintained and Controlled schools. 
Over the past few years, more than thirty schools have made use of this service. 
For a number of years I wrote a weekly column for the Ballymoney Times, Traditional Notes, which promoted all manner of traditional aspects of both Irish and Ulster-Scots culture. 
I also created and organised the Causeway Dulcimer Festival in 2005, which I put on in Bushmills, Co Antrim, and which featured the Hammered Dulcimer
an old instrument Traditional to the Glens of Antrim.
The festival also promoted all the traditional music and instruments of Ulster.
The Spirit of Antrim Trophy,
which I won at the Northern Lights Festal 
in Ballycastle in 1997
for my work in teaching Traditional Music to local children.
Collecting my Traditional Music Teaching Diploma 
at Comhaltas HQ, in Dublin.

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