Marian Anderson, Accordion
I am delighted to have been asked, for the third time, to provide a band of musicians to play for the WA Winter School. It is a great honour to return to play for so many good friends, old and new.
It has been a busy few years for the band since our last visit. We have had trips to Japan, New Zealand, America, Australia as well as various European destinations and our normal schedule of dances in the UK. We have recorded 4 new CD’s, 2 for Amanda Peart from The Sunday Class, one for the Belfast RSCDS and one for Gaye Collin from New Zealand. This has involved a lot of work for me including composing a number of tunes which were used as originals for some of the dances. Another two CDs are are in the pipeline to be recorded and hopefully these will be ready to bring with us.
As well as playing with my band I am employed by Music in Hospitals and Care. This is an organisation which provides music therapy for patients with dementia and alzheimer’s in hospitals and care homes throughout Scotland. I find this work very gratifying.
Unfortunately some members of my regular band are unable to join me on this trip due to work commitments but I’m excited to be able to bring another very talented group of musicians to play for you all. Hopefully our music will inspire you and make you forget all about sore feet and aching limbs!!
Looking forward to meeting up with you all again in Muresk.
David Oswald, Accordion
David started playing the accordion at the age of 7 and was taught by Willie Gordon at the Bill Wilkie School of music in Perth.
David attended the Accordion & Fiddle Clubs in his local area and this led to David being asked to join a well established band on 2nd accordion playing all over Scotland at Dances, Ceilidhs and recording with the band regularly for BBC Radio Scotland Take the Floor from the age of 16.
David went on to form his own band in the 1990’s and the band too has regularly featured on BBC Radio Scotland since 1995. From the band’s start, David had a passion for playing for RSCDS and he has played for Dances and Balls all over Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. The band have done SCD holidays abroad to Portugal, Tunisia and Cyprus to name a few places and played for weekend schools in Germany, Spain & Holland.
David has played at RSCDS Summer School both as a solo musician and with his band at the Thursday night Younger Hall Dance. The band also played the RSCDS AGM weekend in 2018. David played previously with Marian Anderson’s band at Winter School in Albany in 2013.
Away from the band, David has his own business and lives in Kippen, a small village to the West of Stirling.
Gillian Stevenson, Fiddle
Gillian started playing fiddle at the age of 10 when her family moved to Tain, Ross-shire. Initially taught under the direction of Christine Martin and subsequently by Robin Calvert, Gillian’s earlier musical influences came through involvement in school groups and orchestras including becoming a founder member of a school Scottish dance band under the brilliant guidance of Ali McGregor – lead accordion player with the Tain Scottish Dance Band. This relationship led to guest appearances with the Band whilst at the same time, Gillian commenced what turned out to be an 11 year stint playing at Carbisdale Castle Youth Hostel with local accordion player Willie Graham.
Gillian attended the very first Feis Rois week in Ullapool in 1986 as a pupil and later went on to become a supervisor and tutor. She performed at the 2011 Trad Awards in Perth as part of a Feis Rois group. In 1987 Gillian played her first gig with the Jock Fraser Dance Band and still gigs with the band.
Over the past few years Gillian has joined several Scottish Dance Bands and band leaders including Colin Dewar, David Oswald, Alan Small and the Lomond Ceilidh Band, Roya Maclean, Susie Simpson, Colin Donaldson, and The Scone Fairies. A highlight of her career was playing with Iain Angus MacLeod’s Ceilidh Band from Harris as part of the BBC ‘house band’ at the 2008 Mod.
Gillian teaches several fiddle classes for both children and adults and through the Feis movement teaches traditional music in schools around the Highlands. However another highlight of Gillian’s career is teaching the Musicians course at the RSCDS Summer School at St Andrews for the past 3 years.
Graham Berry, Piano
Graham Berry started playing his grandmother’s piano as a young boy and went to music lessons aged 7. His late father Jim played the accordion with his own band and Graham was always interested in playing Scottish music too. He played his first public engagement aged 9 with his father and the Lomond Cornkisters concert party. From there Graham progressed to play with David Cunningham, whom he met at high school when they were 13, and subsequently played (and continues to do so) with several other bands including Gordon Shand and James Coutts. He has played on many commercial recordings and has broadcast frequently on BBC Scotland’s long running Scottish dance music programme Take the Floor, as well as occasional appearances on other radio and television programmes. Music has taken Graham around the world; this will be his second musical trip to Australia, the first being with Nicol McLaren and the Glencraig band in 2007. He has also played in North America, New Zealand and several European countries as well as regular work in Scotland and the rest of the UK. In the last 10 years or so, Graham has moved from being purely an accompanist to playing solo piano for Scottish country dance classes, and now plays at various events and classes in Scotland and beyond.
Outside music, Graham is a scientist, who graduated with a PhD in Physics from the University of Dundee. After working as a post-doctoral researcher at the University for a number of years, he is now the Process Innovation Manager in the R&D department of a company making specialist metallic effect pigments which are used widely in automotive, industrial and printing applications.
He has been married to Angela Young since 2011.
Max Ketchin – Drums
I have played drums for as long as I can remember covering all genres of music from Rock & Pop to Scottish Country Dance music.
Over the years I have been very fortunate to play with many Scottish bands including Jim Johnstone SBD, Iain Macphail, Alastair Wood and others. I’ve played with Marian’s band for 17 years now and have had very happy times playing for Country Dances and Old Time Dances throughout the UK. The other band members are great fun to be around and we always have a laugh somewhere along the way. In addition to our gigs in the UK we have been very fortunate to have been invited to play in other countries around the world including Japan, America and New Zealand to name a few.
In recent years I have had the pleasure of teaching David Oswald’s son Stuart to play the drums. He’s turning out to be very competent indeed so I think I’ll need to watch my back. I have also been very fortunate to marry Marian four years ago so not only have I to do what I’m told at home but when I’m playing as well!!
This is the third time that I’ve been invited to play at Winter School in Australia and I’m looking forward to having some great tunes, renewing auld acqaintancies and making new ones.