Probably one of our youngest Musical Directors. He has been our musical director for over 10 years now. More recently he was on "Take the Floor" with his own Band for BBC Radio Scotland. Amusingly he shares a birthday with the deputy Musical director, who is 18 years his Senior.
I have been playing the accordion since I was 6, and a fact little known by some members is that I played the fiddle from about the age of 8 - 18.(Unfortunately my fiddle has not seen the light of day for over 20 years). I passed Grade 5 Violin & Grade 8 Music Theory, and an "O" grade in Music. I have been a member of the DSRS since I was 13 - (not that many years then) . I have travelled to both London and Germany with DSRS, and have also been a member of 2 incarnations of the Dundee Accordion Band during the 1980's and more recently in the 2000's.
Leader of the Orchestra: - Ian Rattray
Ian started violin lessons at the age of 8 in 1941, taught by Mrs Jean Galloway who used a room in a friend's house, Miss Kate Valentine, in Tofthill, for Lochee pupils as she lived at Fairmuir. Lessons continued either at Tofthill or Elgin St, eventually getting big and brave Ian must have been at least 10 by now said "I do not like your choice of music; I want to play Scottish music" Eventually she conceded either change the tune or lose the pupil! Next lesson she produced Skinners Scottish Violinist, Ian had won! Lessons continued with perhaps two strathspeys or a reel every week repeated if necessary. Ian still has that particular book to this day with the teacher's comments and instructions! Of course this was during the War, the printed price was a shilling but it cost Ian one and sixpence as the book was out of print.
Later in life Ian's late brother had formed a Scottish Country Dance Band, so when the violinist left to work out of town Ian joined the band, playing for Country Dancing at various Church Halls. Ian continued just to play at social events and after the various meetings he attended
It was suggested by a friend, that he try the Woodlands Hotel, and the Dundee Strathspey & Reel Society which must have been around 1980, and here we are 35 years later and Ian is still a regular attendee. Ian was appointed leader of the orchestra during the 2014/15 season. We recently paid a fond farewell to our much loved lead fiddler, Ian "Boat" Rattray as he sadly passed away early April 2021. A light has gone out in DSRS, a man so enthusiastic with his music, and always willing to offer members words of advice about music, hillwalking and dogs. Au revoir
Deputy Leader of the Orchestra - Helen Edgar
I started playing piano at the age of 7, and took up the fiddle a couple of years later, encouraged greatly by my grandfather who played with the Edinburgh SRS. We spent early family holidays in Taynuilt with a certain Shaw family, where there were many ceilidhs and impromptu music sessions. Scottish traditional music is very important to me. However, I took the classical route and continued playing both instruments (and different recorders until secondary school) , taking part in Perth Music Festival in solo classes and as part of many groups. I have performed on the grand piano at Perth City Hall! I was part of Perth Youth Orchestra for several years, partaking in one of their many European tours. After secondary school, I went to Napier University, Edinburgh, to study music and graduated with a BMus(Hons), followed by a year at Moray House, University of Edinburgh, studying towards my PGCE (Music). I spent my first year teaching back in Perth, playing for a season in Perth Symphony Orchestra. I have been teaching Music at Monifieth High School since 2004. I finally joined Dundee SRS in 2017. We look forward to playing the Slow Air that Helen has composed in Ian Rattray's memory