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Da Aristo: traditional Scottish music

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Hamish Moore and the Barga School of Scottish Music is just about to take off in Barga but just before most of the participants arrive, it was time this evening for an impromptu concert at Da Aristo’s in Barga Vecchia.

The incessant rain which fell on Barga for most of the day meant that sitting outside was no longer a viable alternative and so the musicians and their audience moved inside – cramped by contented.

Sitting in with Hamish Moore on ukulele, flute and small pipes was the multi talented and multi faceted musician and actor Annie Grace – Annie’s theatre career began in 2001 when Iron Horse retired. Having always hankered after an opportunity to perform in theatre, she now fills a niche that not many female actors/musicians can- combining her instrumental skills and passion for Scottish music in many productions, and very often she is employed purely for her acting talent alone.

She has a passion for traditional Scottish music, but is equally at home crossing genres, infusing her repertoire with jazz and blues. Her depth of talent, her musicality and her captivating, warm, earthy voice combined with her love of performing, shines through with an infectious energy. – her website can be seen here

Music by Annie Grace – words by William Soutar (28 April 1898 – 15 October 1943) was a Scottish poet and diarist bedridden with ankylosing spondylitis from 1930, who wrote in both English and Braid Scots, and is known best for his epigrams. 

Flanking her was Howard Booster from San Francisco playing his 5 string fiddle.

Howard is a member of the The San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers – their site can been here

The first Barga School of Scottish Music Song and Dance with more than 50 students and tutors first took place in Barga in 2010 ( article here)

In 2012  it was cancelled as there were problems in sorting out the accommodation but according to Hamish for 2016 it’s all systems go once more.


Hamish Moore has just been inducted into the Scottish traditional music hall of fame (article here)

The Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame is dedicated to giving acknowledgement and recognition to musicians and industry people who, by their dedication and hard work, have supported and influenced the development of Scottish traditional music during their lives.

BOTH as a piper and as a pipemaker, Hamish Moore has had a vital influence on the Scottish piping scene over the past three decades, particularly in what has become known as the “cauld wind revival” – the renaissance of Scotland’s hitherto forgotten bellows-blown bagpipes.

A time-served piper from a family of pipers, since the mid-1980s, Hamish has been producing – latterly with the help of his son, Fin – high quality sets of Scottish small pipes and Border pipes, with such success that the firm has closed its order books until it catches up with its waiting list. In concerts and recordings, Hamish’s playing has carried the torch for a revival of interest in bellows-blown pipes which has seen them become commonplace on the piping and wider folk scene, compared to 30 years ago when they seemed the arcane, antiquarian interest of a few enthusiasts.


Learn and share Scots and Gaelic traditional song, music and dance in a beautiful hill town in Tuscany. Join us for a week-long School with world class tutors from Scotland and Cape Breton. The School will be held in Barga, Italy, from 19-23rd September 2016. Organised by Càirdeas nam Piobairean, Hamish Moore’s fellowship of pipers.


Gary West – Pipes
Fin Moore – Pipes
Fiona Hunter – Scots song
Kathleen MacInnes– Gaelic song
Sarah McFadyen – Fiddle
Derrick Cameron (Cape Breton) – Guitar accompaniment
Melody Cameron (Cape Breton) – Step dance and Fiddle
Pat Ballantyne – Step dance


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