Bobby Brown Music Apprenticeship at the 2019 TAC Summer School
July 28 - August 4, 2019
Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Bobby Brown (1941-2011) devoted his life to the playing, researching, recording, and teaching of Scottish Dance Music. As an individual performer, a member of two Scottish Country Dance Bands, the Musical Director of the internationally renowned fiddle troupe The Cape Breton Symphony, and the leader of The Scottish Accent, Bobby Brown was a leading proponent of Scottish Country Dance music and traditional Scottish music in Canada, the United States, Britain, and Europe for over fifty years.
Scope and Purpose
Understanding that cultural preservation is dependent upon the devoted cultivation and transition of knowledge, Bobby Brown encouraged young musicians to learn and preserve the songs and tunes of the Scottish tradition. At workshops and classes, Bobby set aside his performer responsibilities to become an engaging teacher and eagerly instructed participants in the subtle idiomatic nuances of traditional Scottish music. He loved playing, and Scottish music was in his soul.
In his memory, the annual Bobby Brown Music Apprenticeship was initiated in 2015 to provide funding towards the cost for tuition, meals, and accommodation for one musician to attend one of the following:
• A music internship at TAC Summer School
• A music course at TAC Summer School
• A music course at a TAC-recognized Scottish Country Dance event
2018 Bobby Brown Apprentice
Sarah Thompson discovered Scottish ﬁddle in 2007, and Scottish Country Dancing a few years later. Since then, she has devoted her learning to those two areas. Her passion has taken her to Scotland on music-related trips four times, including highlights such as a week’s worth of lessons from Aonghas Grant and attendance at some of Shetland Fiddle Frenzy. She currently plays for socials at the Twin Cities RSCDS Branch in Minneapolis and takes lessons from Melinda Crawford Perttu via Skype. Sarah plays with a band, Scotch Eggs, that plays traditional Scottish music. She seeks to gain additional understanding of the nuances of dance music, as well as continue learning to put together sets. She hopes to use the knowledge gained at the Summer School to contribute to the success of the branch house band, and hopefully to work with teachers.
Previous Bobby Brown Apprentices
2018 Sarah Thompson, Minneapolis, MN, US
2017 Martha Matthews, Los Angeles, CA, US
2016 Heather Cameron, Plymouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
2015 Mary Ross, Victoria, BC, Canada
The Music Director for the 2019 TAC Summer School will work with one pre-selected lead player /melody instrument (fiddle, accordion, keyboard) on a daily basis in the capacity of private tutor/coach. By the conclusion of the week, the candidate will have all the necessary information and skills to confidently and competently play for a class and future dances. This program could potentially be developed to incorporate additional summer school musicians working in the same manner with piano, bass, drums, or other instruments.
The apprentice program will include:
- Selection of approved and appropriate music for dances
- Opening & Closing Chords (Bow & Curtsey)
- Grace notes & other idiomatic choices
- Phrasing, Dynamics, Interpretation
- Assembling sets/ musical research
- Guiding & assisting the candidate through classes
- Working with teachers
- Afternoon discussions and preparation for following day
- Involving and preparing candidate for participation in evening socials where possible
Provided a suitable applicant meets all the following criteria, one award will be made for 2019
• The musician must have demonstrated a genuine interest in Scottish music, preferably with some experience playing Scottish Country Dance Music
• The musician must have a desire to improve his or her musical skills
• The musician must display an appropriate level of technical proficiency on his/her instrument, with the ability to improve musical skills
• The musician must have the passion and commitment to continue to play for and promote the music for Scottish Country Dancing
Next deadline March 31, 2019
A musician may apply for the 2019 Bobby Brown Music Apprenticeship by submitting:
• the completed application form (download Music Application Form)
• a letter of application which addresses each of the above eligibility criteria
• a recording of three tunes; at least two of the tunes should be in the Scottish idiom
• a letter of reference from a Scottish Country Dance teacher, RSCDS Branch, or music teacher
Please include the applicant's surname and the phrase 2019 Music Intern in the email subject line and in the file names of attachments.
• Applications for the 2019 Bobby Brown Music Apprenticeship received by the deadline will be reviewed by a committee of the Teachers' Association (Canada) including, but not limited to: TAC Chair, TAC Treasurer, TAC Summer Events Director, and TAC Summer School Music Director.
• The award will be presented to the recipient in the form of a pre-paid scholarship (to a maximum of the cost of the full-week resident registration fee, including meals and accommodation, dependent on the value of funds available)
• A recipient can only be awarded the scholarship once
• Following the 2019 TAC Summer School, the recipient will forward a report on his/her experience to the Teachers' Association (Canada) for publication in the next issue of TACTalk