The Boston Scottish Fiddle Orchestra
The Boston Scottish Fiddle Orchestra is the performing group of the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club. Under the direction of Neil Pearlman the orchestra performs arrangements of various Scottish and Cape Breton tunes. In addition to their own Gala concert the fiddle orchestra performs at various festivals and events. This year performances include the New Hampshire Highland Games, the Gore Place Fall Festival in Waltham (September 24th), BCMFest (January 14th), NEFFA (New England Folk Festival). The group includes fiddles, guitars, mandolins, flutes, piano and other instruments.
If you are interested in having the orchestra perform at your event contact Katharine MacPhail.
Join the Orchestra!
If you are interested in joining the orchestra contact Katharine for information and rehearsal locations. If you are unsure if your instrument would fit in contact Katharine. We are open to a variety instruments. Rehearsals are held in the Arlington/Lexington area on select Thursdays.
2017 Spring schedule of rehearsals with Neil
The Back Story
On a cool April evening in Lexington, MA 15-20 fiddlers, guitarists, mandolinists and one flute player are gathered into a large living room tuning up. The Boston Scottish Fiddle Orchestra is getting ready to rehearse. Led by pianist Neil Pearlman (“a tremendous pianist” –BBC Radio Scotland), the BSFO is a new performance group associated with the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club. Founded more than 30 years ago the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club has long been an important part of the Boston Celtic music scene, sponsoring workshops, sessions and concerts in order to spread the appreciation of Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle music. From 1981 to 1999, fiddler Ed Pearlman (Neil’s father) directed the club, coordinating and planning events and leading a performance group made up of BSFC members in an annual concert series called the Boston Scottish Fiddle Rally, which featured major international fiddling soloists such as Natalie MacMaster, Alasdair Fraser and Ali Bain. In the 2000’s the performance side of the club became less active, until the Orchestra was launched this year. Bringing in Ed’s son Neil to direct the group, the Club has renewed its commitment to bring great Scottish music to the Boston community.
The brand new Boston Scottish Fiddle Orchestra held a smashingly successful inaugural concert and gala fundraiser on June 11th, 2016 at the Canadian American Club in Watertown. The BSFO provided entertainment and back-up to a fantastic line-up of musical guests featuring fiddle luminary Hanneke Cassell (“one of the hottest young fiddlers in Boston” –Boston Globe) in addition to rising star Katie McNally and BSFC founder Ed Pearlman. The event continued with Neil Pearlman calling celidh and cape breton dancing with music by Barbara McOwen, Catherine Miller, Rachel Reeds and Terry Traub.
In addition to being a super fun party this was a unique opportunity to catch many of the area’s finest Scottish Celtic fiddlers and musicians while supporting the preservation of this fine traditional musical style. There are plans to make this concert/dance an annual event.
The event, which included a silent auction, raised significant funds to help support the Orchestra and the BSFC.
All members of the Orchestra are members of the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club.