Scottish Fiddler, Band Leader, Teacher, Music Director, Music Arranger, Music Consultant, Music Editor, Composer, Concert & Recording Producer |
- Piano lessons 1955-65, Etna Etoile Hurrle, San Francisco
- Piano lessons 1968-71, Michael Isidore & Estelle Caen, Berkeley
- Violin lessons 1966-78, Jack O'Brien (Time Magazine article), (rehearsal with Roger Sessions), Berkeley
- Violin lessons 1983-85, Robert Eshbach, Cambridge
- BA in Music from the University of California at Berkeley, 1971
- Attended Scottish Fiddle Program at Stirling University, Scotland; teachers Alastair Hardie, Angus Grant, Tom Anderson, July 1984
- Attended Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School; teachers Alasdair Fraser, Buddy MacMaster, Arlene Leitch Patterson, August 1986
- Began collecting books, playing the music, listening to recordings, writing arrangements, and looking for workshops (they were few and far between back then), 1970
- Solo & Band performances for Scottish country dances, balls, ceilidhs, classes, concerts, Scottish Games, etc. in 30 States & Provinces, Scotland, Japan, Australia & New Zealand, 1974-present
- Original arrangements for Scottish country dancing, highland dancing, voice & small ensemble, pipes & orchestra, arrangements of Burns tunes for small ensembles, etc, 1971-present
- Music consultant for several SCD teachers and events, and Music Director for Boston Branch Pinewoods Camp (approx 10 times 1980-present); Burns Nights performances (approx 10 times 1980-present), and the New Hampshire Highland Games (1993-present)
- Compose prize-winning recorded & published tunes, approx 100 tunes, 1982-present
- Founder and co-director of Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School, 2003-present.
- Founder and co-director of Fiddle Village of the New Hampshire Highland Games, 2003-present.
- Camp of Pleasure, Berkeley Scottish Players, Cabbage Records, 1977 & 02 (LP & CD)
- Heather & Yon, Berkeley Scottish Players, Cabbage Records, 1978 (LP, CD soon)
- None So Pretty, Berkeley Scottish Players, Cabbage Records, 1979 (LP, CD soon)
- Gie Us Tullochgorum, Tullochgorum, Cabbage Records, 1986 (LP & cassette)
- Dances Frae the North, Cabbage Records & Folk Arts Center, 1986 & 95 (cassette & CD)
- Pipes Awa wi' the Fiddle, Pipes Awa, Atholl Brose, 1988 (CD & cassette)
- Irish Dances, Bicoastal Band, Folk Arts Center, 1992 (cassette)
- Muckle Carfuffle, Carfuffle Ceilidh Band, Folk Arts Center, 1993 (cassette, CD)
- Strathspey & Reel Society of New Hampshire, 1993 (cassette)
- Passport, Bicoastal Band, Folk Arts Center, 1996 (CD)
- Celebrate 50, Boston Branch RSCDS (appear on 5 cuts) (CD)
Scottish Bands & Performing Groups
- Berkeley Scottish Players (Scottish country dance band), Berkeley, Calif, 1973-79, founder & director
- Tullochgorum (SCD band), Boston, Mass, 1980-present, founder & director. Has performed in 18 states & provinces, and in Scotland
- New Caledonians (Scottish performing group), Boston, 1980-82, music director
- Frequent Class Musician & Band Leader/Member for Boston Branch RSCDS classes & events, 1980 - present
- Boston Scottish Fiddle Club (Scottish community orchestra), Boston, Mass, 1982-84, co-founder
- Strathspey & Reel Society of New Hampshire (Scottish community orchestra), 1988-2000, co-founder, music director. Member 2000-present
- Bicoastal Band (international folk dance band), Massachusetts & California, 1988-1999, co-founder, director
- Carfuffle Ceilidh Band (SCD band), 1993-present, founder & director
- Cameron Ensemble (Scottish community orchestra), New York City, 1990-present, co-music director
- Scottish music workshops (group instrumental workshops, all instruments, all levels) 1980-present. Some venues: New York City, Albany NY, Boston Mass, San Francisco Calif, Los Angeles Calif, Maxwell Ont, Bozeman MT, Tokyo Japan, Melbourne Australia, Chicago Ill, Seattle Wash, Atlanta Ga, Alexandria Va, Winnipeg Manitoba, Denver Colo, Buffalo Gap W.Va., Lethbridge Alberta, Vancouver B.C.
- Scottish music workshops (for dancers & dance teachers), 1980-present. Some venues: New York City, Montreal Que, Boston Mass, Plymouth Mass (Pinewoods), St Catherines Ont (TAC Summer School), Sacramento Calif, Los Angeles Calif, San Diego Calif
- Scottish Fiddle Judge, sanctioned by Scottish Fiddling Revival Inc., 1983-present. Some venues: Albany NY, Denver Colo, Alma Mich, S. Vermont, Quechee Vt, Lincoln NH, Grandfather Mt Games
- Scottish fiddle lessons (private individual lessons), 1985 - present. Full-time since 1995
- Faculty at New Hampshire School of Scottish Arts, Manchester N.H., 1998 - present
- "The Rowan Tree Set," published by RSCDS New Haven Branch, 1993, 5 pp (assisted with selection of tunes, contributed an original tune)
- "If The Ghillie Fits ... ", published by Skipper/McLeod, 1736 N. Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, Calif 90210, 1994, 272 pp. Music Editor (wrote piano arrangements for 50 tunes, assisted with layout & choice of tunes, contributed several original tunes)
- "The Slip Knot Dances," published by Mel Briscoe, 1995, 10 pp (assisted with selection of tunes, contributed an original tune)
- In Progress: The Glengarry Collection: The Highland Fiddle Music of Aonghas Grant
- Folk Dance Student of Gertrude Khuner & Sunni Bloland, 1966-73
- Folk Dance Teacher, U.C. Folk Dance Club, 1968-73
- Attended Stockton Folk Dance Camp 1969
- Attended Mendocino Folklore Camp 1970-77
- Member Folk Dance Performing Group Parast with Veronika Fukson 1970-72
- Member Folk Dance Band Ardeleana with David Skuse 1972-74
- Attended Scandinavian Dance & Fiddle Weekends, 1976-78
- Member Folk Dance Band Djerdan with Slavko Silic 1986-88
- DMDF Committee of the Folk Arts Center of New England, 1980-90. Chaired 12-hour Music & Dance Benefit 3 times
- Music Director, Stockton Folk Dance Camp, 1985-98
- Music Director, Mendocino Folklore Camp, 1986-96
- Boston Branch RSCDS Teaching Committee, 1986-87
- Secretary of NEFFA, approx 1989-93
- Member, Scottish FIRE, 1980-present; Board Member, 1990-present.
- Attended Balkan Music Camp, Mendocino, 1993
- Tour Musician with Ken McFarland Vacations for Dancers: Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, Alaska, Outer Hebrides of Scotland, Greece - 8 times 1992-present
- Cambridge Class Committee, Boston Branch, RSCDS, 1994-95, 2000-01
- Director, Bicoastal Band, performed at International Dance Festival, Tokyo, Japan, 1996
- Member, Boston Celtic Music Festival Committee, 2003-05
- Barbara Rae Turner, born in Berkeley California, daughter of James and Edith Turner of Concord, Calif. Lived in Concord through primary school, in Berkeley through college, then Manhattan 1978-79, and Boston area 1979 - present.
- Schools: Williams Elementary School, Oxford Elementary School, Garfield Junior High School, Berkeley High School (Alt.), U.C. Berkeley.
- Some Teachers: Mrs Chevaud, Mrs Sheridan, Mr Fisher, Mrs Rutherford, Miss Taylor, Mr Young, Mrs Morgan, Miss Bennett, Mr Beishlein, Mrs Kawakami, Mrs Moore, Mr Pearl, Mr Gruber, Mrs Small & Mr MacPhee (Latin teachers extraordinaire), Mr Haynes for a high school course on the History of Music, many others, thank you all!
- U.C. Professors, Music Department: Professors Davidson, Eloy, Petray, Brett, Swackhamer Kerman, Cunningham; more! Check Back Soon, and many thanks to all!
- Employers: Ashby Laundry, Dr. Ralf Lorenz, U.C. Berkeley Dept of Education, Berkeley Music House, Classics Department, U.C. Berkeley (with Marjorie Kaiser, Deirdre, Debbie and Janet, and Professors Rosenmeyer, Stroud, Murgia, W.S. Anderson, J.K. Anderson, Threatte, Greenewalt, Miller, Mastronarde, Knapp, Pritchett, Rabinowitz, Fontenrose, Griffith, Bulloch, Nagler), Price Waterhouse (NYC), Harvard Development Office, Bolt Beranek and Newman, Harvard Medical School Dept. of Anatomy, U.C. San Diego Space Academy.
- Married to Philip Bouwsma 1968-73; married to Robert McOwen 1979 - present. No children; but superb nephews Evan, Alex, Sean, Danny.
- Hobbies: Friends, Books, Movies, Travel, History, Classics, Calligraphy and Fonts, FileMakerPro, Simple Website Design, Sudoku.
Bio, May 2006
Barbara McOwen, Scottish Fiddler
In 1971 Barbara McOwen gained her B.A. in Music from the University of California, Berkeley and concurrently began her Scottish fiddle career as a dance and concert musician, band leader, music arranger, teacher, and researcher/collector of Scottish music books. Her first band, the Berkeley Scottish Players, sowed the seeds for the vibrant Scottish music scene in the San Francisco Bay Area, and recorded the first Scottish dance LP by an American band, now re-released as a CD. In 1978 Barbara earned the Teaching Certificate of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, and a silver medal in Highland dancing. After moving to Boston in 1979, she founded her current band Tullochgorum which has performed all over America, Canada, and Scotland. Barbara co-founded three community Scottish music organizations, in Boston, New Hampshire and New York City, and was founding Music Director of Pinewoods Scottish Dance and Music Camp, the annual Boston Branch RSCDS concerts, the New Hampshire Highland Games, Stockton Folk Dance Camp, and the Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle Camp. She is experienced in teaching all ages, all levels, and many instruments, and has developed a course for teaching Scottish fiddle from the beginner through advanced levels. She has taught Scottish music courses throughout North America, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, including the Ceilidh Trail School of Celtic Music in Cape Breton. Her wide-ranging expertise in Scottish music comes from her many collaborations with pipers, vocalists, pianists, and her husband Robert on guitar and bass. She has a library of nearly 600 Scottish and Cape Breton music books, including several valuable originals dating back to the 1700s, from which she draws in writing her arrangements, and she is a regular visitor at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh. Barbara currently teaches private Scottish fiddle lessons full-time at home and at the New Hampshire School of Scottish Arts. She is a member and performer at the Gaelic Club, which brings her into regular contact with the traditional Cape Breton music scene in the Boston area, and hosts and attends Scottish sessions every chance she can get. Barbara is a member of the Board of Directors of Scottish FIRE, and a member of the Boston Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, and several Scottish Fiddle Societies in the U.S. and Canada. Barbara is currently writing a book on the fiddle music of Highland fiddler Angus Grant, to be published in 2008.
Short Bio, May 2006
Barbara McOwen, Scottish Fiddler
Barbara began playing fiddle for Scottish dancing in 1971, the same year she gained her B.A. in Music from the University of California, Berkeley. She subsequently drew upon source books and recordings, and her knowledge of Scottish country and highland dancing, when forming her first band, the Berkeley Scottish Players. Since then she studied fiddling and collected material in Scotland over the course of a dozen trips there, and has taught a number of music workshops in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. She currently leads Tullochgorum, a Scottish country dance band based in Boston, is co-founder of the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club and the N.H. Strathspey & Reel Society, and founded and directs the Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School. She also has a number of recordings and prize-winning compositions to her credit. Barbara has a full-time schedule of private Scottish fiddle students of all ages, has developed a course for teaching beginning through advanced Scottish fiddle, and is currently writing a book on the fiddle music of Highland fiddler Aonghas Grant, to be published by Mel Bay in 2010. In her off-hours, Barbara enjoys looking at her garden, designing databases, and reading about ancient history and Minoan archaeology.
Shorter Bio, May 2007
Barbara McOwen, Scottish Fiddler
Barbara began playing fiddle for Scottish dancing in 1971, the same year she gained her B.A. in Music from the University of California, Berkeley. She subsequently drew upon source books and recordings when forming her first band, the Berkeley Scottish Players, and currently leads Tullochgorum, a Scottish country dance band based in Boston. Barbara is also co-founder of the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club and the N.H. Strathspey & Reel Society, and founded and directs the Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School. She is currently writing a book on the fiddle music of Highland fiddler Aonghas Grant, to be published in 2010.
Barbara & Robert McOwen, April 2009
Barbara McOwen and her husband Robert are a force unto themselves and have helped to shape the future and popularity of Scottish music in this country. Barbara founded the Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School and other events and has been directing fiddle clubs and playing in Scottish Country dance bands since the early 1970's. She is also an RSCDS certified teacher of Scottish Country Dance. Barbara is one of the BEST teachers of Scottish music out there and anywhere she is there is always playing and music until the wee hours. Her husband Robert is an extraordinary Highland dancer and a great guitarist. [thanks, Nora!]
Through November 05