Thursday, 27 November 2008

Hello Katie and Jen!

It is with regret that we announce that Alan John and James Campbell will no longer be playing with the Cairn String Quartet.
However, it is our pleasure to announce that Cairn String Quartet have gone all lady-like and welcome Jenny Robbie and Katie Rush as our new violinists.

Jennifer Robbie - Jennifer is a professional freelance violinist with several years experience of performing and teaching. She has performed with international artists ranging from Kanye West to Runrig and toured with the Scottish Ensemble on the “High Flyers” tour. Jennifer’s interest in music expands to the Scottish tradition and she is a long standing member of one of country’s leading ceilidh bands -SporranAgain. The band has toured Estonia and Sweden to much acclaim.

Jennifer began learning the violin aged 8 in her home town of Dundee. During her school years she enjoyed leading all of the school orchestras and performing as a soloist for Dundee University lunchtime concerts. In 1999 she gained a place at the RSAMD Junior School to study with Rosemary Ellison. Jennifer held the post of co leader of the Junior School Symphony and Chamber orchestras for the 2000-2001 session.

Jennifer went on to study the BMus course at the RSAMD under the tutorage of Simon Fischer and Peter Lissauer. She had a particular interest in chamber music and was a founding member of the Ceoil Quartet. The quartet participated in a number of residential courses including the Royal Northern “Quartetfest”, the Trondheim Quartet festival and the much celebrated Banff (Canada) Chamber Music Course. The quartet enjoyed masterclasses with numerous ensembles including; the Lindsay and Allegri quartets, Divertimento Ensemble, Levon Chilingirian and Rostropovich.

On completion of the BMus course Jennifer continued her study by undertaking the Post graduate performance course graduating in 2008.

Jennifer is an established violin teacher with 7 years experience of teaching a variety of ages and abilities.

Katie Rush - Katie Rush was born in 1984 and grew up near Tain in the Highlands, where she began learning the violin at the age of seven. During her time at secondary school Katie enjoyed playing in a number of ensembles, including a folk group, and was also a member of The National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. With these ensembles she was given the opportunity to play abroad in Krakow in Poland, and also toured Montana in the USA.
In 2005 she graduated from the RSAMD having studied violin with Jerre Gibson and Olivier Lemoine, as well as viola with Lev Atlas. During her degree Katie was involved in the busy orchestral programme at the Academy including symphony, chamber and opera orchestras, leading and co-leading sections. She was awarded the John McInulty Prize for Orchestral String Playing in 2004.
As First Violinist with the Ragazzi String Quartet, she was invited to Berwick-upon-Tweed to take part in the Paxton House Summer Music Festival in July 2005, performing Shostakovich’s Eighth String Quartet at the Young Musicians Platform. That same month, the Ragazzi Quartet, and guitarist Allan Neave, were amongst a group of musicians who recorded the soundtrack for a nationwide television advert for Minute Maid Juices.
Katie enjoyed a year out, gaining further teaching experience before returning to the RSAMD in September 2006 to continue her studies with Olivier Lemoine for her Postgraduate Diploma, which she gained with distinction.
At present Katie enjoys teaching children of all ages for local councils and privately, this includes work for the RSAMD Musicworks centres. She combines this with freelancing for a variety of groups and ensembles.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Prestonfield House Wedding

On the 7th September we played at the spectacular Prestonfield House near Edinburgh. This was the first time we had played there, and it was amazing, like nothing you've ever seen before! For Mhairi walking in we played Moon River, and then during the silent prayer, at the signing of the register and for their exit we played a selection of Josh Groban songs that they had had specially arranged. We also accompanied the hymn, In Christ Alone.
The couple have since sent us these kind words -

Dear Annemarie, Fiona and the Cairn Quartet,

Just back from honeymoon and wanted to thank you all for the beautiful music for our
wedding at Prestonfield on Sunday 7 September. You were absolutely breathtaking and
even better than we'd imagined so thank you so much.

From the pieces you played before our ceremony, to the special arrangements during
our ceremony (including our hymn In Christ Alone which sounded wonderful) everything
was perfect.

Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany's (which I walked down the aisle to) and You
Raise Me Up by Josh Groban (which was played during silent prayer) especially were
both huge hits with our family and friends and there wasn't a dry eye in the house
at those points.

We have had so many compliments on the music we just had to let you know how happy
we were with it and also to let you know that it was an absolute pleasure to work
with you. Your customer service and whole approach was fantastic - so friendly and
helpful - nothing was too much trouble and your calming and laid back manner
was much appreciated!

We wouldn't hesitate to use you again or recommend you to friends and family (in
fact I recommended you to a colleague Melissa Ferrie a number of weeks ago who
has since booked you for her wedding at the Botanics in Glasgow this autumn).

Our photographs should be ready any day now so I'll forward the link to our web
gallery as soon as they are ready so you can see yourselves on camera and perhaps
use a photograph on your blog.

Take care, speak to soon.

With love from Mairi & Paul Gordon xxx

Dunblane Hydro Wedding

On the 6th September we played at Dunblane Hydro. For Amanda walking in we played Pachelbel's Canon, and at the signing of the register the couple had asked for a special song to be arranged, The Vervepipe's 'Colourful'. The couple then walked out to the traditional wedding march.
We have since received this lovely email from the couple!

Hi Annemarie & Fiona

The new Mrs Dean here! I just wanted to email you to say a huge thank you for being
part of our big day on 6th September 2008 at the Dunblane Hydro. I'm afraid my head
was elsewhere on the day and I can't truly admit to hearing you playing (except when
we were signing the register) but everyone else has informed me that you were
excellent and really added to the ambience of the day.

Thank you so much for all your help with the composition of Colorful, again I missed
most of this but a few of our friends said it was wonderful. I am really excited to
see the video as then I will really get a chance to appreciate the music. Also,
having played the cello myself for 10 years, I think there is something very
beautiful about the sight of a string ensemble playing whether it be a quartet or a
full orchestra!

Once again, thanks for everything you did. I won't forget you.

Kind regards

Amanda & Andrew

Glasgow University Chapel Wedding

On the 23rd August we played at the lovely Glasgow University Chapel. It is one of my favourite places to play as it is where my parents were married! For Joanne walking in we played Pachelbel's Canon, at the signing of the register we played Braveheart, and then the couple were piped out by a friend. The hymns were accompanied by the organ. We then moved outside to the cloisters to play for their drinks reception.

Brig o doon weddings

On both the 17th and 23rd we played at Brig o doon House. One of our favourite venues, it never seems to rain there! On the 17th the bride was Diane Ring, and she walked into Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. We then played Stand by Me and God Only Knows by the Beach Boys at the signing of the register and All You Need is Love and Somewhere Beyond the Sea for their exit.
On the 23rd, Diane Doherty walked in to Pachelbel's Canon, at the signing of the register we played Songbird and for their exit we played Here Comes the Sun.

One Devonshire Gardens Wedding

On the 16th August we played at the prestigious One Devonshire Gardens. For Lynette walking in we played the traditional wedding march, Spring at the signing if the register and the traditional exit wedding march for their exit. On this occasion we were playing with Emma Peebles, Paul Livingstone and Katie Rush.

Royal Wedding at Borru House

On August we played for the wedding of James and Cheryl at their beautiful home in Erskine. James is a direct descendant of Brian Borru of Ireland, and the wedding signinfied the first Scottish wedding of the clan since the 10th century. As well as the normal wedding vows and rings exchanged, Cheryl also received a royal ring, and was named a Lady. It was held in a marquee in the formal gardens and although it was raining it didn't put a dampner on the day. The music had a distinct Irish feel and we played the Brian Borru march for James arriving, the Prince of Denmark's March for Cheryl walking down the ailse and From Clare to Here at the signing of the register.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Hill of Tarrit Mansion wedding

On the 8th August we played at the beautiful Hill of Tarrit Mansion near Cupar in Fife. The house is a trust house and the wedding was held in the gardens. We played outside on the steps for the ceremony, where we played Pachelbel's Canon for the bride's entrance, then Vivaldi's Spring at the signing of the register, and Salut D'Amour for their exit. We then moved onto the lawn for the drinks reception. On this occassion we were playing with Jo Wylie and Ian Watson.

We have since received this lovely message!

We are just writing to express our deepest thanks for your lovely performance at our
wedding ceremony at the Hill of Tarvit in Cupar on the 8th of August. Many of our
guests commented on how much they enjoyed listening to you during the
following drinks reception.

We would like to wish you all the very best for future successes.

Kindest Regards

Justin & Jennifer

Western House Hotel Wedding

On the 3rd August we played at Western House Hotel in Ayr (again!) for the wedding of Edwina and Darren. For Edwina walking down the ailse we played the traditional wedding march, then at the signing of the register we played Braveheart and then I Predict a Riot for their exit. I Predict a Riot is a surprisingly popular choice for weddings! On this occasion we were playing with Katie Rush and Gisela Hans.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Turnberry Hotel Wedding

On the 2nd August we played for the wedidng of Claire and Phil at Turnberry Hotel. For Claire walking up the ailse we played Pachelbel's Canon, O Mio Babbino Caro for the signing of the register and the traditional Wedding March for their exit. We then played for their drinks reception outside, with stunning views out over Arran!
On this occassion we were playing with Ian Watson and Jo Wylie.

We have since received this lovely email from Claire!


Just an email to say thanks for the wedding. Everyone loved you and the music was
excellent. Thanks ever so much.


Claire and Phil

Crieff Hydro Wedding

On the 1st August we played at Crieff Hydro. For Wendy walking down the ailse we played Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, Air on a G String at the signing of the register and Hornpipe for the couple walking out. It was a lovely day, especially since the couple's children were able to spend it with them. We then played a good mixture of pieces, as well as the playlist they had sent, for the drinks reception and wedding breakfast. On this occassion we were playing with Katie Rush and Paul Livingstone.

We also received this lovely email from Wendy following the event!

Hi Fiona,
I just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed the music last Friday. I didn't get a
chance to speak to you myself because you were continually playing (hats off to you
all) or I was being the busy bride/mum. You were so fantastic and made an excellent
start to the day.
I wish you all well in your future careers.

Thanks again,

Coca-cola at Gleneagles Hotel

On the 31st July, we were priviledged to be playing for an important event for Coca-Cola at the Gleneagles Hotel. They had asked specifically for an all-female quartet, in the style of the all-girl group 'Bond'. We played 4 pieces, Palladio (like in the Sky Sports advert), All You Need is Love, Nessun Dorma and Can't take My Eyes Off of You. Our brief included being energetic, sassy and sexy and I think we managed all 3!

Thank You's!

Here's a few more comments and Thank You's that we have recieved from previous weddings and events!

Hi Fiona,

Just a wee note to thank you all for doing a wonderful job at my wedding.
I am sorry I didn't get a chance to talk to you on the day but as you can
imagine it was a bit hectic. Everyone has commented on how great you all
were and I am so pleased that you were there.

Anyway that's me back to reality and went back to work today!! Looking
forward to seeing the video and photos.

Hope you are all well and hope you will say thanks to the rest of the guys

Thanks again

Deanna Cameron
(Wedding on 26th April 08 at Dalziel Park, Motherwell)


A great big thank you to you all for the fabulous music played at our
function last night.
It was the first time we have hosted an event of this kind and the feedback
received was very positive. You played a major role in making the night the success that it was.
We have been asked for your contact details which we have passed on and
hopefully you will get something out of this in the future.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas.

Kind regards
Lynne x
(Event at Skypark, Glasgow on 12th December 07)


Hi Fiona,
I just wanted to thank you all for making my wedding day so, so
The wedding marches were amazing, we were both so proud to be there
hearing such a well known tune played so beautfully.
And as for my special song you all played so wonderfully, we both
could hardly hold the tears back!
My wedding day will always be memorable but you guys made it even
more so, thank you so much.
Love Tracey & John Gilbert x

PS I wish i had had my wedding videoed so i could listen to you

(wedding at Shieldhill Castle on 25th September 07)


Hi Fiona,

We just wanted to say a big thank you for your beautiful playing at our wedding,
both during the ceremony and at the drinks reception. We only wish we could have
heard more of you but the photos rather got in the way!

Many of our guests commented on how much they enjoyed your playing-it really was

Kind regards,

Brigid and Kevin Murray.
(Wedding at The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh on 16th Febuary 08)


Hi Fiona and Annemarie

I have just voted for you and scored you at a 10 for everything.(Vows Awards)

Thank you so much for playing at our wedding! You sounded absolutely amazing and all
the guests commented on how fantastic you were! We hired you because we wanted an
extra something special to create the atmosphere on the day and you certainly did
that. So thank you all very much!! I will certainly be recommending you any friends
who get married in the future

Best Wishes
(Wedding at the Marine McDonald Hotel, North Berwick, on the 29th December 07)


Dear All,

At last a note to say thankyou all very much for your wonderful playing at our daughter's wedding on the 23rd of June. We have had lots of comments on how good you were. We should have organised someone to direct all the guests through to hear you as some said they didn't realise you were there and had missed out on some lovely playing. We had a great day despite the rain and can't believe it is all over. Thankyou again for sharing your talents with us. I have passed your e-mail onto one couple already so hopefully you will hear from them.
Kind regards

Jill & John Cumming
(Wedding 23rd June 07 at Crichton Castle)

Brig o doon wedding

On the 30th July we played for the wedding of Pamela and Ian at Brig a doon hotel. Pam had asked if we could play a couple of songs to accompany a singer, so after a rehearsal prior to the ceremony, we played Kissing You by Desiree with the singer Joanna while Pamela walked down the aisle, and Songbird with Joanna singing for the signing of the register. For the couple walking out they had asked for Jurassic Park, as it had a lot of sentimental meaning after spending a fantastic day at Disneyland listening to it!
We then played for their drinks reception, and while the guests were being seated for dinner. On this occassion we were playing with Katie Rush and Nicola Connell, and the events manager commented that we were one of the best quartets she had ever heard play at the hotel!

Sunday, 27 July 2008

'The Drum' Wedding

On 26th July we played for the wedding of Lindsay and Alexander at 'The Drum', Edinburgh. The Drum is a beautiful counrty house which is the family home of Alexander, and the ceremony was held outside in front of the house, with the bridal party on the steps leading up to the house. For the bridesmaid's walking up, we played Salut D'Amour, and then played Pachelbel's Canon for Lindsay walking up the ailse. At the signing of the regsiter we played Air on a G String and for the couple walking back down the steps, down the ailse and onto the lawn we played 'All You Need is Love' by the Beatles (like in Love Actually.)
We then moved onto the lawn for the drinks reception, where we all got a wee bit of a tan! We played mostly jazz, which seemed to be going down well with the guests.

Cornhill House Wedding

On 25th July we played at the beautiful Cornhill House. It was the hottest day of the year so far I think, and it was absoutely stunning (as was the bride, Leigh!) For Leigh walking in she had asked to have arranged 'Falling Slowly' from the film 'Once' which was a fantastic choice. We then accomapanyed a singer for 'Come to a Wedding' (sung to the tune of Morning has broken). We then played 'Falling Slowly' again for them walking out (after a moment of confusion between ourselves and the piper!) We then moved out on the veranda for their drinks reception where we played a mixture of jazz, tangos, classical and The Beatles.
We also recieved this lovely feedback from the bride!

You were absolutely wonderful and so many people commented on 'Falling
Slowly'...from what I hear it started quite a few tears!

Thank you so much for playing so beautifully!

Best wishes,

Leigh & Chris

St. Anthony's, Balfron/The Barony Wedding

On 24th July (after a week off!) we played for the wedding of Natalie and Andrew. It was an incredibly sunny and warm day, and they had chosen to get married in a beautiful church in Balfron. We played classical music for the guests arriving, and then a piper friend of Natalie's (who also happened to be one of the priests taking the ceremony!) piped her down the ailse. We accompanyed 3 hymns throughout the service, 'Be Still for the presence of the Lord', 'Let the be love shared among us', and 'Bind Us Together Lord.' At the signing of the register we played the whole 6 minutes of Pachelbel's Canon (perfect timing) and the couple were then piped back out (after a quick change from the priest!)
We then moved onto The Barony in Glasgow for the drinks reception and wedding breakfast, where we played a good mixture of everytthing. On this occassion we were joined by Elaine Sexton.

Stepps Parish Church Wedding

On 12th July we played for the wedding of Nikki and Crawford. Before the ceremony, they had asked us to play some modern pieces, such as Hoppipolla and Chasing Cars. Nikki walked in to Pachelbel's Canon, followed by Stand By Me and Can't Help Falling in Love at the signing of the register, and they walked out to Brandenberg 3. We also accompanyed 2 hymns, 'Let there be love shared among us' (a personal favourite of the quartet, and a very popular choice for weddings) and 'Give me joy in my heart'. We had met the couple before, and Nikki had been quite ill, so we got such a shock when one of the most beautiful brides we had ever seen walked down the ailse!
We have since received this lovely email from the couple!

I am sorry that it has taken me this long to get around to thanking
you all. The music was sensational and all of our guests couldn't stop
raving about you. It was such a nice touch to have a combination of
classical and modern pieces played at our wedding. I have voted you 10
in every column. You have been fantastic.

Lochgreen House Hotel Wedding

On 11th July we played for the drinks receptiona and dinner of Caroline and Stuart. It was a beautiful sunny day and so we played outside on the patio for the drinks reception, and played a mixture of jazz, tangos, rags and more popular numbers. We then moved inside for the dinner, and played to welcome guests into the dining room, and then played 'Can't Take My Eyes Off of You' for Caroline and Stuart walking in. We then played a mixture of Classical, Opera and traditional.
We particularly enjoyed the day as Caroline had been so lovely to organise everything with, and we had the met the couple previously.
On this occassion we were playing with Emily Carr and Elspeth Luke.

Shieldhill Castle Wedding

On 8th July we played for Lesley and Gavin's wedding in the chapel at Shieldhill Castle. It was a really lovely ceremony, and a very sunny day, and the couple had had some personal songs arranged for them. We played Braveheart for Lesley walking down the ailse, and at the signing of the register they had asked for 'She' by Elvis Costello. We then played Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros for their exit. We also accompanyed 2 hymns, 'We comne dear lord to celebrate', and 'As Man and Woman we are made.'

Norton House Hotel wedding

On 6th July we played for the wedding of Nicola and Darren at Norton House Hotel, Ingelston. For the bridesmaid walking down the ailse we played Gabriel's Oboe, followed by Pachelbel's Canon for Nicola walking down the ailse. We then played Air on a G String at the signing of the register. The couple were piped out, and then us and the piper took it in turns to play at the drinks reception. On this occassion we were playing with Jo Wylie and Helena Flint.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

No Reply to your email????

The Cairn's are off this week 17th-23rd July on the renowned "Cadenza" course. If you need to contact us please phone 07968783440.
Best Wishes
Annemarie and Fiona

Monday, 7 July 2008

Glenskirlie Castle wedding

On Sunday, the Cairns returned to one of their favourite venues, Glenskirlie Castle for the wedding of Anne Curry and Graham.
We played Canon for Anne walking up the aisle, Coldplay's Yellow for the signing of the register and All You Need is Love by the Beatles for their exit music. On this occasion, Annemarie and Alan were joined by Katie Rush from the Cairn's "All Girl" Quartet and Fiona Ritchie on cello. Due to a late bus arriving from the Southside of Glasgow, the quartet amused the guests with a selection of lively Mozart, and light Jazz.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Photographs of the quartet playing at Glenskirlie Castle

On the 23rd March we had played for the wedding of Lynn and Gary at Glenskirlie Castle. The photographer from the wedding, Alastair Jolly, kindly got in touch with us and sent us the photos he had taken of us on the day. For more photos by Alastair, please visit

Pollokshields Burgh Hall Wedding

On the 3rd July, after playing for Eleanor and Stuart's wedding in Motherwell, we hopped in the car and headed for Pollokshield's Burgh Hall, Glasgow, where we were playing for the wedding of Martine and Stephen. Martine had decided to have 'Just Like Heaven' by The Cure arranged for her walking down the ailse, and at the signing of the register we played 'Stand By Me' by Ben E. King. For their exit we played 'Can't Take My Eyes Off of You', and they had also chosen mostly popular songs for their guests arriving.

Dalziel St. Andrew's Church wedding

On 3rd July we played for the wedding of Eleanor and Stuart at their church in Motherwell. We had met the couple only the week previously at our showcase, and they were so lovely and it meant we really felt like a part of the proceddings rather than just doing a job. We played Pachelbel's Canon for the bridal party entrance, and then Eleanor decided to walk into the Wedding March, played on the organ. A singer accompanyed by a piano then sang during the signing of the register, and the bridal party walked out to the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. On this occassion we were playing with Emily Carr and Elspeth Luke.

Culcreuch Castle wedding

On 28th June the string trio were playing at the lovely Culcreuch Castle in Fintry. Nicola walked down the ailse to Pachelbel's Canon, and walked out to Eine Kleine Bricht Moonlicht Nicht Musik (the piece that encompasses both Mozart's Eine Kleine and Scottish traditional music!) For the signing of the register the trio accompanied a singer, who sang 'Come What May', after a rehearsal prior to the ceremony.

Solsgirth House wedding

On 28th June we played for the ceremony and drinks reception of Louise and James at Solsgirth House, Dollar. Louise had had 2 specific pieces of music arranged for the ceremony, Will Young's 'All Time Love' for her walking down the ailse, and Feeling Good by Nina Simone for the signing of the register. They then walked out of the chapel to Good Day Sunshine by The Beatles. This was an apt choice as when the ceremony started it was drizzling with rain but by the time they were walking back down the ailse it was nice and sunny, so much so that we then moved out onto the veranda to play for the guests sipping champagne on the grass!
We were playing on this occassion with Emily Carr and Catherine Robertson.

Pollok House wedding

On the 21st June we played for the wedding of Kenny and Chatsuda at Pollok House. We played for the ceremony, drinks reception and after dinner drinks. For the ceremony and drinks reception the couple had chosen mostly classical music for us to play, and for the ceremony itself we played Handel's Largo. After the drinks reception we had a 2 hour break while the party had their dinner, and we played mostly jazz and more popular tunes for their after dinner party, held in the scullery downstairs.
On this occassion, Lamond Gillespie was playing with us as Alan was playing in the RSAMD Opera.

Norton House Hotel wedding

On 21st June we played for the wedding ceremony and drinks reception of Karen and Ben at Norton House Hotel, Ingelston. It was a fantstic day, and on this occassion the musicians playing were Katie Rush, Dyzelle Sutherland, Kirsty Brown and Robert Anderson.
Following the wedding, Karen sent us a lovely Thank You email with some great comments, and here it is!

Hi All

Just back from Honeymoon and wanted to say a big thanks to you all for the
wedding music.

In the lead up to the day both Fiona and Annemarie were really friendly,
helpful and professional.

You really did us proud, I know you had a bit of a hard time as I was late to
the aisle (I was ready at 1.55pm but they didn't come and get me and then the
Registrar took ages!!)

Would absolutely recommend you and if you need anything completed for VOWS
etc just give me a shout.

Thanks again you really did make it special.


Lochgreen House Hotel Wedding

On 20th June we played at a beautiful church ceremony at the Holy Family and St. Ninian's church in Kirkintilloch. It was a lovely ceremony, and although it was long the minister was great and really had everyone listening all the way through. For the signing of the register and the communion, we accompanyed a singer, who was singing Panis Angelicus and Ave Maria. We had been sent the music by the bride, and then we had a rehearsal on the day with the singer and it all went brilliantly!
Laura, the bride, walked down the ailse to Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring and walked back out to the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. Although there were hymns the organ was playing for these, and we sang along!
We then moved onto the Lochgreen House Hotel for the drinks reception.

Laura later sent us this lovely email to thank us!

Dear All,

I'm so sorry I've not been in touch! Have been meaning to write for ages!
I was delighted with your performance on our wedding day - it made the mass
so special. You accompanied Toby so fantastically well, and all after just
one rehearsal with him - amazing! Thank you for going above and beyond and
learning the Panis Angelicus and the Ave Maria for me. It's so clear on the
DVD and brings back lovely memories. It was the one bit of the ceremony
that nearly brought a tear to my eye!
It's a shame we didn't get to hear much of your performance at the hotel as
we were away having pictures done - I knew that would happen! All my
friends and family have said how lovely it was to have you playing in the
background during the drinks reception.
I have a couple of pictures you might like for your blog - will email them
over this week.


Thursday, 19 June 2008

RSAMD Summer Ball

Every year the quartet play for the drinks reception of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama's Summer Ball, held at The Fruitmarket in the City Halls. As students at the university, it is a fantastic night for us, and as you can see from the pictures we all brush up very well! On this occassion we were playing with Kathleen McCrudden and Katie Stone, 2 of our collegues from the university, and it was a very poignant night for us as it was the last time we would play together before we went our seperate ways after university. We played lots of popular and jazzy pieces, in keeping with the fun and lighthearted feel of the evening, and they went down really well with all the students!

Surprise wedding! at 'The Club', Broxburn

On 7th June we played for the wedding of Kevin and Marissa at 'The Club' in Broxburn. This was a very exciting day for us for 2 reasons. The first was that it was our first experience of a pagan wedding. It was very beautiful, and they talked about the bonds that held them together and then they 'jumped over the broom' together, symbolising them going into their new life together. We were quite heavily involved in the proceedings, with many musical interludes throughout the ceremony.
The second reason was that the quartet was actually Kevin's wedding present to Marissa. The couple had seen us at a wedding show and Marissa in particular had really wanted us to be a part of their day, keeping our flyer in her wedding planner book for months after the show. However, they had decided that their budget would not be able to stretch to us and that we were a luxury that they couldn't afford. Kevin, however, contacted us, with strict instructions to keep it a secret from Marissa as he had decided that we would be a surprise until she was walking down the aisle to us playing instead of a CD. We sent him our playlist and he listened to every single song on our playlist on his ipod to try and pick the songs she would love! He mainly picked from our popular songs, and was very appropriate for the feel of the day. When we arrived, Marissa had to subtly be taken into another room while we set up, and there was a wall of men standing in the doorway so as she couldn't see us. We tuned up quietly, and started playing for the guests arriving. By this time Marissa had guessed what was going on, but it made the whole day very special and very personal and we felt really appreciated!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Vows Awards!

Pleased you chose the Cairn Quartet? Vote for us, and your other favourite wedding suppliers at and have the chance to win a second honeymoon!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Lord Provost's Glasgow Awards Dinner

On the 31st May we were playing for the Lord Provost of Glasgow Awards Dinner, held at the City Chambers. The creme de la creme of Glasgow were in attendance, with people picking up awards for sport, culture, arts, business and more. Stephane Deneve, conductor of the RSNO was there to receieve an award, and so we were all feeling the pressure to play our extra best!
On this occassion we were again playing with Ian Watson, and the boys were looking very daper in their black ties!

Monday, 26 May 2008


The Cairn Quartet are holding a showcase on the 23rd June at The Busby Hotel, Glasgow, 7pm! Come and chat with us, meet the members of the quartet and ask advice about music. We will be playing a selection of music from our playlist, please let us know prior to the event if you have any requests and we will play them for you!

Meet the musicians!

Fiona McLachlan (cello)
Sales and Events Manager

Fiona McLachlan was born and brought up in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, and began playing the cello at the age of 8. At 16 she was offered a place at the RSAMD Junior School, where she studied with Tim Paxton. While there she was awarded the Wolfson Scholarship, and was principal cellist of both the Chamber and Symphony Orchestras.
In 2003 she gained a place at the RSAMD, where she is currently in her Honours Year studying with David Watkin, principal cellist of SCO. She also receives regular lessons with Johannes Goretzki, and has had masterclasses with William Conway, Robert Cohen and Emma Ferrand amongst others. As well as regularly performing with the RSAMD Symphony, Chamber and Opera Orchestras, she has appeared numerous times with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. Fiona has also performed as soloist at the International Summer School in Debrecen, Hungary, and at the International Summer School in El Escorial, Spain, where she studied with Kate Price. As well as performing, Fiona also enjoys teaching and co-ordinating community music projects throughout Scotland, as well as performing, recording and writing parts for numerous bands and solo artists.

Annemarie McGahon (viola)
Sales and Events Manager

Irish born and bred, Annemarie began studying viola at the age of 17 with Elizabeth Csibi at the Royal Irish Academy of Music Junior School. Awarded an Irish Permanent High Achievers Award and numerous Feiseanna prizes, Annemarie continued her studies at the RSAMD in Glagsow unter the tutalage of Lev Atlas, principal viola Scottish Opera, and Andrew Berridge, co-principal of BBCSSO. Currently in her Honours year, Annemarie has performed in many masterclasses, including Robert Ireland, Gareth Knox and Barbara Westphal. Annemarie is a keen chamber musician, involved with various ensemble, and is in regular demand from RSAMD's Symphony, Chamber and Opera Orchestras. She recently performed with Scottish Opera and their Apprenticeship Scheme. Annemarie teaches violin and viola with RSAMD Youthworks and the High School of Dundee. She perfroms regularly with bands and solo artists, composing string parts for recording and performing, playing both violin and viola.

Other musicians!

Liam Lynch

Liam Eoin Lynch was born in Dunfermline and studied at the Junior Department of the RSAMD with Lise Aferiat before continuing his studies there with Tamas Fejes, graduating with first class honours in 2006. At the RSAMD Liam led the Academy Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, the modern music ensemble "Academy Now", won the Dunbar-Gerber, Iain D Watt and Mary D Adams prizes and competitions for chamber music, the Eric Dodds Brown Scholarship for outstanding senior violinist, the Wolfson Scholarship, the Bessie Spence concerto prize and the Viola Challenge competition. As concerto soloist he recently performed both the world premiere of John De Simone's Violin Concerto to critical acclaim and Brahms' Double Concerto for violin and cello with the RSAMD Symphony Orchestra. Most recently he has performed Bach's concerto for two violins with fellow quartet member Stewart Webster and the Fife Festival Orchestra and in July will be performing Mozart’s D Major Concerto with the Crail Festival Orchestra.
Liam is a founding member of the Alba Quartet, a young vibrant Scottish-based ensemble founded in 2003. The Quartet was awarded the inaugural Enterprise Music Scotland residency project which has led to regular tours throughout the country and the commissioning of David Fennessey's "bow your head", which will receive its premiere at the 2008 S-O-U-N-D Festival. They have received critical acclaim for their performances of Mendelssohn's Octet with the Edinburgh and Fejes Quartets, look forward to future collaborations with other leading chamber musicians and have performed at the St Magnus, Paxton House, Brechin and Balquhidder music festivals . The Quartet also enjoys education work and has held highly successful events in Fife and at St Andrews University. Forthcoming engagements include the EMS residency project tour of Scotland, their London debut and a tour of China.
Further afield he has given recitals of both Scottish traditional and classical violin music in Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, Romania, Hungary and New York. Currently Liam is living in Perth and combining his chamber music career with the post of Head of Strings at Kilgraston School and freelance work with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Emily Carr (Violin)
Emily Carr was first educated at the City of Edinburgh Music School studying the violin with Susan Emslie and the piano with Gillian Gray. In 2002 she went on to study the violin with Raymond Sidebottom at Leeds College of Music (LCM) graduating with a BA(Hons)Music Studies in 2005. While in Leeds she led the LCM symphony and chamber orchestras and was an active performer with a variety of classical and folk ensembles. In Leeds she received various awards including the Marjorie Ziff concerto prize in 2003 and 2005 and the Rotary scholarship in 2004.
In 2005 Emily began the Postgraduate Diploma (Performance) course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD), graduating in July 2006. She then continued her studies with Peter Lissauer at the RSAMD on the MMus. Course graduating in July 2007. During her time at the RSAMD Emily was an active orchestral performer and led both the RSAMD Opera School Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra. Also, Emily has participated in masterclasses with Maya Homburger and Ilya Gringolts and taken part in the Scottish Opera Apprenticeship scheme.
Emily is now enjoying a freelance career, combining teaching, both privately and in various music centres and schools and playing in an assortment of ensembles around Scotland including the Nevis String Quartet.

Elspeth Luke (Violin)
Elspeth Luke studied at Napier University where she learned violin andviola with Philip Burrin, and also with Nikolai Fadajev when she took partin an exchange to Tampere Konservatorio, Finland. She graduated in 2003 andwas awarded the class medal for her outstanding effort to her studies. Shewent on to gain a Post-Graduate diploma from the Royal Scottish Academy ofMusic and Drama in 2005. Whilst at the Academy she studied violin with TonyMoffat and Peter Lissauer and was principal 2nd for the Academy's Symphonyand Opera Orchestras. She also took part in masterclasses with RuthWaterman, Suzanne Stanzeleit and Rosie Warren-Green. Elspeth has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in venues such asThe Queens hall, Falkirk Town Hall, and the Edinburgh Society of Musicians.She has performed at Paxton House as part of their Summer Music Festival andalso in the Cantilena festival held annually on Islay. Elspeth particularlyenjoys orchestral playing and has performed around the UK as well asEstonia, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and the Czech Republic. In 2003she performed in the BBC Proms with the National Youth Orchestra ofScotland. Since graduating from the RSAMD she has enjoyed a combination ofteaching and playing. She now plays with a variety of freelance ensemblesincluding The Orchestra of Scottish Opera and also teaches in schools andfor RSAMD Youthworks.

Ian Watson (Violin)

George Smith (Violin)

Ronan MacManus (Violin)

Jo Wylie (Violin)

Helena Flint (Viola)
Helena Flint, 25, graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music &Drama, having studied with Lev Atlas, in July 2006 with a Masters in violaperformance. Helena has rehearsed with the RSNO, performed in ensembleswith BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra violists during the 2005 PrimroseFestival, and she has performed with Scottish Opera. Helena teaches theviola and piano and performs in different venues throughout Scotland andEngland as part of a string quartet.

Emma Peebles (Viola)

Fiona Ritchie (Cello)
Fiona Ritchie was born in 1984 in Aberdeen and began playing cello at theage of seven. She was accepted to study on the BMus course at the RSAMD in2002 at the age of 17 and graduated with honours in 2006. While at the RSAMDshe studied with Myra Chahin, Rudi de Groote and Donald Gillan as well asparticipating in masterclasses with several renowned cellists including PaulWatkins, Philip de Groote and Emma Ferrand. Since graduating she has beenteaching for East Renfrewshire Council and teaching privately as well asfreelance playing.

Emily Walker (Cello)

Western House Hotel Wedding

On May 25th we played for the wedidng ceremony and drinks reception of Hazel and Joe at Western House Hotel, Ayr. Hazel had actually only booked us the week before the wedding, but with her help we managed to get everything organised pronto and the day was fantastic. The ceremony was being held outside, and enjoyed the views of a lovely water feature and Ayr Racecourse. Although it was a really sunny day, it was incredibly windy and we didn't have any clothes pegs with us so it was quite amusing watching us trying to keep our music down! Definately learnt our lesson for the next outdoor wedding! For Hazel walking down the ailse we played the traditional wedding march by Wagner, then for the signing of register we played Gabriel's Oboe (which we played twice through), and the couple walked out to The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. We then moved onto the bandstand to play for the drinks reception, and the couple had chosen a list of songs from out playlist. All the songs were modern and pop songs, and it was a really good fun afternoon!

On this occassion we were playing with Emma Peebles, a postgraduate student from RSAMD, as Annemarie was at her niece's christening in Ireland.

Glenskirlie House Hotel Wedding

On May 24th we were playing for the wedding drinks reception of Douglas and Jacquline. We had met the couple while exhibiting at The Scottish Wedding Show in Ingelston in Febuary this year. They had provided us with a great wide and varied playlist, and there was really something for everyone on it.

Glenskirlie Castle is increasingly becoming one of our most popular venues. However, this was the first time this year we had played in the hotel, which has recently been redecorated. It now looks stylish and classy, and we were all blown away by the transformation it has undergone. It was a spectacularly sunny day, so while we were waiting on the guests arriving we enjoyed some of the sunshine in the beautiful gardens, as you can see from the pics!

On this occassion we were playing with Ian Watson, a Masters student at the RSAMD, and Jo Wylie, a graduate from RSAMD.

Seamill Hydro Wedding

On May 23rd we were playing again at Seamill Hydro in West Kilbride. We were playing for the wedding ceremony of Susan and Chris, and it was held in the Arran Room of the hotel, which looked out onto the beach and the Isle of Arran. Myself and James were playing with Catherine Robertson and Helena Flint, both graduates of the RSAMD, as Alan was on holiday and Annemarie was doing her degree recital!
For Susan walking up the ailse we played Pachelbel's Canon, for the signing of the register Air on a G String and The Secret Wedding from Braveheart, and for the couple's exit we played All You Need is Love by The Beatles (like in 'Love Actually').

Pollokshields Burgh Hall Wedding

On May 11th we played for the ceremony and drinks reception of Laura and Geoff at Pollokshields Burgh Hall, after meeting Laura and her mum at The Royal Concert Hall Wedding Show. This was our first ever wedding at Pollokshields Burgh Hall, and it turned out to be a great venue, with friendly and helpfull staff and beautiful ceremony room looking out onto the park. We were playing again with Ronan MacManus, and for Laura walking down the ailse we played Can't Help Falling in Love, followed by Salut D'Amour for the signing of the register and Arrival of the Queen of Sheba for the couple's exit. They had also chosen a selection of songs from our playlist to play during the wedidng reception, mostly popular and modern songs, and these went down a storm with the guests.

When we met Laura at the wedidng show, she had also been looking for a ceilidh band. We were able to help her out as Alan also plays in a great ceilidh band. After the quartet finished playing, Alan stayed at the venue, where he was provided with dinner, and then began playing with his ceilidh band at around 7.30pm.

Laura and Geoff were a lovely couple, and both themselves and their families and guests were so nice and friendly we had a lovely time!

Seamill Hydro Wedding

On May 10th we played for a wedding ceremony at Seamill Hydro Hotel, West Kilbride. The hotel is set in a beautiful location looking out to sea, and we always try and keep a lookout for seals! On this occassion, myself and Annemarie had the pleasure of playing with George Smith and Ronan MacManus, both collegues of ours from the RSAMD in Glasgow.

Dalmeny Park Hotel Wedding

On May 4th we played for Sheila and Brian's wedding ceremony and drinks reception at Dalmeny Park Hotel, Barrhead. The couple had hoped for an outdoor ceremony in the beautiful gardens that the hotel host, but unfortunately the forecast for storms meant it was held in the room looking onto the gardens. We played a selection of classics for the ceremony, and had been asked to play a number of Irish jigs for the drinks reception due a number of Irish attending the wedding!

Brig O' Doon Wedding

On May 2nd we played for a drinks reception at Brig O' Doon House Hotel. It was a lovely sunny day so we played outside in the bandstand while guests sipped champagne and enjoyed the scenery! Still one of our favourite venues, the beautiful location, scenery and friendly staff make this a perfect venue in both winter and summer.