Chicago Scottish Fiddle Camp

The Chicago Scottish Fiddle Camp is a weekend workshop for beginning to intermediate fiddlers, led by Tim Macdonald (fiddle), Jeremy Ward (cello/accompaniment/beginners), and Meg Dedolph (dance).

The 2019 session will take place on August 24 and 25 at the Scottish Home in North Riverside, IL.


Students will learn about the basic types of Scottish tune (strathspey, jig, reel, slow air, march, and hornpipe), how to make dance music danceable and listening music listenable (er, expressive), and basic improvisation. The Scottish fiddle tradition both historically and currently has been surprisingly educated and literate, so sheet music will be used almost exclusively, and classical technique will be encouraged (and, if necessary, explicitly developed!).

Who’s Invited?

Students of any age (past participants have been as young as 6 and as old as 70-something) who play any fiddling-compatible acoustic instrument are invited to attend (violin-family instruments, guitar, piano, flute, oboe, squeezebox, etc.). Basic familiarity with reading music and “knowing where the notes are” is very helpful, but no prior experience with any fiddling tradition is required.


Classes will take place throughout the day either as one big group or as two self-selected smaller groups (variously broken up by experience or by type of instrument played), and the camp will finish with a low-pressure student concert for the residents of Caledonia Senior Living.

Saturday, Aug. 24

9:30AM Setup / welcome
10 — 11:15 Group class (all together)
11:15 — 12:45 Scottish dancing for all
12:45 — 1:30 Lunch (please bring a packed lunch)
1:30 – 2:45 Group classes (at two self-selected levels in separate rooms)
2:45 — 3:30 Concert by Tim & Jeremy (and teatime!)
3:30 — 5 Group class (all together)

Sunday, Aug. 25

12PM Group class / rehearsal
2PM Everyone plays for the residents of the Scottish Home


“Heritage Hall” at Caledonia Senior Living (formerly known as The Scottish Home).

2800 Des Plaines Avenue, North Riverside, IL

Any staffmember will be able to point you in the right direction once you enter the main facility.


Thanks to the generosity of scholarship donors, the number of students already enrolled, and the low overhead of camp, tuition is by donation. Comparable workshops tend to charge about $150, but we are excited to say that it is a suggested—not required—fee. We leave it to you to determine your need for financial aid. No deposit is necessary; please bring cash or a check (to “Tim Macdonald”) to camp.

Sheet Music

This year we’ll be using this set of tunes. Please bring a printed copy to camp. Cello players should use this version.

Packing List


To register, please fill out this form.

Chicago Scottish Fiddle Camp - The Society for Early Scottish Culture