Andy and Margaret Watchorn
Northumbrian Smallpipes and Fiddle
Andy and Margaret have over 30 years experience of performing together. Individually, they have won many traditional music competitions for solo playing and composition. Together, they have won numerous duet competitions. They are in constant demand as performers in concerts and at festivals, and also as tutors for workshops in the UK and abroad.
Their repertoire is extensive and includes tunes from Northumberland, Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia and North America.
Building on their personal links with Swedish musicians, Andy and Margaret are probably one of the few duos in the North East to perform Scandinavian music using Swedish instruments.
Northumbrian smallpipes, säckpipa (Swedish bagpipe), guitar.
Andy first became interested in traditional music over 40 years ago. It was after hearing recordings of Joe Hutton, George Atkinson and Billy Pigg and ‘live’ piping at Newcastleton Festival in the mid 1970s that he decided to make the move from playing the Highland pipes and start learning the smallpipes. Initially self taught, he was then fortunate to learn many tunes playing in the company of Joe Hutton, Will Atkinson and the Cheviot Ranters (to name but a few) in the 1980s and 1990s.
Fiddle, vocals, hummelchen (Renaissance bagpipe), nyckelharpa (Swedish keyed fiddle).
Margaret grew up in Northumberland amid a rich local and family heritage of tunes, dances, songs and stories. As a teenager, she began playing the smallpipes with Joe Hutton and was a founder member of the Alnwick Pipers’ Society. She studied music at York University and then returned to Northumberland, learning to play the fiddle in the local style and spending endless happy hours with musicians from the older generation. In addition to playing, singing and composing, she researches and writes on the music of rural Northumberland.