A legendary Deeside fiddler dubbed the “Strathspey King” could soon be immortalised in his hometown.
Traditional musicians from Ireland will join forces with local talents to launch the first fundraiser aimed at bringing a life-sized statue of James Scott Skinner to Banchory on Friday, April 21 .
Tarland fiddler Paul Anderson is leading the campaign, and has arranged for the concert featuring a 30-strong contingent of some of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians and singers to get the project off to a flying start.
The likes of fiddlers John Kelly and Liam O’Connor, flutist Mick O’Connor and singer Francy Devine will play alongside Mr Anderson and his wife – fellow local performer, Shona Donaldson – at Banchory’s Burnett Arms Hotel.
The cost of the project has been estimated at about £50,000 and could take more than five years to take shape.
Born in Banchory in 1843, Skinner was one of Scotland’s most influential traditional musicians and is credited with elevating the country’s fiddle music to new heights.
As well as a fiddler, he was also a dancing master, violinist and composer.
Among the locations being proposed for the statue is Banchory’s Scott Skinner Square itself.
Mr Anderson said: “These guys are all fairly well-respected musicians in Ireland. Skinner is definitely one of the figures they know from Scottish music. He is universally known as an influential figure.
“It will be a good start, especially with it being launched in his own hometown as well.
“I think it would be a draw to the square to be honest. I have seen other similar things in other areas. They are a real magnet for folk.
“There are quite a few notable artistic figures that would warrant getting a statue, but there is not a lot to celebrate musicians.
“There is a rough estimate of around about £50,000. It has been very warmly received as an idea. We haven’t heard a single voice of complaint about it.
“The council are very supportive. We have had messages from people overseas like America and Canada, from people who think it is a worthy thing to celebrate.”
A statue of Scots musician Jimmy Shand in his hometown of Auchtermuchty is one of the models for the project.
The concert will take place at 8pm on the day. Tickets are available from the Burnett Arms reception for £10.