FluteFling Scottish Flute Day 2016


Kenny Hadden teaching at FluteFling 2014 (c) Ros Gasson

Scottish Flute Day will return in 2016. The day of workshops focusing on flute playing within Scottish traditional music will be Saturday 7th May at the same venue as last year, The Old Parish Church Halls, Bellfield Street, Portobello.

After the response of previous years, it was never in doubt that a 3rd annual event would take place.

Open to Boehm system (metal, “classical”) musicians and those playing simple system wooden flutes (keyed or unkeyed) alike, this is an opportunity to explore and develop your flute playing in the context of Scottish traditional music. Working with different tutors while meeting and playing with other flute players from around Scotland and beyond. We’ve had flute players from the Isle of Arran, the Scottish Borders, Aberdeenshire, Lancashire, Sweden and Minnesota, USA. We hope to see you there too.

Topics covered will include:

  • different playing styles
  • tune types
  • technique
  • breathing, phrasing and tone improvement
  • history

Whether you play wooden or Boehm system flute, this is a great opportunity to develop your playing and understanding of an instrument that is undergoing a revival in Scotland. The event is part of Tradfest Edinburgh.

What’s on?


Tutors Sharon Creasey and Gordon Turnbull in the evening session 2015 (c) David Flett

Following on from previous years, we will once again have three tutors and there will be an opportunity to learn from them all. Kenny Hadden and Sharon Creasey return and they will be joined this year by Tom Oakes. Previous tutor Gordon Turnbull will also be on hand during the day.

The special guest this year will be no other than Cathal McConnell,  who will play tunes and talk about his music. Originally from County Fermanagh, Cathal is a founder member of The Boys of the Lough and has been resident in Edinburgh for many years. For many people he was one of the first flute players to play Scottish and Shetland music on the flute and of course there are many tunes with Scottish connections to be found in the repertoire of the north of Ireland.


Cathal McConnell watching Michel Balatti, Nuala Kennedy and Mike Bryan (c) Gordon Turnbull

Don’t forget The FluteFling Great Scottish Flute Night on Friday evening, a charity concert in aid of SAMH featuring some of the top names in traditional flute music in Scotland.

And if the Saturday workshop isn’t enough for you, why not join us all for an informal session from 19.30 onwards in the back room at The Dalriada Bar on the lovely Portobello Promenade? Those preferring a concert also have the option of seeing Nuala Kennedy, who is putting on a concert on the Saturday evening and of course, it could be possible to come to the session after Nuala’s concert!

Sunday sees the now traditional lunchtime farewell session at Sandy Bell’s from 12.30 before people make their way home — or in the case of Tom, on to the next session (we’re not making this up)!

We hope that the 2016 event will have the same inspirational buzz about it as previous years and will continue to build up the profile of the flute in traditional Scottish music. However you wish to participate, we look forward to seeing you.

  • “A cracking day. It would be very worth making it regular. Such an environment is very galvanising and brings you on as a player”
  • “Great day. More please”
  • “Thoroughly enjoyable format”
  • “Very very good workshop. Good length”
  • “Excellent day, more of the same”
  • “Good to get different perspectives”
  • Great day. Wish it happened more often”
  • Please do this again. Don’t let the momentum fail”

FluteFling Workshop Details

Open to: wooden “simple-system” flutes (with or without keys), Boehm-system flutes.

Experience levels: this will be subject to numbers of students, but it would be best suited to those who are already able to manage to play the instrument comfortably enough to hold a tune. The ability to sight-read from sheet music is not required for this event. If you are not sure, please contact Gordon or the Tradfest box office and we can make sure that you get the most out of the day..

  • Date: Saturday 7 May | 09.30-16.30 (arrival from 09.00)
  • Tickets: £30 (£25 concessions) (not £35/£30 as previously published)
  • Venue: Portobello Old Parish Church, Bellfield Street, Portobello EH15 2BP.

TradFest Logo with tagline ColourNumbers are once more limited to 45, so book early to be sure of a place. Booking will be through the Tradfest website.

Weekend details

Probable outline of the FluteFling weekend (updated 22.04.16)

Note: some of these details may be subject to change.



  • Workshops
    • 09.00: Arrival
    • 09.30: Session 1
    • 11.00: break
    • 11:15: Session 2
    • 12.45: break
    • 13.30: Session 3
    • 15:00: break
    • 15:15: Session 4: all tutors, Q&A; talk and performance by Cathal McConnell on his music and influences.
    • 16:30: end
  • For the workshops, the numbers will be divided into three and each group will have time with each tutor over the course of the day. Boehm system players will begin with Sharon so that they will have the opportunity to try out ideas in the other sessions.
  • Saturday evening 19:30-midnight: Free session at The Dalriada Bar, Joppa. Another chance to have a tune, meet the tutors and some of the other people from the day. This proved to be very popular last year, so we hope that you can make it.
  • Saturday evening 20:00-10:00: Nuala Kennedy Band. Fellow flute player, singer and FluteFling supporter Nuala performs with her band.


Check back for updates as more details are added.

Meet the FluteFling tutors:

  • Kenny HaddenKenny Hadden (wooden flute, Aberdeen)
    Kenny is currently the flute tutor with the Scottish Culture and Traditions group in Aberdeen. He has been playing traditional music on flute and whistle since the early 1970s and was an early member of Scottish folk band Ceolbeg. He has recently recorded with Dundee singer Barbara Dymock. He has also been a flute and whistle tutor at the School of Excellence In Traditional Music in Plockton. His interests include researching original Scottish flute music in archives and collections, and he also co-hosts a folk / traditional music programme, The Wednesday Session, on Aberdeen community radio station “HMU FM.
  • FF_scottish_flute_profile-FB-SCSharon Creasey (Böhm system flute, Glasgow)
    Sharon has been a tutor for RSAMD/ Royal Conservertoire of Scotland (RCS) Musicworks programme and is a deputy tutor for the BA Traditional Music course for RCS. She researched and transcribed material for the acclaimed Hidden Fermanagh project, performing at the Derry All Ireland Fleadh August 2013 and again with Cathal McConnell as part of Celtic Connections 2014.  First picking up the flute in the 1970s, Sharon’s interests include reviving music from manuscripts, old books and from 78rpm and archive recordings from Ireland and Scotland.
  • Tom OakesTom Oakes (wooden flute, Edinburgh)
    Tom is principle Flute teacher at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and plays with his own trio ‘The Tom Oakes Experiment’ as well as guitar in a duo  with fiddler Ross Couper. Originally a specialist of Irish traditional music, Tom has expanded his dynamic and chromatic playing to many different kinds of World Music, Jazz and Contemporary Classical repertoire.

FluteFling Scottish Flute Day 2016 is supported by the Tasgadh fund via Creative Scotland.


This page will be updated as more information is added.

3 thoughts on “FluteFling Scottish Flute Day 2016

  1. Please can you send details.
    Do you know of any traditional flute players in the Oban or argyll area who could give advice or tuition to my daughter who is 17 years and just changing over from a silver flute to 6 keyed traditional flute. Any advice very welcome

    • Hi Audrey,

      Sharon Creasey plays Boehm (silver) system flute and may be able to help, but is a bit further south than Oban. I will ask around. To learn more about the Scottish Flute Day, there will be occasional updates hear but you can also subscribe to the newsletter which I usually send out once a term or so, but it will also alert you when a more formal announcement is made for the big day. Booking will be through the Tradfest website, which doesn’t usually have everything up and running until the Spring.

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