Gordon Duncan, from Pitlochry in Perthshire, was widely regarded as one of the most skilled and innovative traditional music performers and composers of modern times. While steeped in the art of traditional highland piping, his approach to his music was always imaginative, fresh and at times radical, to the extent that his influence can be heard within an entire generation of younger musicians across Scotland and well beyond. Gordon died in December 2005, aged 41.
The Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust was formed to raise funds for the promotion of piping and other forms of traditional music amongst young people in Scotland.
The specific aims of the Trust are:
The advancement of education of residents of Scotland under the age of thirty years by encouraging participation in and the study of all forms of traditional music and in particular the music of the Great Highland Bagpipe;
The advancement of the arts and culture of Scotland by promoting the performance, study and composition of all forms of traditional music and in particular the music of the Great Highland Bagpipe;
To encourage the attainment of high standards of performance and innovative composition in relation to all forms of traditional music and in particular the music of the Great Highland Bagpipe.
Fundraising began in January 2007 with the first memorial concert. It was a spectacular and very emotional event, packed with a host of great musicians including Dougie MacLean and Xose Manuel Tejedor. This has now become an annual event for the Trust and each year the audiences in the Perth Concert Hall have enjoyed a stunning line-up of musicians from Scotland and the other Celtic nations.
In addition to the concerts the Trust has raised money through the publication of two tune books. The first, Gordon Duncan's Tunes, provides a collection of Gordon's own compositions; the second, A Few Tunes - and Mair, is a re-released of a collection of tunes Gordon and his brother, Ian Duncan, originally published in 1987. A selection of new tunes has also been added for this edition.
A CD of Gordon's music, Just for Gordon, has also been released through Greentrax. This and the books continue to raise funds for the Trust as well as keep Gordon's music played far and near.
The Trust has also gratefully received a number of donations.
As a result of the fund-raising efforts the Trust has been delighted to be able to support a number of young people through the provision of funding to support their advancement of music. This has ranged from supporting music tuition for youth pipe bands and fiddle groups, to providing funding to a student of traditional music to buy books and other resources, to commissioning new and innovative pieces of music. A full list of the awards made is included in the Trust Annual Report produced in February each year.
The Trust is keen to develop its work therefore suggestions for fundraising and also the allocation of awards is welcomed at any time.