TROON recently played host to a special concert which brought a South Ayrshire group together with another one from south of the border, writes Stewart McConnell.

A week past on Saturday, Troon Old Parish Church was the venue for a musical evening featuring the Northumbrian Ranters, a very entertaining group of 30 young musicians from the Newcastle and Northumberland area who are currently on a concert tour of Scotland.

This special evening came not long after a successful sponsored play in, held at the same venue.

The group appeared along with our very own young musicians from the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra.

A wonderful evening of traditional fiddle music was enjoyed by a very enthusiastic and appreciative Troon audience.

One of the audience jumped to his feet at the end of the concert to give an impromptu vote of thanks to all the musicians for a very uplifting evening’s entertainment.

Our own Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra (AFO) were in fact the inspiration for this group being formed around 13 years ago and the Ranters have been performing and touring ever since with great success. Their Scottish Tour includes performances in Glasgow, Skye and Dundee but Ranters Musical Director, Richard Johnstone, was pleased to tell the audience that they insisted on their first concert of their tour being in Ayrshire with the AFO.

AFO Chair, Euan Terras was encouraged with how the evening went.

He said: “This is what our groups are all about - we had over 70 young musicians coming together - all learning and playing tunes together, performing on stage, making friends and just generally being fantastic young people – really proud of them all.”