A TROON man has been made an MBE in the New Year honours list for his services to Scottish music.

Blair Parham, who grew up in Ayr, is the principal conductor and musical director of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra.

His extraordinary musical journey has seen him go all the way from Holmston Primary School's cello quartet to playing fiddle on the White House lawn.

As well as leading the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra since 2011, Blair is the founder of Scotia Arts Ltd, who hope to see their Fresh Ayr Folk Festival take off in 2024.

As a child, Blair performed annually at the Ayrshire Music Festival, playing cello and recorder and participating in all manner of ensembles.

In 1987, Blair was introduced to traditional fiddle music when he went to his first rehearsal with the (then) Ayrshire Junior Fiddle Orchestra (AJFO), formed by one of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra’s founding members, Wallace Galbraith.

Two years later, Blair embarked on his first international tour with the AJFO, when they toured France, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Ayr Advertiser: Blair Parham MBE

In 1995, Blair auditioned successfully to join the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra.

After leaving school he studied for a degree in genetics, followed by a postgraduate degree in Information Technology.

After his studies Blair took a year out to work in Australia and Canada. On his return to Scotland in 2001 he was invited to take up the assistant musical director role of the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra.

In 2002 he took a further break of six months to backpack round South East Asia, visiting China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma and Malaysia.

When he returned this time, he trained to become a teacher, and was awarded the University’s Court Medal.

He went on to teach biology and science to secondary school pupils, and advises them on higher education and university entrance requirements.

Through the tours of the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra and with the SFO, he has travelled all over mainland Europe and Scandinavia, as well as to New Zealand, Australia, North America and China.

In 1995, with the AFO, Blair performed on the lawn of The White House, then performed the American national anthem on the field of Shea Stadium, the home of the New York Mets baseball team at that time.

Congratulations to Blair on his well deserved honour.