Tim Macdonald & Jeremy Ward

Scottish-Baroque Fiddle Duo


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Tim Macdonald & Jeremy Ward are a touring Scottish fiddle duo who combine traditional fiddling with historical scholarship to create a “cutting edge” musical experience that has been described as everything from “metal” to “baroque.” Using period instruments and mixing High Baroque chamber music with high-energy dance tunes, their 18th-century Scottish aesthetic brings a fresh perspective to the tradition.

Tim Macdonald

Praised for his “athletic” and “impressive and stylistically Scottish playing” (Dr. John Turner & Melinda Crawford) and heralded as “a real fiddler” (Bonnie Rideout), Tim Macdonald is a regular performer, scholar, composer, and teacher of Scottish-Baroque music.

Tim was the first US National Scottish Fiddling Champion to win on a Baroque violin, and his performances with Trio Settecento, Susie Petrov, Colyn Fischer, the Bach and Beethoven Ensemble, and many others have taken him from New York City’s Frick Collection to the villages of Indonesia, countless country and contra dances, Scotland’s Blair Castle, and beyond. Recent projects include helping to perform Scotland’s first opera, The Gentle Shepherd, in full for the first time in over two centuries, lecturing on applying the rhetorical ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment to modern fiddling, playing fully-staged Elizabethan jigs with Steve Player, joining classical superstar Rachel Barton Pine for an encore of traditional tunes following her performance of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, and serving as music and dancing master at a thoroughly-researched recreation of a 1770s American tavern. His radio appearances include WQXR classical radio (New York City), BBC Scotland’s Take the Floor, and WBOM radio (Rockford, IL).

He is the chairman of the Chicago Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, the Musician-in-Residence for the Oak Park English Country Dancers, and is in demand for SCD balls, English country dances, contras, and “Playing for Dance” classes. He is perennially in charge of dance music at The Jink and Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling and has also played for English-Scottish-Contra Week (ESCape) at Pinewoods.

In addition to performing, Tim runs a private teaching studio and teaches at fiddle camps and clubs. His compositions won first place at the first two Scottish FIRE Composition Competitions and are now available in print. A “remarkably capable” scholar as well as a player (Johann Buis), Tim was an Arthur and Lila Weinberg Fellow at the Newberry Library, where he researched the period-correct performance of Scottish-Baroque music, focusing on the work of Robert Mackintosh. He has guest lectured at Wheaton College (IL), the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music (Plockton, Scotland), and elsewhere, and presented his paper on Mackintosh at the 2017 Musica Scotica conference in Stirling. He also plays the viola d’amore, harpsichord, and concertina, serves on the board of the Great Lakes Baroque (with artistic director Jory Vinikour) and on the leadership team of his local church, is an award-winning software developer, and ran the Chicago Marathon for charity.


Jeremy Ward

Jeremy David Ward is a cellist whose musical inspiration and repertoire spans from Renaissance dance music to the post-tonal works of Saariaho and Dutilleux. As a performer of early bass instruments, he is a founding member of the 16th and 17th century brass and strings ensemble Rook. Rook has performed at the Boston and Madison Early Music Fringe Festivals. It was also chosen to participate in Carnegie Hall’s Professional Training Workshop with L’Arpeggiata. In 2014, the group held a weekend residency at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and released its premier album, Eleven. Jeremy also enjoys musicking with other early music ensembles such as Three Notch’d Road and The Newberry Consort, where he has performed with historical performance luminaries Bruce Dickey, Paige Whitley-Bauguess and Tom Zajac. He is also a member of the Newberry Violin Band.

His contemporary music collaborations have included performances with Chicago new music groups Eighth Blackbird and Dal Niente as well as Chicago Opera Vanguard and members of the Pacifica Quartet. He was also a member of the ensemble Oberlin 21, with whom he recorded works of Debussy and Takamitsu with harpist Yolanda Kondonassis on the Telarc label.

Jeremy is a guest lecturer at Wheaton Conservatory where he teaches historical performance practice. He is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and currently lives in and loves the great city of Chicago.

Upcoming performances

October 16 2017 Contra dance (Chicago Barn Dance Company) The Irish American Heritage Center, Chicago, IL • 7pm
November 4 2017 Album Release Party Galway Arms, Chicago, IL • 7pm
November 6 2017 Album Release Party Old Fort Niagara, Buffalo, NY • 7pm
November 8 2017 Album Release Party Jalopy Theatre, Brooklyn, NY • 7pm

Past performances

2016-2017

August 22 2016 Tim Macdonald & Jeremy Ward (The Fightin’ Seahorses) play a contra dance The Irish American Heritage Center, Chicago, IL • 7pm
August 25 2016 Tim Macdonald, Jeremy Ward, and The BBE at a Scottish Folk Night Big Bricks, 3832 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL • 5pm
August 27 2016 Tim Macdonald & Jeremy Ward (The Disgruntled Porcupines) at Rogers Pork Jarvis Ave east of Ashland, Rogers Park, Chicago, IL • 3:30pm
September 2 2016 The Midwest Sing & Stomp, with music from Tim Macdonald & Jeremy Ward at 10pm Red Line Tap, 7006 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago, IL • 6pm
September 8 2016 Tim Macdonald, Jeremy Ward, and The BBE at a Scottish Folk Night The Scottish Home, 2800 Desplaines Ave, North Riverside, IL • 5pm
September 24 2016 The Gentle Shepherd with Tim Macdonald, Jeremy Ward, and The BBE The Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL • 8pm
September 25 2016 The Gentle Shepherd with Tim Macdonald, Jeremy Ward, and The BBE Theater Wit, 1229 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL • 7pm
September 28 2016 Tim & Jeremy and Spitzer & Mareva at Uncommon Ground 1401 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL • 8pm
March 6 2017 Tim, Jeremy, Spitzer Space Telescope, and Heather Malyuk form a contra super group! The Irish American Heritage Center, Chicago, IL • 7pm
March 18 2017 Tim and Jeremy at Uncommon Ground, followed by Artemisia Uncommon Ground Lakeview, 3800 N Clark St, Chicago, IL • 8pm
March 20 2017 English Country Dance, preceded by a lecture-concert on Robert Mackintosh of Tulliemet Nineteenth Century Club, 178 Forest Ave., Oak Park, IL • 6:45pm
March 30 2017 Elizabethan Music for the Renaissance Society of America’s 2017 Convention with the Newberry Violin Band Palmer House, 17 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL • 7:30pm
April 2 2017 Fiddle Workshop for the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club Plymouth Congregational Church, 582 Pleasant St., Belmont, MA • 2pm
April 4 2017 House Concert Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA • 7:30pm
April 5 2017 Concert with The Vox Hunters Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA • 9:30pm
April 6 2017 House Concert Moon Township (near Pittsburgh), PA • 7pm
April 7 2017 House Concert Medina, OH • 7pm
April 8 2017 Brunch House Concert Cleveland, OH • 11:30am
April 8 2017 House Concert Indianapolis, IN • 7:30pm
April 22 2017 Paper presentation for Musica Scotica: “Robert Mackintosh of Tulliemet: A Statistical and Sociocultural Analysis” (just Tim) The Tolbooth, Jail Wynd, Stirling, Scotland
April 29 2017 Frottole with the Newberry Violin Band Newberry Library, 60 W Walton St, Chicago, IL • 2pm
May 6 2017 House concert (album sneak peek!) Lakeview East, Chicago, IL • 7pm
May 16 2017 Indy Contra Dance Indianapolis, IN • 7pm
May 20 2017 English Country Dancing Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago, IL • 5pm
June 10 2017 A Gaelic Summer preview with the Bach and Beethoven Ensemble for the Bella Voce Gala Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL • 7pm
July 1 2017 Montepelier Contra Dance Capital City Grange, Montepelier, VT • 8pm
July 2 2017 Workshop for the Champlain Valley Scottish Fiddle Club Middlebury, VT • 2pm
July 2 2017 Concert presented by the Champlain Valley Scottish Fiddle Club Middlebury, VT • 7pm
July 3 2017 ESCape Week at Pinewoods Pinewoods, MA • Until July 7
July 11 2017 House Show with Old Lazarus’ Harp Ledyard, CT (RSVP for precise address) • 7pm
July 12 2017 Concert with Old Lazarus’ Harp Jalopy Theatre, Brooklyn, NY • 8:30pm
July 13 2017 Square Dance with Old Lazarus’ Harp Threes Brewing at Franklin + Kent, Brooklyn, NY • 8pm
July 15 2017 Concert with Old Lazarus’ Harp Hamlin Street Diner, 1334 Hamlin St NE, Washington, DC • 7pm
July 18 2017 House Concert with Old Lazarus’ Harp Blacksburg, VA • 7pm
July 20 2017 House Concert with Old Lazarus’ Harp Roanoke, VA • 7pm
July 22 2017 Concert with Old Lazarus’ Harp The Sloop Clearwater, Beacon, NY
July 23 2017 Teaching at The Jink & Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling (just Tim) Valle Crucis, NC • Until June 30
September 2 2017 Midwest Sing & Stomp with the Newberry Consort Violin Band Beat Kitchen, Chicago, IL • All day
September 15 2017 Urbana Contra Dance Urbana, IL • 7pm

2015-2016

September 23 2015 Music of the British Isles with an Italian Twist with the Bach and Beethoven Ensemble Constellation, 3111 N Western Ave., Chicago, IL • 6pm
October 12 2015 House concert with Jeremy Ward Wicker Park (contact Tim for address), Chicago, IL • 7pm
October 25 2015 Glenfiddich Fiddle Championship Blair Castle, Perthshire, Scotland
October 26 2015 Dunkeld and District Strathspey and Reel Society Dunkeld, Scotland • 7:30pm
October 29 2015 Concert with Jeremy Ward at The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music. Preceded by a workshop. Plockton, Scotland
December 7 2015 Caledonian Regency Ball called by Susan de Guardiola with Jeremy Ward and Jonathan Whitall Oak Park, IL • 7pm
December 16 2015 Colloquium on “Folk but Baroque: Re-examining the Performance Practice and Genre of 18th-century Scotland” with Jeremy Ward and David Schrader Towner Fellows’ Lounge at The Newberry Library, Chicago, IL • 4pm
January 15 2016 Private event with Jeremy Ward Chicago, IL • 7pm
January 16 2016 Scottish Country Dance Ball with Jeremy Ward Baker Community Center, St. Charles, IL • 7pm
January 17 2016 Scottish Tea Dance with Jeremy Ward Baker Community Center, St. Charles, IL • 1:30pm
February 5 2016 Old Lazarus’ Harp February Concert with Jeremy Ward The Galway Arms, 2442 N Clark St, Chicago, IL • 8pm
February 25 2016 Private lecture on musical styles Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL
February 27 2016 University of Glasgow Chicago Burns Supper with Jeremy Ward, Brandi Berry, and Mady Newfield Chicago, IL
March 6 2016 Scottish workshop for the Fiddle Club of the World (Chicago Chapter) with Jeremy Ward Seman Violins, 4447 Oakton St, Skokie, IL • 7:30pm
March 19 2016 House Concert: Co-Latha Breith Sona feat. Tim Macdonald and Jeremy Ward Lakeview, Chicago, IL (Contact Tim for details) • 7:30pm
June 6 2016 Tim Macdonald & Jeremy Ward with the Degenerate Train Puns play a contra dance The Irish American Heritage Center, Chicago, IL • 7pm
June 17 2016 Tim Macdonald and Jeremy Ward at the Chicago Highland Games Hamilton Lakes, Itasca, IL • 8:15pm
June 18 2016 Tim Macdonald and Jeremy Ward at the Chicago Highland Games Hamilton Lakes, Itasca, IL • 11:30am
June 18 2016 Tim Macdonald and Jeremy Ward at the Chicago Highland Games Hamilton Lakes, Itasca, IL • 3pm
July 15 2016 Two concerts at the Jane Austen Festival with Jeremy Ward Louisville, KY

2014-2015

May 17 2015 Free Scottish performance with Jeremy Ward The Duke of Perth, Chicago, IL • 2pm
June 20 2015 Scottish concert with Jeremy Ward at the Chicago Highland Games Hamilton Lakes, Itasca, IL • 11:30AM & 3:00pm
July 9 2015 Midwest Fiddle Championship Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL • 6:30pm
July 11 2015 Midwest Fiddle Championship Finals Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL • 1:45pm

Interested in having Tim and Jeremy play at your event? Book them now!

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