Stella Wilkie and Joan Blue have played traditional music together for many years. They enjoy sharing their music with many audiences including those living with Dementia. During lockdown the ladies have used their time to create a CD of traditional Scottish fiddle and piano music, with proceeds (excluding P&P) from the sale of CDs coming to Alzheimer Scotland.
Stella and Joan have known each other since the 1970s, having met at Accordion and Fiddle Clubs. As a duo they played for many years for the Council for Music in Hospitals. They remain popular guests at accordion and fiddle clubs and enjoy playing together whether professionally or just having a “session”.
Stella grew up in Dundee playing in dance bands with her late father Tom Clark and brother Kevin. She had the privilege of being tutored by family friends Angus Fitchet and Ian Powrie.
While studying at Aberdeen University she played with the Banchory Strathspey and Reel Society where she learned to appreciate the different fiddle styles across Scotland.
After competition success in the early 1980s Stella began appearing as a guest artiste at Accordion and Fiddle Clubs. Shetland soon became one of her favourite places to play. Through Shetland friendships she now plays with Hjaltibonhoga and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo which has given her wonderful musical, social and travel opportunities.
She has travelled widely playing her fiddle and when work took her to Australia in 2015 she made new musical connections.
Stella has combined her musical life with a fulltime professional career as a hospital Doctor. Now that retirement has arrived she is delighted to be able to concentrate more fully on playing music and enjoying the friendships it has nurtured.
Joan grew up in a house filled with music. Joan started piano at ten and by fourteen was playing for Scottish country dance classes. Dance band work followed swiftly. In 1949 she became the first pianist in Bill Willkie’s Accordion Orchestra. This opened up her musical world and introduced her to her future husband, accordionist Jimmy Blue, who later led his own Scottish dance band and travelled wildly with entertainer, Andy Stewart.
Joan has accompanied many great fiddlers including Ian Powrie and Angus Fitchet, has broadcast with numerous bands and is a popular accompanist at Accordion and Fiddle Clubs. As secretary at a girls’ school in Perthshire, she started a Scottish fiddle group which ran for 25 years. In addition to her love of Scottish music, Joan enjoys classical music sessions with friends, plays the church organ, entertains at local care homes and enjoys socialising with the many friends she has made through music.