Upcoming Events

No upcoming events

We can provide smaller groups to play at a reception, ceilidh, or other similar event. Please get in touch if you would like to hire us for an event.

Who are we?

The Edinburgh Highland Reel and Strathspey Society was founded in 1881 by a group of people who wished to preserve Scottish traditional fiddle music. It was the first of the Strathspey and Reel societies to be established, and over 140 years later, we're still playing.

Our aim as a society is to foster knowledge and public taste in Scottish fiddle music, especially Highland Reels and Strathspeys. Most of our members play the fiddle (the same instrument as the violin, but stylistically quite distinct), but we also have a few cellos and double basses.

Members range in age from preteens to mid 80s. We're always looking for new members, so if you're interested in playing with us, please get in touch at ehrss.secretary@gmail.com. Membership is free for our Juniors (16 and under), and £40 per year for adults. So long as you can read music and play to a reasonable standard, you are welcome to join us. We rehearse every Monday from September to early May, at Bainfield Bowling and Social Club (Google Maps, Postcode EH14 1RU) from 19:15-21:15, with a tea break in the middle. We look forwards to seeing you there!

Our People

Yla Steven BEM - Conductor

Yla Steven lives in Perthshire. She began learning the violin at the age of seven in Edinburgh. She continued her studies in Perthshire and later graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. She taught strings for the City of Edinburgh Council for almost 40 years. Now retired, she still teaches privately.

In her teaching career, her energies were also concentrated on the training of young fiddle players - for 31 years, running and conducting the Lothian Schools Strathspey and Reel Society - which merged with EHRSS on her retirement. In 2010, Yla was invited to become the conductor and musical director of the EHRSS, a post which she accepted. She has re-invigorated the Society by improving the technique of the existing members and by the introduction of young blood, mostly former pupils from the LSSRS.

In the field of Scottish fiddle music Yla has won championship awards at most of the major fiddle festivals - Ayr, Aberdeen, Banchory and Kirriemuir. In 1976 she was the first winner of the Daily Record's Golden Fiddle Award. She is one of the leading fiddle teachers in Scotland today. Having run many workshops, master classes and summer schools for fiddle players of all ages she is now one of the most sought after adjudicators in the country.

As well as her solo performances, Yla is also a founder member of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra and performs solo at most of their concerts. With various groups she has performed in Argentina, Canada, The Soviet Union, China, and in many European countries. There are several recordings of her solo fiddle playing and she has broadcast on both radio and television. In 2015 Yla was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours for Services to Scottish Music.

Some samples of our music