Stuart is the Creative Director for the festival.
Stuart will be delivering a Reggae workshop and will bring our band, derived from our much larger ukulele family to open the festival concert (we can’t get 100 plus strummers on stage – well we could but it is not practical). He started teaching at the age of 15 to earn some pocket money and trained at the University of Huddersfield. Where he studied performing, conducting, music history and composition, gaining a B.A. (Hons) in music, and Bretton Hall (University of Leeds) where he gained a PGCE. He has taught in private, community, school and higher education settings for over thirty years and has been Director of Music in several schools.
He and his wife Linda now own a group of award winning children’s nurseries which pays the bills! Since moving to Scotland (to give their four adopted children a small community up bringing by the sea) he has run a variety of local and nationwide community musical events including; singing workshops, choirs and ukulele workshops. He leads 8 ukulele groups, 2 of which he and Linda run on a voluntary basis in local primary schools. He also teaches blocks of ukulele sessions at the local prison where prisoners and prison wardens learn together. It has been so popular that one prisoner, who was unexpectedly released early, returned to prison to finish off the last group!
Linda is the Festival Director.
She is a true Scot and was born and brought up in Aberdeen, although she has lived in Canada and in Bury, Lancashire. Before learning to play the uke Linda tried and failed to learn; piano, guitar, clarinet, violin, piano accordion and the organ! She says the uke is the only thing she could stick with, although she would say she still has a long way to go. She likes to sing, when she is not giggling, so the uke is just perfect for that.
She is quite modest and nobody would guess she holds an MBA (Masters degree in Business Administration) from one of the world’s top business schools. Prior to developing a highly successful childcare business, which she owns with Stuart her husband, Linda was a Deputy District Occupational Therapist and managed a therapeutic day hospital for people with mental health problems. Linda and Stuart have four adopted children and have full time, permanent, care of their seven and eight year old grandsons. It’s like the Waltons at their house, well actually it is more like ‘Outnumbered’! Linda does a lot of the organisation of the musical events that she and Stuart are involved in. Together they produce events of the very highest quality. They are completely dedicated to ‘doing it right and getting it right’!
She would like to point out that she does not actually need the coloured dots on her ukulele photo now but they are just there as they teach ukulele in local primary schools!
We could not do this without our wonderful team of volunteers, so a massive thank you to all of them. With a special thank you to Margaret Brown and Eva Milroy. #PurpleArmy
A big thank you to Ricci Masero for all his hard work and support and for his patience when coping with those of us (Linda) who are technologically challenged!
All of our official festival photography is provided by James Millar, thank you for the wonderful images and memories.
We would also like to thank the following people for their invaluable advice and support:
Mary Agnes Krell
Mike and Christine Hind
Matt and Diane Warnes
Andy and Ceri Webster
Zoe, Heather and Peter Bestel