Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Sandy's Reel

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

SANDY'S REEL (R8x32) 3C (4C set) John Drewry Silver City Book

1- 8 1L sets to 2L and turns RH while 1M sets to 2M and ½ turns RH, 2L sets to 3L and turns LH while 1M sets to 3M and turns LH
9-16 1s dance reels of 3 on own sides giving RSh to 2s to start (1L dances down, 1M up)
17-24 1s+2s dance a reel of 4 across (2s pass LSh to start) and 1s end turning LH to face 1st corners
25-32 1s turn 1st corner, partner, 2nd corner, partner to end 2nd place own side

(MINICRIB, Dance Crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)


Dance Information

This dance, Sandy's Reel, was dedicated to Sandy Milne of Aberdeen. We can only assume this was the (now late) musician and conductor in the Banchory Strathspey And Reel Society.

Sandy was a founder of the Banchory Festival Of Scottish Music, which began in 1951. The venue for the Festival is the Burnett Arms, Banchory.

Banchory Strathspey And Reel Society and The Box And Fiddle Archive (1988) tell us that the efforts of Sandy were key in keeping the Banchory Strathspey And Reel Society alive and flourishing, including appearances on TV programmes. The most famous appearance was the BBC One programme from Blair Castle on 30 November 1974 (although it had an earlier showing on Scottish television) which hosted both the Angus and the Banchory Strathspey And Reel Societies 'united under the batons of Yehudi Menuhin, Angus Cameron and Sandy Milne'.

The Radio Times entry for this event says:

Yehudi Menuhin explores the world of Scotland's traditional fiddle music With Hector Macandrew, Sandy Milne, Jean Milligan, one hundred fiddlers from the Strathspey and Reel Societies of Angus and Banchory conducted by Angus Cameron and Sandy Milne and the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. Reporter Magnus Magnusson. Director James Hunter. Producer David Martin.

This programme featured Hector MacAndrew giving Menuhin a master class in strathspey bowing. Yehudi Menuhin later said "When I met this man and heard him play, I knew I was in the presence of Scottish history.' In a letter to the RSCDS magazine 2010, Hector MacAndrew' s daughter-in-law Marjory recounts how Sandy Milne tried to put at ease an apprehensive Menuhin seated in the front row among Scottish fiddlers with, "Dinna worry Mr Menuhin. There's a lot of guid players roon about ye". How comforted Menuhin was we do not know.

RSCDS dancers also danced Hooper's Jig and Madge Wildfire's Strathspey on this occasion and Mr Menuhin had the pleasure of talking with the RSCDS' own Miss Milligan.

Sandy Milne was presented with a silver-mounted baton by the town of Banchory after he had served the Banchory Strathspey And Reel Society for 35 years.

The tune recommended by John Drewry for Sandy's Reel was J.B. Milne by Angus Fitchett, or any good reel tune, (Kerr).

Banchory Strathspey And Reel Society - Information Video

Burnett Arms Image
Burnett Arms (And Parish Church)
Venue For Banchory Festival Of Scottish Music, Founded By Sandy


Image Copyright Stanley Howe under this Creative Commons Licence.

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