Join us for Scotland’s Tannahill Weavers on their 50th anniversary- Saturday, Sept. 15!

The Tannahill Weavers first came together in 1968 in Paisley, Scotland. Current member, Roy Gullane, came into the group in 1970 and Phil Smillie, also a current member, joined at age 16 a short time after that. They didn’t release their first record until 1976, but by that time, they had established the idea that a Highland bagpiper does belong in a Scottish band (they were one of the first to do this), and they went on to gain fame, not only in the British Isles, but also in Europe and here in North America. John Martin, the band’s current fiddler, joined in 1990, following stints with Ossian and Easy Club. The “new guy,” added since their last performance at Caltech in 2014 is Lorne MacDougall, who was a nominee for Instrumentalist of the Year in the 2012 Scots Trad Music Awards, on bagpipes. They have produced 17 recordings and in 2011 the band was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame. From reflective ballads to footstomping reels and jigs, the variety and range of the material they perform is matched only by their enthusiasm and lively Celtic spirits. The Boston Globe wrote, “Scotland’s Tannahill Weavers play acoustic instruments, but the atmosphere at their shows is electric. The quartet is as tight and as versatile as any band in the Celtic music revival. They have a brand new recording, Òrach, their first studio recording in quite some time, which will be available at the this show.  They can summon rock ‘n’ roll intensity or haunting introspection.” It seems to work out that we’ve been able to get them at Caltech every 4 years, so don’t miss this chance! Their web site is


Tickets are $25 for adults and $5 for children and Caltech students. They are available at the Caltech Ticket Office by calling (626) 395-4652 and at the Caltech Ticket Office in their new location at 1200 E. California Boulevard in Pasadena (Southeast corner of Wilson Avenue). Their usual hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can get them online (for a fee) until Thursday, September 13 here. There is a fee for both phone orders and for online tickets, while purchases at the Ticket Office are free. Tickets can also be purchased (without additional fee) at the door of the venue one half hour before the show.   Occasionally, our shows sell out in advance, or there could be limited tickets remaining at the door.  Join our mailing list and you’ll be sure to be notified about the show a few weeks ahead of time and be informed if tickets are in short supply.  .

The show will be in Beckman Institute Auditorium (“Little Beckman”) at 400 South Wilson Avenue. Free parking is available in the lot behind Beckman Auditorium (“Big Beckman). You can always find parking for our shows in the two parking structures on Wilson Avenue, just south of Del Mar Boulevard. On weekends and after 6:00 PM, you may park in spaces that have individual names. Restrictive wording at the structures refers to weekdays before 6:00 PM. There is also parking available on Wilson Avenue itself. Beckman Institute is on the other side of the large lawn on Wilson Avenue, on the first floor of the left portion of the building. If you get to the fountain and pools that point toward the white, round, building (Beckman Auditorium, which we refer to as “Big Beckman,” you have gone too far. See this map. Beckman Institute is building #74 and the parking structures are #123 and #124.

A bit more about parking if you haven’t been to one of our shows for awhile:  There will be the usual limited parking right behind the large Beckman Auditorium- It is OK to park in slots with names on weekends and evenings, but the lot may fill up, depending on what other events may be taking place on the Caltech campus.  This is the best place to park for the handicapped (try to come a little early- email us at if you need help planning your visit). The parking lots between Michigan and Wilson have been  closed- a new building is rapidly rising at the southeast corner of Wilson and Del Mar.  The most reliable parking will be on Wilson Avenue, either on the street or in the two parking structures just south of Del Mar Avenue, across the street from Beckman Institute.   One structure is just north of the Institute at 341 S. Wilson Avenue, and the other, 405 S. Wilson, is just a bit south of the Institute.   Rest assured that after 5PM on weekdays, and all day on weekends, you can park for free in these structures, despite signs that allude to the more restricted parking rules during the day on weekdays.   You are permitted to park in slots that have names on them here as well.  From the structures, walk around the big lawn (much of which is currently fenced in for the building projet to the north) in front of Beckman Institute and you will recognize where to go.  On this map, we are suggesting that you park in structures #123 and #124 in the upper left.    Beckman Institute is building #74, just to the east (right).  If you need help figuring this out, try calling (626) 616-4559


Festivals and free music series coming up in the fall:

Summer is just about over, but the Strawberry Fall Festival at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, CA is coming right up next weekend and the Millpond Festival in Bishop, in the shadow of the eastern Sierras, will be September 21-23.  And in October, there will be the newly reconstituted Huck Finn Jubillee in Ontario, CA (Oct. 5-7), the free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (much more than bluegrass), in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park (also Oct. 5-7) and then the Santa Barbara Old Time Fiddler’s Festival in Goleta on Oct. 14, with a free show on October 13.  Brush up on your playing, as the latter one is a competition for cash prizes, not to mention the glory of playing on stage!  Beware, that you must play an American old time song or tune from before 1934.  There is no fee to enter the contest, but you must buy a ticket to the festival, $15 for adults, $5 for students, and children under 12 are free.  It is a lot of fun, whether you are a listener or a performer.  There are plenty of professional musicians on the main stage, and the contestants are mostly quite good as well.  And the weather has been consistently nice in recent years, too!