21 August 2023

A Tribute to Robbie Shepherd

Dear Friends and Family of Robbie Shepherd,

On behalf of the board and members of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra, we wish to extend our deepest sympathies for the loss of your beloved Robbie. His passing (on 01 August 2023) leaves a hole in our orchestra family, and in the hearts of all who knew this kind, dedicated man.

For decades, Robbie was the familiar, friendly voice welcoming audiences to our concerts across Scotland and beyond. From his early days as compere succeeding the late Rev. James Currie, to the countless shows he hosted before passing the torch to his colleague Jim McColl, Robbie’s warm spirit and professionalism as MC made him an integral part of our orchestra.

Some of our fondest memories were hearing Robbie’s lively introductions from the Albert Hall stage before our annual London performances.

And we’ll never forget his smile while conducting his cherished “Furry Boots Polka” at home in the Music Hall in Aberdeen.

The “Furry Boots” Polka by John Mason

Robbie worked tirelessly alongside our late conductor John Mason to make our concerts come alive.

His passion for Scottish music and culture was an inspiration.

As a broadcaster, Robbie was second-to-none. Through his long-running BBC radio show “Take the Floor,” he did more than anyone to promote and share Scottish dance music with the world. We will be forever grateful.

While we deeply mourn the loss of our dear friend, we find solace knowing his love of music and joyful spirit will live on whenever fiddles play in halls across the land. Thank you, Robbie, for being the heart and voice of our orchestra for so many years. We already miss you more than words can say.

Our thoughts especially go out to Robbie’s beloved wife Esma and family at this difficult time.

With sympathy and affection from all Members of The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra.