Tinto Summer School Tutors announced for Tinto 17 (July 2014)

We’re delighted to be able to announce our tutors for Tinto Summer School 17 (30th June – 5th July 2014). They are:

Gordon Gunn (fiddle)
Siobhan Miller (song)
Kathleen Boyle (piano, accordion)
Ross Couper (fiddle)
Maeve Gilchrist (clàrsach)
Tom Oakes (whistle, guitar).

We anticipate that registration will start sometime the middle of February. Keep an eye on this website for an exact date.

TSS 16 Day 4: Random Wanderings

20130718-211927.jpgWe woke today to an unusual playlist including Kraftwerk’s “The Model”. I do my best to educate Tinto participants in all forms of music! Warm up included a long session of “do do do do do do do do do do do do do – whoah” (see TSS 15 Blogs for a video) before the classes which continue to sound fantastic. The tutors have taken the unusual step of combining the classes in the second block to make one “super-class” working on some big stuff for the final concert. I can’t wait to find out what that’s going to be!

Lunch was lentil soup with shortbread/nutty biscuits and we played loads of frisbee as the temperature soared. After classes this afternoon we took a wee wander around the estate and found loads of wee nooks and crannies that I’d never been in before. We even found a composting toilet although most declined to test-fly it.

We had only two rooms in the room tidy but both groups had made a great effort. The boys recreated the barricade from “Les Miserables” and the girls had a “Casino Royal” theme with cards, dominoes, gambling and lounge seating. The girls just nudged in to gain the prize!

20130718-211949.jpgThe traditional BBQ included burgers, caramelised onion, coleslaw and some lovely salad (presumably picked from the gardens he at Wiston Lodge). I know we keep mentioning the food but it really is fabulous and much of it is home-grown.

At the fancy dress party we had a horse from “Calamity Jane”, a clarinet and “Fiddler on the Roof” to name just a few. The winner was Siobhan dressed as our leader and saviour Simon Thoumire. However, she declined the accolade so the real winner was “Shrek”.

Certificates were handed out for Architectural Awareness and God of Fire and Top Cat was Katie for being lovely and smiley and just getting on with things despite a horrid hay fever attack.

20130718-211955.jpgAs I type, we’re watching “Hook” on the big screen and looking for a restful night before the grand climax tomorrow.

Bests to all and keep up with us “real time” the Facebook group!


TSS 16 Day 3: Chess, Fire, Frisbee and Perfect Food

Today was my perfect food day. Lunch was tomato soup with a lovely bread and a nutty, chocolaty biscuit. Dinner was spag Bol followed by sticky toffee pudding! I was in heaven. We had another exciting warm-up and the classes are sounding better by the day. The final concert is at 7.30pm on Friday here in Wiston Lodge and it’s free. Come along!

20130717-230224.jpgChess has taken a big role in all of our lives this week and as luck would have it, we seem to have a grand-master in our midst. This led to the “Deep Blue” award for chess mastery awarded to Seamus. Our frisbee skills have also been improving. Siobhan is a fast learner! There was also a Monopoly game which seemed to last the whole day. Someone ended up very bankrupt!

20130717-230306.jpgThe tutor concert was fab and included a rendition of Adam McNaughtan’s “Cholesterol”, some step dance and loads of great tunes. We also had an amazing campfire with the traditional campfire songs “Rare Bog”, “Fe Fi”, “Daphne Cochrane” and “Singing in the Rain”.



20130717-230259.jpgBernadette, our participant from Germany was Top Cat in recognition of her commitment to learning and practicing out of hours. She’s been making the most of having our top tutors on-tap with a couple of wee fiddle lessons between classes. that’s dedication! Roll on tomorrow and more fab music, food and fun, it’s dead quiet at the moment as everyone’s in bed. We’ve got to be ready for MORNING you know.



TSS 16 Day 2 – Toast, Rounders and Dreaming a Dream

IMG_0679Day 2 started with James Brown’s “Get up Offa That Thing” followed by a fab breakfast.  One participant managed to plough his way through the biggest pile of toast I’ve ever seen!  We gave him a Hovis-sponsored “Dedication to Toast” award to recognise his achievement. The warm-up took place on the grass with the traditional walking round in a circle, touching your toes, saying “aaaaaaagggggghhhhhh” and running into the circle with a battle cry and out with a “girlie” scream.

IMG_0680The music is sounding great. The classes have combined to work on Tom Wait’s “Come on up to the House”.  I’m really looking forward to hearing how it turns out at the final concert.

We finished the day with a big game of rounders (who won?  Good question!), dinner was baked tatties (thanks Mark!) and the room concert.  The boys did a short ceilidh complete with “Auld Lang Syne” and the girls did “Skyfall” followed by a beautifully arranged set of tunes including “Trip to Pakistan”.



We had a wee session/tune-around with everyone contributing a tune or a song they knew.  It was a grand wee do – I think it was the first session experience for a few folk.  Hopefully the first of many!

IMG_0684Top Cat was Katie Adams.  It’s a recognition of many Tintos attended and always embodying the happy, smiley spirit that makes Tinto what it is!  We also gave the “Andrew Lloyd Webber Angel of Music” award to one participant in recognition of extensive knowledge of musicals.  It’s been a grand day.  I wonder what’s for lunch tomorrow…



Another Tinto Summer School song by LB Salter and the Super-Noodle Singers

This song was written by Laura-Beth and her Super-Noodlers during the week of Tinto 15! Have a listen to our previous Tinto song!

Tinto 2013
All aboard the tinto train
Its good to see you all again
Paul has got a brand new hat
And doesn’t care what we think of that
In the queue again, its time for food again
Our frisby’s stuck up in a tree. JUMP!!
Simon’s shoes are shiny pink
And the wifi’s on the blink.

Clare’s whistle sounds so sweet
Charlotte sings us off to sleep
Rhona’s tights are shining bright
Like our phone screens in the night
In the queue again, it’s time for food again
Innes Watson’s in room 9. CHAMOOAN!
Mhairi’s teaching us strathspeys
And Duncan’s teaching us 5/8s

Woaahhh ohhhh ooohh ohhh ohhhh ohhhh Tintooooo

This years Tinto’s almost through
And our song we’ll sing to you
Here’s to the staff and volunteers
Who make this happen every year
We’re heading home again,
New tunes and songs to sing
But not we really need some sleep……….

Woaahhh ohhhh ooohh ohhh ohhhh ohhhh Tintooooo

Tinto Reconvenes as Bijou Tinto 16

20130715-202924.jpgA new group of participants have now arrived at Wiston Lodge for another fantastic week. It’s a much smaller group with only 12 participants but they’re already gelling really well and working as a team. As I type, a group of “sardines” is in progress. We’ve had some group singing, lots of chat about musicals, two lost frisbee incidents and a recovery of a boomerang lost a couple of years back.

20130715-203019.jpgMark the chef has been experimenting on us with a new recipe for a tortilla. It has gone down really well so I think it’ll be making a reappearance at future Tintos.

Bests for the mo!


Tinto 15 Final Day blog

wistongroupFlip I can’t believe Tinto 15 is over! What a fabulous week! The young people were fantastic – really well behaved and loads of fun all at the same time.

After yesterday mornings trip through all the classes taking photos and listening it was time for lunch. We do a lot of lunches, tea’s (dinner if you’re not from Edinburgh…) and eating in general. Wiston Lodge specialise in lovely food and yesterday’s lunch was homemade tomato soup with crusty bread. It was delicious and set us all up for a long afternoon and night.

After we cleaned the bedrooms and house it was time for a group photo. Kerry from Wiston Lodge did a great job of taking photos from many different camera phones and here’s one of the photos (the weather was beautiful for a change!).

heartAfter this the bus arrived and took the participants to Biggar where they gleefully eat chips, pizza crunch, ice cream and more for an hour. This is the one opportunity that the kids get to go to Biggar and hang out and it’s always an enjoyable experience. After the spare hour they came to Coulter Hall to start to soundcheck. I was puzzling for ages how to set out the seats. For the last 13 years we’ve had Louise Hunter on board (she was in Falun this year with her fiddle group) and she is really good at seating! Eventually a decision was made and the kids helped set out the seats. As usual (with Sound Sense‘s help) we ran through the running order back to front so the stage was ready for Duncan Chisholm’s fiddle group who were on first. We then managed another quick photo which mimicked Mo Farrah…

Jamie SteeleCoulter Hall was packed and we got on with the show. Everyone performed brilliantly including the 3 participant acts (Jamie Steele, Amina and Anna, Imogen and Heather) who represented the brilliant talent of all the kids. Everything went smoothly including the raffle – led by Maggie, Rossely and Evie – and we made it to the finale in plenty of time. Also Andy Murray won his semi-final. You might remember from Day 4 blog that Mark Tanner came along and sang Lazy John in the tutor concert finale. Well it was so popular that the kids requested that Mark came and we do it in Coulter. They were absolutely right of course and it was amazing. I took this video from back of the stage and you can see and hear the real party vibe going on.

window-sessionAfter the concert everyone arrived back at Wiston Lodge and proceeded to have the afore mentioned mammoth party. They danced all night and never left toooo much mess to be picked up in the morning :-)

Thanks again to everyone involved in the week. Special thanks though must go to Paul Murray who works so hard and keeps the kids and me going. He is a constant source of positive energy and we couldn’t do without him. Thanks Paul :-) Paul is Chairman of the Edinburgh Youth Gaitherin which is another brilliant event for young people in April. Check it out!

Simon Thoumire


Tinto 15 Fifth Day Blog!

innesWow what a Tinto Thursday! Every year since the birth of Tinto we have a room tidy competition. At first each room was simply tidied but over the years the kids have became more and more creative and this year was no exception.

Room 1 was a shop selling items of music each individually priced. Very good but not tidy enough.

shoesRoom 2 was a Man Fort?? Yes I didn’t really understand either  but it was in the boys room and when I went through the castle gate there was lots of women’s makeup. I’ll leave it there.

Room 3 was a house of shoes. They had gone round the whole house and collected everyones shoes. It did look amazing but an unfortunate consequence was the foul smell of sweaty feet. It was totally minging. I felt sorry for those having to sleep there last night.

crimesceneRoom 5 was completely bizarre. It was based on the inner workings of Innes Watson’s (one of our tutors) mind. They recorded him making strange noises and designed their room around it. Very strange indeed…

bombsiteRoom 6 was a sort of tidy music shop thing. It was very regimented – all the fiddles and ukuleles were very ordered but still not too tidy.

Room 7 was a crime scene! it was full of banadages, blood everywhere including the sinks and mirrors. There was also screaming on the MP3 player.

volcanoRoom 8 was a bombsite – literally! They had turned the beds upside down and everything else. It was an amazing feat of engineering though and later on for the tutors they added  live performance with lots of dead bodies…

Room 10 was a volcano! As we sat in the reception area we watch the room 10 girls bring in lots of dead plants and we decided not to ask questions. It was a brilliant though – a volcano with a river running below and lots of (dead) trees everywhere (get it?)

There was one room in the cabins entitled “Heaven | Hell”. Basically Heaven was clean and Hell was minging. One side had tidied and the other hadn’t. I can tell you now that they never won…

We loved it! The winner was Room 5 for sheer weirdness!

Room 5 with Innes

This was all announced at the Fancy Dress Ceilidh. We had a great selection of outfits and the winner was Susan Boyle (Katie) who also won Tinto Top Cat. See the video below. After the fancy dress we had a wee ceilidh and it was great. Everyone was up dancing. It just reminded me how great Scottish traditional music is – the band had a ball swinging away.

#tinto fancy dress @kirstennsimpson @heyitsevie_xo by @simonthoumire


Today I’ve been around all the classes listening to brilliant music, ideas and inventions and I can’t wait for the concert tonight in Coulter Hall. It’s always brilliant and then we’ll be back for a mammoth all night party in the lodge.


Tinto 15 fourth day blog

Tinto Summer School Tutor concertWe had another great day yesterday topped off with a fantastic campfire with lots of singing. This was preceded by the tutors concert which featured sets of jigs, songs including a brilliant version of Lazy John featuring Wiston Lodge’s own Mark Tanner. Duncan, Rona, Innes and Laura Beth performed a beautiful version of The Dolphin Waltz and Lady Be Good. Dawn also was awarded Tinto Top Cat.

andymurrayBefore this we were all enthralled by Andy Murray and his 5 set tennis match. When I say all I mean me, Rona and Duncan – everyone else wasn’t really bothered. But HOORAY he came through in the end :-)

warmupToday started with Imogen leading a brilliant warmup to Jackson Five – everyone was dancing and currently the house staff are all listening to the fiddle classes work on their performance pieces for tomorrow night at Coulter Hall (Friday, 7.30pm). This afternoon it is the brilliant room tidy when all the kids tidy their rooms in imaginative ways. The rumours flying around that one of the room’s themes is Innes Watson’s brain…

We’ll finish of the day with traditional fancy dress ceilidh (musical theme) and barbecue. This is always a highlight! Photos tomorrow…