Mary Gristwood

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(5.0)Read all 8 reviews
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About Mary

Violinist/fiddle player and caller.
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Originally from Northern Ireland, where she was prolific in both the competition and live band circuit, Mary moved to Scotland in the early nineties and has continued to both teach and play ever since. For wedding ceremonies, Mary's enchanting playing set the perfect atmosphere. For ceilidhs, her distinctive and lively style has been influenced by the many celtic rock and ceilidh bands she has played with over this period, as well as the wide range of musicians with whom she has collaborated. Mary is an accomplished caller and always gives her all to ensure an enjoyable and upbeat performance.

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5 out of 5
6 verified reviews
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Mary's Reviews

From Encore customers:

Sheilagh M
5 months ago
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5 out of 5

Mary was amazing and exceeded all of our expectations. She made our celebration truly memorable. Thank you!

Reply from Mary
5 months ago

Aw. Thank you so much Sheilagh! It was a pleasure and a privilege to call the dances for you and to be part of your special celebration. What a brilliant party! Thanks again, Mary x

Mairi W
5 months ago
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5 out of 5

Everyone loved the music Mary played and gave a lovely atmosphere to the wedding x

Reply from Mary
5 months ago

Thanks so much for your lovely review, Mairi. It was a privilege to play for Katy's beautiful wedding ceremony. Also, I loved hearing the guests singing with gusto accompanying my playing during the drinks reception. Thanks again, Mary

Tabbitha H
6 months ago
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5 out of 5

Mary was so friendly and helpful. I would definitely use her again for future events

Reply from Mary
6 months ago

Thanks so much Tabbitha. It was lovely to meet you all and a pleasure to call the dances at your sister's wedding.

Diane R
9 months ago
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5 out of 5

Mary was fabulous as the ceilidh caller at our wedding reception! Thanks very much!

Reply from Mary
9 months ago

Thanks so much for your lovely review Diane. It was a pleasure and a privilege to call the dances for your beautiful wedding. Thank you for booking me. I wish you and John every happiness in your married life, Mary.

Read all 6 reviews

From other customers:

Tim H
9 years ago

Dear Mary and the rest of Bass Rock Ceilidh Band, Thank you for performing at our wedding. Everyone really enjoyed the Ceilidh and the music through the ceremony was beautiful. Many thanks again,

Olivia, H
9 years ago

Dear Mary, Thank you to you and all the band, Sunday was fantastic fun! We all loved the ceilidh, even my friends from the south of England who'd never done it before! Everyone loved the music, a few vet friends are on are halfway ball organising committee took a few of your cards so they clearly were fans! Thanks so much for playing, I hope you had as much fun as we did! I'll send some photos through when Ollie gets them to me. Many thanks,

Encore badges
10 gigs
Experienced: 10 bookings through Encore
Saved the day!
Booked for an Encore gig with less than 24 hours’ notice
8th Anniversary
This act has been working with Encore for over 8 years

Mary's Song list

Irish and Scottish tunes;
My Love is like a Red, Red Rose
Aye Fond Kiss
For the Love of a Princess
Calum’s Road
Danny Boy
Hymn to the Sea
Loch Lomond
Casadh an tSugain
King of the Fairies
Ag Críost an Síol
Loch Lomond
Dark Island
Westering Home
Wild Mountain Thyme
Mingulay Boat Song
Loch Tay Boat Song
Martin Wynne’s, Return to Erin, Otter’s Den
Kesh Jig, Morrisons
Old Toasty
Highland Cathedral
The Coolin
Jock o’ Hazeldean
Neil Gow’s Lament to his second wife
Ashokan Farewell
Modern Love Songs (played with backing tracks);
You Raise Me Up (WestLife)
A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)
How Long Will I love You (Ellie Goulding)
Say You Won’t Let Go (James Arthur)
Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheeran)
All Of Me (John Legend)
Halleluyah (Leonard Cohen)
I’m Yours (Jason Mraz)
Wings (Birdy)
Make You Feel My Love (Adele)
She Moves in her Own Way (The Kooks)
You’re Still the One (Shania Twain)
Amazed (Lonestar)
I will Always Love You (Whitney Houston)
Flying Without Wings (Westlife)
Wherever You Will Go (The Calling)
Angels (Robbie Williams)
I’m Yours (Jason Mraz)
Marvin Gaye (Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor)
Somewhere Only We Know (Keane)
Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)
Songbird (Eva Cassidy)
Always a Woman (Billy Joel)
Stay With Me (Sam Smith)
Just Give Me a Reason (Pink)
Wonderful World (James Morrison)
Budapest (George Ezra)
Here with me (Dido)
Your Song (Elton John)
Because You Loved Me (Celine Dion)
Kiss From a Rose (Seal)
This I promise You (Ronan Keating)
Everything (Michael Bublé)
You’re Beautiful (James Blunt)
Perfect Day (Lou Reed)
Life With You (Proclamers)
Nothing Compares 2U (Sinead O’Connor)
Everything I Do I do it for You (Brian Adams)
Sometimes When We Touch (Dan Hill)
She’s the One (Robbie Williams)
Classical Pieces (some with backing);
Pachelbel Canon in D Major
The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
Wedding March - Mendelssohn
Bridal Chorus - Wagner
Trumpet Voluntary
Ode to Joy
Ave Maria
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Amazing Grace

Mary's Prices

Note: prices may vary based on travel distance. For an exact quote, click “Check availability”.

Standard Prices
Performance durationPrice
Short performance (up to 15 min)£180
Up to 1 hour£180
Up to 2 hours£250
Up to 3 hours£300
Customer questions

Do you have different line-up options?

Yes, I can play solo acoustically, solo electric violin with backing tracks and as a duet (violin and guitar).

What if my timings change after I've booked you?

I always try my best to be flexible to help ensure your event runs as smoothly as possible. If timings change slightly in the run up to the event just let me know.”

How much time do you need to set up?

I require half an hour to tune and condition the violin.

Can I pick the pieces you play from the set list?

Yes, of course.

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

Yes, absolutely! I bring my own instrument to play acoustically, and a high quality 'Aer' Amp if you prefer me to play amplified with backing tracks

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

If a song isn't included in my song list there may still be a chance I already know it. If there is a special song you'd like me to learn I am happy to do this for you. There is a fee of £30 for this service to take into account rehearsal time etc

What do your clients love most about your performances?

People hum along to the songs I play on the violin, as they wait the arrival of the bridal party, and afterwards too.

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

Castles like Melville, Winton and Tullibole, Wedding venues like Linlithgow Burgh Halls and Ross Priory, outside at Tantallon Castle and the Bandstand in Dundee, and countless Marquees in front lawns and gardens. I have learned to bring a warm coat!

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

Even though I don't sing, I have been influenced by Andrea Bocelli. Like him, I am not classically trained - my background is traditional Irish and Scottish music - and I love the raw, natural element in his voice when he sings. I aim to achieve this when I play music too.

What is the most high profile gig you've performed?

That would be telling - let's just say I got flown there by private jet!
Traditional church music, Christmas, Contemporary classical, Classical, Film / TV music, Ambient, Electro-Swing, 1920s era music, 1930s era music, 1940s era music, 1950s era music, 1960s era music, 1970s era music, 1980s era music, 1990s era music, Folk, Bluegrass, Ceillidh, Country, Folk rock, Irish rock, Traditional Irish folk, Traditional Scottish folk, Traditional English folk, Rockabilly, Blues, Dixieland, Gypsy jazz, Ragtime, Swing, Easy listening, Light music, Pop, Acoustic, Ambient pop, Americana, Covers, Disco, Funk, Funk rock, Hip Hop, Karaoke, Motown, R&B, Soul, Top 40, Tribute, Vintage, Rock, World music, Polka, Scottish music, Russian music, Italian music, French music, Ceilidh
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Event types:
Wedding, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Private event, Corporate event, Burns night, Birthday party, Christmas party, New Year's Eve
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Other skills:
Fluent sight-reader, MC, Fluent improviser, Instrumental teaching, Theory teaching, Arranger, Composer, Sound technician, Composition teaching, Community music worker
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