The Merlin Academy of Traditional Music is owned by Bridget Gray and Iain Fraser who are also directors in the company.
Iain Fraser has worked in and owned a number of media and event companies over the years. In his early twenties he worked as an event producer with a small video and conference production company in London. He then spent some time freelance working with a broad range of event and video production companies before moving to Glasgow to take up a post as Conference producer with SSK ltd. In 1992 he left this post to help develop the record label Culburnie Records Ltd along with his brother. In parallel with this he was teaching and performing. He took on and developed the fledgling Glasgow fiddle workshop and in 1995 he started teaching in the Scottish Music Department at the Royal Conservatoire of Music. He also moved to Jedburgh with his wife and young family in 1995 and continued to commute to Glasgow for a number of years while also getting more involved in the musical life of the Borders. In 2003 he was employed by Scottish Borders Council as a Traditional Music Development officer and eventually moved on to become Manager of the Instrumental Music Service for Borders Schools. In 2011 he left this post to return to full-time fiddle teaching and performing and to help develop the Merlin Academy. His experience includes managing staff, running payroll, managing accounts and annual budgets up to £1000,000, writing business plans and successfully obtaining public and private funding. He is on the board of the Traditional Music Forum and in June 2017 he won The Chorus Community “Passing it on – Educator’s” Award.
Bridget Gray started her career in various roles of office administration. She has worked for various different companies in the past ranging from solicitors, estate agents, working her way up to P.A. Bridget realised that Sales and Marketing was the area she really wanted to be in and after moving up to Scotland in 1996 she secured a position working for Rank Xerox.
Singer-songwriter Kathy Stewart-Kennedy began her career as a studio back-up singer for the likes of Davy Steele, Dick Gaughan and Silly Wizard. As a resident of the Scottish Borders for over 30 years Kathy has retained her American identity in her original songs and with her band, The Frequent Flyers, yet at the same time has been influenced by her love of the Scottish Borders; the music, the land and the many people she feels so fortunate to know. Her most recent CD, “Almost Home” is a reflection of this and features much loved and respected Borders musicians such as Merlin Academy’s Iain Fraser and Selkirk pianist, Rod Ward, to name a few.