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About Highland Music Trust

Highland Music Trust (HMT) is a Scottish charity (SC028065) established for the preservation of Scottish National and Traditional Music. 

The interest in traditional music has been rising in previous years and the Highland Music Trust is there to encourage and support those who wish to practise Scottish traditional music. The increased teaching, performance and presentation is vital to the maintaining of this important cultural artform. HMT supports national music lovers with a variety of reprints featuring some of the great 18th and 19th century collections of Scottish music as well as the publication of contemporary compositions. 

The Highland Music Trust was formed by Eric and Helen Allan (pictured) in 1998. The charity was fully operated from their home near Inverness and the famous Culloden Battlefield. They spent their lives around traditional music and have both provided arrangements and played with Inverness Fiddles and the Scots music group Birl. In their retirement they were able to combine their professional skills and personal passion to create the Trust. 

The charity was formed with the help of a generous donation from a benefactor. The intent was to support the work of Balnain house, which is a traditional music resource centre in Inverness which helped in the production of the Athole collection as well as others. Since Balnain House sadly closed its doors in 2001, the Trust has continued the work of making Scottish music widely available. Eric and Helen were then joined by two additional trustees from the Black Isle, Jim and Moira Leslie. They were also heavily involved in Scottish music and were passionate about the work of the Trust. 

The publications currently available on this site were reset in clear type by Helen, with Eric as project manager. All other work was voluntary and relied on the support of friends from all over the music world. Particular thanks go out to researcher Charlie Gore and fiddlers Jim Leslie and Duncan Dyker. Duncan and others were also featured in the first CD recording available from the Trust, Collectors’ Items. Over the years HMT has received generous support for printing costs from public bodies, individuals, and other charitable trusts. 

The Highland Music Trust was handed over to the Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) in 2021 after unfortunate delays due to the pandemic. The handover was completed in 2022 with the express desire that these magnificent Highland Trust collections remain available to all. 

A couple in a doorway Eric & Helen Allan at the door to their home which has been the base of operations for Highland Music Trust for much of its life!