Neil Macgillivray is one of Scotland’s leading performers of the works of Robert Burns. As a member of the Robert Burns Guild of Speakers, he is one of a select group of just 37 participants, all of whom join by invitation, and whose work is of a recognised high standard.
In 2011, Neil won the coveted Tam o'Shanter world championship in the Globe Inn, Dumfries - a historic venue that was frequented by Robert Burns himself when he lived in the town. In May 2014, Neil competed successfully in the World J Lapraik Speaking Competition, held in the village of Muirkirk where John Lapraik, the subject of several Burns' epistles, is buried. Later in the same year, Neil won the World Championship Whistle Competition at Ellisland Farm, the very place where Burns wrote the famous ballad 'The Whistle'.
From local community events in village halls to major Suppers for 750 people in the Hilton, Neil has enthralled audiences with his performances of some of Burns' best loved works including Tam o’Shanter, Holy Willie’s Prayer and Scots Wha Hae. He has also delivered stirring Immortal Memories to great acclaim.
In January 2014, he was invited to deliver the Immortal Memory at the Robert Burns Society of the City of New York and in January 2016 was the guest speaker at the Singapore St Andrew's Society. He visited Germany in January 2017 to address the haggis for the British Chamber of Commerce in Frankfurt. In January 2018 he travelled to Nova Scotia for the Halifax Burns Club.
In 2016, Neil was commissioned to record a collection of 15 poems for the University of Glasgow's Centre for Burns Studies for use in their latest online course on Robert Burns.
The Ruined Farmer
A poem written by Robert Burns expressing his heartfelt personal feelings about the hard times endured by the tenant farmer.
My Luve is Like a Red, Red Rose
Customarily heard as a much-loved song, however, without the music, the words say it all.
Address to a Haggis
An extract from the Burns Supper standard.