Musician and teacher; Born: May 30, 1926; Died: September 22, 2008

Elizabeth "Betty" Henderson, who has died aged 82, was one of the most-loved and proficient members of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra. She will be especially remembered for her duet playing, with the late Reesa McGinn, at all of the orchestra's concerts since its foundation in 1980 throughout the UK, Ireland, Canada and the US.

She was born in Edinburgh to parents who both hailed from Shetland, and she always considered herself a Shetlander. Her father was a merchant navy captain, lost at sea in the early part of the Second World War. She attended George Watson's Ladies' College and studied at the University of Edinburgh, where she obtained an MA degree, specialising in mathematics. She bolstered this training at Moray House and, later, with Open University courses.

Her family moved to Ayr in 1948, to Auchendoon Crescent, Ayr, where she stayed for the rest of her life - filling her house with a veritable archive of newspapers from Shetland, written music galore, innumerable tape recordings of Robbie Shepherd's radio programmes, postcards from friends all over the world and her mementos from her travels. She had the uncommon ability immediately to transcribe any music she heard on the radio and delighted in faxing the result to whomsoever requested it.

Henderson was trained to play the violin in the classical way but her Shetland heritage drew her to a love of Scottish fiddle music and its interpretation. She was a founder member of both Ayr and Prestwick Strathspey and Reel Society (The Strings of Scotland) and of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra.

Despite her huge ability, Henderson - typically retiring from the limelight - played the second violin part in both orchestras, except when she was playing a duet with Reesa, when she played the first violin part. As fiddle duettists they excelled in the compositions penned especially for them by John Mason, director of music of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra, and in particular her favourite, The Shetlander, which she performed to great audience acclaim. Henderson, Reesa and John participated in a wonderful Scottish evening in the the Royal Festival Hall, London, compered by the late Scottish bass, Bill McCue.

In Ayrshire, Henderson taught at Littlemill, south of Ayr, then at Ayr Grammar before moving to Ayr Academy as a teacher of mathematics until she took early retirement in 1989. Henderson enjoyed good health for a number of years thereafter and immersed herself in fiddle music; always willing to play anywhere, anytime, solo or in a small group.

The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra was formed in 1980 and Henderson's great delight was to play in all the various large venues of the UK and Ireland, the orchestra raising well over £1m for various charities, mostly medical-focused or children-focused. She had to cease playing with it in 2001, after a small stroke affected her ability to read and play to her high standard.

As a very independent person she eschewed all offers of home help, but was always ready to put others before herself, although taking good advantage of what life had to offer.

She was always fascinated by the various towns and cities we visited and their tourist sights. In Toronto she was delighted to find that she could travel for free on the city centre transport, but went to the terminus on one occasion, looking and photographing as the tram went along. When it was time to return to our hotel she had to confess that she thought it was all free - and had no Canadian money with her. In no time her fare was paid by a fellow traveller, fascinated by her Scottish accent and the stories of her travels with the SFO.

Her funeral service was held in Ayr St Columba Church at which members of the SFO, the Strings of Scotland and friends accompanied the organist, David MacKay, and conducted by John Mason. They played her favourite melodies from their vast repertoire, including The Ashokan Farewell, Scott Skinner's Cradle Song and Flower o' the Quern and John Mason's Wild Rose of the Mountain. Stewart McCreath, leader of the second violins, gave a very moving and heartfelt eulogy and thereafter Yla Steven and Stewart played the duet Tribute, composed by Yla. As the congregation left the service, the orchestra played music of the great Irish harper of the early eighteenth century, Turlough Carolan.

The orchestra grieves for the loss of an outstanding player and cheerful person, able to find only the good in all her friends and acquaintances.

Dr David J Martin Former President of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra