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Music of the old Scottish harpers

Saturday 21st May 2011, 10.30 for 11am £5
Simon Chadwick: Music of the old Scottish harpers
Wighton Centre, upstairs in Dundee Central Library
Followed at 2.00pm by an open workshop: Discovering Harp Music in the Wighton Collection. All welcome, admission £5 (£2.50 under 25s)

Historical harp specialist Simon Chadwick is presenting a rare concert on Saturday morning, 21st May. The performance will highlight the music of the old Scottish harpers, with pieces composed in Scotland between the 16th and 18th centuries.

Simon will perform this beautiful and little-heard music on a very special instrument - the intricately hand-made replica of the medieval harp of Mary, Queen of Scots, which is kept as one of Scotland's national treasures in the national Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The concert starts at 11am, and coffee and newspapers will be available from 10.30am, included in the admission price of £5.

Later on in the afternoon, Simon will present an open workshop in the Wighton Collection. He will talk about the music found in the collection, and how the oldest Scottish traditions including the harp tradition are preserved in these historic music books. There will be a chance to see some of the rare books in the collection, and for those that wish, a chance to try their hand at playing a copy of a medieval Scottish harp. This informal afternoon session is open to anyone who is interested to find out more about the deep roots of Scottish music and traditions. Admission is £5, or half price for under-25s.

Simon is based in St Andrews, and has been working on the music and traditions of the historical Irish and Scottish harp or clarsach for over 10 years. His work encompasses the investigation of the surviving museum instruments, research in old manuscripts and printed music books, discovering the ancient styles and idioms, and making connections with parallel traditions such as Gaelic song, fiddle and piping. Simon runs a weekly harp class in the Wighton Centre in Dundee. As well as teaching and performing in Scotland, he is assistant director of the main international event for the instrument, held in Ireland

The Wighton Centre in Dundee Central Library is a dedicated performance and study space which houses the internationally important Wighton Collection of historic Scottish music books. This collection of over 700 volumes dating from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries was assembled by Dundee merchant Andrew Wighton, and was bequeathed by him to the city after he died in 1866. The Friends of Wighton has been formed to make this unique cultural treasure more accessible to the people of Dundee, Angus and Fife, by running classes, workshops and concerts in the Centre.

More information:
07792 336804

Song of the Silent North

Sally Garden spoke eloquently today about her work, connecting the landscapes and lyric traditions of the East of Scotland with those of Scandinavia. She played excerpts of her CD to illustrate her points.

The Friends of Wighton still have a few copies available for sale at a special reduced fundraising price - please ask if you would like one. You can find more information about the CD, and sound clips, at the Mons Graupius website.

Sally Garden CD launch event

CD launch event, Wighton Heritage Centre, Dundee - 04 May 2011)

Dr Sally Garden, mezzo-soprano and former Historical Musician in Residence at the Wighton Heritage Centre, will give an illustrated talk entitled: Song of the Silent North: a Scottish voice in Scandinavia. The talk introduces Sally’s new classical cd release Song of the Silent North recorded with Donald Hawksworth (piano) and will explore the themes of landscape, language and lyric tradition which have inspired her recent work. Sally is currently Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Scandinavian Studies, University of Aberdeen.

Sally has donated a number of CDs – these will be on sale at the event price £15 – all proceeds to Friends of Wighton.

Sally Garden (mezzo-soprano) was born in Angus, north east Scotland. She is currently Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Scandinavian Studies, University of Aberdeen. Her recital and research career encompasses international collaborative work, festival appearances, concert promotion, publishing, editing, new media work, and composition. She was educated at the Universities of Aberdeen, Heriot-Watt, and also Edinburgh where she gained her doctoral degree in music. After initial vocal studies at NESMS (Aberdeen), and an appearance as finalist in the Mary Garden International Prize, she was fortunate to be able to continue her studies with the distinguished Italian mezzo Laura Sarti. After several years working in business, she turned to music full-time in 2002 with a research appointment at the University of Glasgow. In 2003 she was appointed Historical Musician in Residence at the Wighton Heritage Centre, Dundee, where she directed a 3-year programme of events to unfold one of Scotland’s finest music archives. In recent years she has completed a variety of research commissions and working freelance, has been able to devote more time to her distinctive recital work. She has also travelled by special invitation to Norway and Germany to develop her work on Edvard Grieg.
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