Music legend Sir Jimmy Shand’s collection goes on display in Wighton Centre, Central Library, Dundee

Newly restored rare musical manuscripts collected by Fife-born and world-renowned accordion player Sir Jimmy Shand have been unveiled to the public in Dundee.

The collection, some of which dates back to the 18th century, was able to be professionally conserved thanks to a fundraising campaign and a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It will now be available for the use of musicians, students, teachers, folklorists, historians and other interested parties, at Dundee’s Wighton Heritage Centre.

The collection was unveiled during a special event on Saturday, attended by Jimmy Shand junior and his wife Margaret.

Others in attendance were Shona Robison MSP, Leisure and Culture trustee George Laidlaw, Councillor Fraser MacPherson, former Citizen of the Year Norman Robertson, City Centre and Harbour Community Council chairman  Bill Newcombe MBE and Box and Fiddle editor Pia Walker, as well as Friends of Wighton.

Dundee-based traditional Scottish singer Sheena Wellington, of the Friends of Wighton, said: “We were very pleased with the turnout for the event.

“There were around 40 people, mostly invited guests and some of our students.

“We have some really interesting things in the collection, around 23 volumes. Some of them date back to 1795 and include workbooks of young people learning to play instruments.

“Jimmy junior also presented us with two volumes of his father’s compositions.”

Sir James Shand MBE (1908–2000) was born in East Wemyss in Fife and  played traditional Scottish dance music on the accordion. His signature tune was “The Bluebell Polka”.

Music at Saturday’s event was provided by students of the Friends of Wighton Saturday fiddle and whistle classes with their tutors Morag Anne Elder and Helen Forbes.

Their sets featured tunes from the two printed volumes and two handwritten manuscripts, all four of which were displayed on the harpsichord.

Introductory remarks were from past Friends of Wighton Chairman, Iain Sword.

The Chariman of the National Accordion and Fiddle Clubs, Nicol McLaren, himself a renowned accordion player and bandleader, gave a personal appreciation of the seminal role of Jimmy Shand in Scottish music.

Jimmy Shand Jr closed proceedings by thanking the Friends of Wighton for taking care of his father’s legacy.

 

 

 

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