Simon Chadwick, traditional harp, in Dundee

This is first chance for us to enjoy a performance from our own Simon Chadwick since he appeared in the BBC documentary “Scotland’s Treasures” and was nominated for the prestigious “Tutor of the Year” accolade at the Scots Trad Music Awards!

Simon will bring along the big Irish harp and will play a selection of traditional Scottish and Irish harp tunes found in the old music books from the Wighton Collection, from the baroque delights of Carolan to a West Highland pibroch.

Simon has lived in Fife for 10 years now, and quickly became involved in the Scottish traditional music scene in Dundee with the Friends of Wighton. He had been interested in historical Scottish and Irish music before then, through his archaeological work on the ancient harp traditions.

“I love the way that Scottish music is intensely community-oriented and personal, yet has a depth and sophistication rivalling anything from elsewhere.”

The concert is on Weds 1st March at 1.15 pm in the Wighton Centre, Dundee Central Library, DD1 1DB. Admission is free.

Historical Gaelic harp come and try!

Historical Gaelic harp come and try!

Sat 10th September, 2pm,

Come and have a go at playing a medieval clarsach, in Dundee’s Wighton Centre, upstairs in the Central Library.

The old Gaelic harp of Scotland and Ireland is very different and much more ancient than the modern clarsach or Celtic harp you might be more familiar with. The ancient clarsach was shared between Ireland and Scotland from medieval times down to the 18th century.

The best known examples are iconic museum exhibits: the famous Brian Boru harp displayed in Trinity College Dublin, and the beautiful Queen Mary harp in the National Museum in Edinburgh. The Brian Boru harp is shown on the Guinness label!

Historical Gaelic harps are rare, and are hardly ever heard nowadays. Simon Chadwick is a historical musician and a leading authority in the old Scottish and Irish harp traditions, and he will bring beautiful historic replicas of the ancient harps into Dundee for this come-and-try session.

Simon, an inspiring teacher,  leads a regular harp class in the Wighton Centre in Dundee, and there are now spaces for new participants and harps available to rent. So come along on Saturday 10th to explore the oldest strands of Scottish and Irish music.

More info
http://www.friendsofwighton.com
http://www.simonchandwick.net

Friends of Wighton’s autumn season

Friends of Wighton’s  autumn season  kicks off with a series of great concerts featuring some of the finest singers, in both Scots and Gaelic traditions, in Scotland.  

Wighton Heritage Centre:

Cappuccino Concerts – admission £5, (tea & coffee available for small donation):      

Saturday 20th August, 11am (doors open 10.30)

Double Mod Gold Medallist Wilma Kennedy, one of Scotland’s finest Gaelic singers – and, we are proud to say,  Wighton Gaelic song tutor – with a programme which includes songs from Albyn’s Anthology, which is in the Wighton Collection.

Saturday 24th September, 11am (doors open 10.30):

Caim:

Heather Innes (vocals, bodhran) and Pauline Vallance (vocals, clasarch, flute) first played together for an impromptu song on Ciaran Dorris’ live Christmas show on Celtic Music Radio December 2013. They enjoyed working together and decided to continue if the occasion arose. It has a number of times and as well as singing in the Caim trio for concerts and festivals in the last few years, Pauline and Heather have continued to give duo concerts in Scotland and are looking forward to a tour in Ontario, Canada in May 2017.

Lunchtime Recitals – admission free, donations welcomed.

Wednesday 7th September, 1.15pm – 1.45pm:  

Iona Fyfe, singer

Iona Fyfe, from Aberdeenshire, combines modern contemporary folk music with the traditions of Scotland’s haunting traditional ballads and lively songs.  Iona has performed extensively across Scotland and Europe at festivals such as Celtic Connections, Folkest Italy, Aberdeen International Youth Festival, Dundee Celt Fest and currently studies Traditional Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Frigate Unicorn, Victoria Dock, Dundee:

Friday 30th September. 7.30pm

MBO Band!  – McKerron Brechin & Ó hEadhra

Fiery tunes and beautiful songs from the Gaelic and Scots tradition by three of Scotland’s finest musicians.

The Scottish trad trio of Charlie McKerron (fiddle), Sandy Brechin (piano accordion) and Brian Ó hEadhra (guitar & vocals) are three accomplished musician who draw on a wealth of tunes and songs from the Gaelic and Scots traditions.

They each are acclaimed composers in their own right. The trio have performed in Scotland and abroad and have wowed audiences with their choice of material and engaging stage performances. Each artist is also known through their work with other acclaimed acts; Charlie performs with Capercaille and Session A9; Sandy with Bùrach and the Sandy Brechin Band; Brian with Cruinn.

Sandy Brechin – “whose accordion bellows boldly blow where no box has blown before.”  – Archie Fisher
Brian Ó hEadhra – “the most vocally talented, versatile and engaging male vocalist in Gaeldom.”   – fRoots
Charle McKerron – “Fiddle wizardry”  – Stuart Morrison, The Herald

Tickets from HM Frigate Unicorn or Dundee Box Office

The Queen Mary harp – Scottish early music played by Simon Chadwick

For the first Cappuccino concert of 2016, Simon Chadwick will be in the Wighton Centre playing a selection of historical Scottish clarsach music using the beautiful decorated replica of the medieval “Queen Mary” harp.

The event will be held in the Wighton Centre, upstairs in Dundee Central Library. Doors open at 10.30am when coffee and newspapers are served, and the music will run for an hour starting at 11am.

Simon will play a selection of tunes associated with the famous medieval harp, from medieval variation-sets traditionally associated with the Lords of the Isles, who may have commissioned the Queen Mary harp in the medieval Hebrides, through to 18th century airs once played on the Queen Mary harp by the Robertsons of Lude, when it was preserved by them at their house near Blair Atholl in Perthshire in the early 1700s.

Frigate Unicorn, Dundee
3rd January, 2019,  6pm – 10pm 
A Guid New Year

Family Ceilidh for all ages to end the Festive Period

All Star line-up includes 
Robert Lovie, singer, raconteur 
Sheena Wellington, singer 
Kyle Howie, piper
House Band featuring Alan Small, Karen Hannah & Kyle Innes

Tickets £10 adults, £5 children, £20 family
(price includes welcome drink and stovies)

For tickets and more information
01382 200900
mail@frigateunicorn.org

Wighton Centre open days

The Friends of Wighton group will welcome the Scottish Traditional Music Awards to Dundee by inviting visiting and local music lovers to take a close-up look at the fascinating Wighton Collection and enjoy a live music sessionat the same time.

The Centre will be open from 2pm to 5pm on Friday 4th December and from 10am -12.15pm on Saturday 5th December. Books will be on display and Wighton tutors and committee members will be there to sing, play and answer questions!

The Wighton Heritage Centre was opened on 24th November 2003. Located upstairs in Dundee Central Library, it provides a dedicated space for the storage and display of the internationally important Wighton Collection. 700 volumes of old Scottish music were collected together in the early 19th century by Dundee merchant Andrew Wighton, and were bequeathed to the city after his death. 

The Wighton books with other donations and acquisitions, are now kept in glass-fronted bookcases in the Wighton Centre. The Centre also acts as a bright, atmospheric performance and study centre, allowing scholars to access the riches of the collection, and providing a lovely performance space for music and other events.

As well as a monthly Cappuccino Concert, and a free Wednesday lunchtime recital every month, the Friends of Wighton run classes in traditional Scottish music every week: Scots song, Gaelic song, fiddle, whistle and clarsach (Scottish harp).

The Friends also work towards the conservation and cataloguing of the collection of books, and have made some important acquisitions to add to the collection.  They are currently fundraising to conserve rare music books from the collection of Sir Jimmy Shand and visitors will be able to contribute.  Jimmy’s musical taste was exemplary, as shown by the lovely 18th and 19th century manuscripts in his collection.  Rumour has it that one or two of the Shand books, currently not on public display, might make an appearance at the Open Days!

Recording in the Wighton Centre

Last Monday, the Wighton Centre was turned into a recording studio by recording enginner Bob Turner, to record some tracks for the forthcoming limited edition CD produced by the Friends of WIghton as part of the fundraising for the Sir Jimmy Shand Collection.

Tracks were recorded from Mark Spalding playing a Ronald Stevenson composition on the harpsichord, the Wighton Singers, Ellie McDonald reading poetry, Simon Chadwick playing the replica Queen Mary harp, and Morag Anne Elder on the fiddle with Katie playing cello.

At least two of the tracks are the first ever recordings (the harpsichord and harp track). Other tracks are being recorded at Gardyne Studios, and also some tracks will be donated by other artists from their published CDs.

If you missed claiming the CD as a perk on our Indiegogo crowdfunding last month, you will still be able to buy your copy when the strictly limited edition is released.

Illustrated talk on the Sir Jimmy Shand Collection

There will be a unique aspect to the Cappuccino Concert in the Wighton Heritage Centre, Central Library, Dundee on Saturday 19th September.

The distinguished Scottish music expert Dr KAREN McAULAY, Music and Academic Services Librarian at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD), will give an musically illustrated talk on the Centre’s recently acquired Sir Jimmy Shand Collection of 18th and 19th century music books.

Karen is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, and is in demand to talk not only about Scottish music history but also about library and research skills.  She’s also a practising musician, as a church organist and music arranger.  With the help of the Wighton’s harpsichord, she will explore the musical treasures contained in these volumes and some of the rarer and most interesting volumes will be on display.

Karen’s visit comes at a key moment.   The Friends of Wighton members are raising funds to have the Shand Collection conserved so that it can be on permanent display and available for use by musicians, singers, scholars and community group.  A crowdfunder for The Sir Jimmy Shand Connection has topped £1100 with some weeks still to run.  Contributions from the great man’s admirers have come from across the UK as well as Europe and the USA!

“We’re delighted with the success of the crowdfunder so far,” said Sheena Wellington, Friends of Wighton Honorary Librarian, “but we still have a target to reach and there are still lots of special thank you gifts waiting!”    ‘Perks’ for those donating online include limited edition CDs, signed prints, etchings, specially composed tunes, house concerts and the opportunity to be entered into a founder’s book to be kept in the Wighton Centre.

To find out more visit http://igg.me/at/jimmyshand

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