On Friday 16th November at 7.30pm, the Friends of Wighton are hosting a concert in the Wighton Centre, upstairs in Dundee Central Library.

With Cheyenne Brown (harp) and Seylan Baxter (cello and voice), the concert is to lauch the duo’s new CD of traditional Scots music and song.

Titled 2:forty, their debut album is a delightful selection of traditional music including songs by Burns and Ramsay, played in a lively and interesting style. Available at record shops and via the website www.celloharp.com, the CD will be available at a discount price on the night.

Cheyenne, from Alaska, and Seylan, from Milngavie, are both recent graduates of the Scottish music course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama

Tickets for the event will be on sale on the door and are £5, or £4 for concessions and members of ‘Friends of Wighton’. Be sure to turn up early to secure your seat as places are limited!

“If the festival was a supermarket, Cheyenne and Seylan would be the delicatessen.” – Director, Festival Internacional de la Sierra, Spain

As well as the concert in St Andrews on Sunday 11th November, the 200th anniversary of the death of Denis O’Hampsey, the famous old Gaelic harper, will also be marked with an open workshop and presentation by historical harp specialist Simon Chadwick in Dundee on Saturday 10th November.

In the beautiful surroundings of Dundee Central Library’s Wighton Centre, which holds an internationally important collection of old Scottish music books, the event will explore the life and music of the most important of the old Scottish and Irish harp players.

Hosted by the Friends of Wighton, there are places for hands-on participants as well as audience seats. Participants will have the chance to play replica historic Irish and Scottish harps while the audience will be treated to an entertaining talk about O’Hampsey’s life and music as well as being able to watch the tuition.

Using a copy of Denis O’Hampsey’s ‘Downhill’ harp of 1802, the class will study one of the tunes that Denis himself learned when he was a young student in the 1710s. Simon will also demonstrate other early Gaelic music and will explain why Denis O’Hampsey is so important yet so neglected today.

This is the only event in Scotland marking the 200th anniversary of Denis O’Hampsey’s passing; there is another event in Limavady in Northern Ireland on Saturday 10th with early Irish harp specialist Siobhan Armstrong.

The Friends of Wighton holds instrument classes every Saturday in whistle, fiddle and clàrsach.

Saturday 10th November, 2pm
Open workshop & presentation
Wighton Heritage Centre, Central Library, Dundee, DD1 1DB
£4 / £2.50 concessions

Concert of old Scottish and Irish harp music
Sunday 11th November, 2pm
St Andrews Museum, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DP
Admission Free

For more information call 07792 336804
Friends of Wighton: http://www.friendsofwighton.com
Denis O’Hampsey: http://www.earlygaelicharp.info/hampsey

Historical harp specialist Simon Chadwick will be appearing at Dundee’s Wighton Centre on Wednesday 3rd October 2007, at 1.15pm.

He will be performing a programme of ancient Scottish harp music taken from the historic Scottish music books preserved in the Wighton Collection.

The collection of over 700 music books, mostly dating from the 18th century, was left to the City of Dundee by merchant Andrew Wighton in the 19th century. It is now housed in a purpose-built performance and study centre upstairs in the Central Library, Wellgate, Dundee DD1 1DB

Simon is an acknowledged expert on the performance and traditions on the early clàrsach, the medieval harp of Scotland and Ireland. He will be playing his new replica of the 15th century harp of Mary, Queen of Scots. The original, 500 years old, is preserved in a glass case in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Simon’s replica was built for him by a sculptor in Ireland; it is covered in minute decoration, painting and carving, and has strings of gold and silver wire.

The Friends of Wighton hold a lunchtime recital on the first Wednesday of every month. On 7th November the performer will be singer Barbara Dymock, and on 5th December Sheena Wellington will be appearing.

Admission is free; there will be a collection to support the work of the Friends in preserving and making accessible this hidden musical treasure in the heart of Dundee.

For more information contact
07792 336804

The Friends of Wighton are restarting their weekly music classes in the Wighton Centre, upstairs in Dundee’s Central Library in the Wellgate Centre. Please note that the class times have changed since last term!

After the success of last term’s classes, tuition is being offered again in fiddle, whistle, historical Scottish harp and Scots song. The classes are suitable for beginners and are an ideal opportunity to discover local musical traditions and investigate the musical treasures locked away in the old books kept in the city’s Wighton Collection.

Fiddle classes are taught by the wonderful Fife fiddle expert Karen Hannah Reid, and run from 11am to 12.30pm every Saturday.

Tin whistle classes are given by Helen Forbes from Dundee, one of the best whistle players in Scotland, and run from 12.30 to 2pm on Saturdays.

The harp classes are led by Simon Chadwick, from St Andrews, who is one of only a handful of people worldwide playing historical Scottish and Irish harp music using replica medieval and renaissance instruments. They are on Saturdays from 2 to 3.30pm.

Scots song classes are tutored by the famous Dundee singer Maureen Jelks, and are held every Tuesday from 2 to 3.30pm

Instrument classes cost £4 per week (£2.50 concessions) and the song classes are £2 (£1 concessions). For the instrument classes, tin whistles are available to buy cheaply; fiddles made by a Fife violin maker can be borrowed and replica medieval harps with brass, sterling silver and gold strings are available to rent.

Fiddle star Alasdair Fraser together with cello virtuoso Natalie Hass will be stopping off on their Scottish summer tour to play a recital in Dundee’s Wighton Heritage Centre, upstairs in the Central Library, Wellgate, DD1 1DB.

The duo will perform a lunchtime recital on Wednesday 1st August at 1pm, followed at 2.15pm by a masterclass.

The recital is a great chance to hear scottish fiddle music with cello accompaniment, as it was usually played in the 18th century. The Wighton collection holds hundreds of Scottish music books from the 17th, 18th and 19th century, many of them written for fiddle and cello, but the music is hardly ever played like that nowadays.

But this is not stuffy antiquarianism – Natalie’s cello provides driving bass rythyms perfectly complementing Alasdair’s high-powered fiddle playing.

The masterclass afterwards is another unusual opportunity for traditional music fans, aspiring fiddlers, cellists and people who just enjoy going to watch clever people being taught things by even cleverer people. Open to the public, this is a rare chance to watch while Alasdair and Natalie, acknowledged experts in their fields, explain some of the secrets of their trade to local up-and-coming fiddle and cello players. It will be held in the Library’s Steps Theater, so there is no shortage of space for an interested audience.

Tickets are selling out fast. The cost is £5 (£4 concessions and Friends) for the recital and also £5 (£4 concessions and friends) for the masterclass. Contact secretary@friendsofwighton.com or 01334 474263 for tickets and further information.

Friends of Wighton: http://www.friendsofwighton.com
Alasdair Fraser: http://www.alasdairfraser.com
Natalie Haas: http://www.nataliehaas.com

The Friends of Wighton’s successful series of traditional music classes have come to a close for the summer but will be starting up again in September.

Held in the exciting surrounds of the Wighton Heritage Centre, upstairs in Dundee Central Library, the first event will be a ‘come and try’ day on Saturday 1st September with free admittance.

Every Tuesday will be song workshops with Maureen Jelks; every Saturday will be whistle classes with Helen Forbes, harp with Simon Chadwick and fiddle with Karen Hannah Read.

Photo of Diversimode in performance at the Maryatt Hall, 21/07/07

On Saturday 21st July 2007, the Friends of Wighton are hosting a Cappuccino Concert at the Maryatt Hall, Dundee. Come along on Saturday morning, have a cup of coffee, read the morning papers and be delighted and inspired by ravcishing baroque ensemble music!

This month’s performers are the early music ensemble Diversimode – four young professional musicians with a common passion for music of the Baroque. The name translates as “in various ways”, reflecting the diversity of their musical interests.

Ceridwen Heaney plays ‘natural’ trumpet (i.e. without valves); Catherine Strachan plays baroque cello; Allan Wright plays harpsichord and Louise Eekelaar sings. Their instruments are all ‘baroque instruments’, which though looking superficially similar to a modern trumpet, cello and piano, produce a much more delicate, alive sound that is perfect for playing 18th century music.

The programme is titled ‘Why should I be sad on my wedding day’ and will compare and contrast English and Scottish music from around the time of the Act of Union in 1707 – three hundred years ago. Classical compositions by Handel, Carissimi and Geminiani sit alongside traditional Scots tunes and variations by Bremner.

The Friends of Wighton are delighted to host this unusual concert, as much of the repertory is preserved in the old Scottish music books in the Wighton Collection in Dundee Central Library. Brought together in the 1850s by Dundee merchant Andrew Wighton, the collection of over 700 old books was bequeathed to the city after his death and is now kept in a beautiful purpose-built space in the Wellgate library.

Admission is £4 which includes Coffee and newspapers served from 10.30am; the music starts at 11am. Tickets should be purchased from the Caird Hall box Office.

Friends of Wighton: http://www.friendsofwighton.com
Diversimode: http://diversimode.co.uk
Caird Hall box Office: 01382 434030, http://www.cairdhall.co.uk

On Saturday 23rd June 2007, there will be a Cappuccino Concert in Dundee’s Maryatt Hall, organised by the Friends of Wighton. The event starts at 10.30am when coffee and newspapers will be available, with music from 11am till 12 noon.

The performers will be Palaver, three of the most exciting singers in Scotland. Aileen Carr, Barbara Dymock and Chris Miles are all highly regarded solo singers of a wide range of songs. Their collective repertoire is enormous and varied. Still strongly rooted in traditional song, they will also sing anything else that takes their fancy. Their stage presence is powerful, and their enjoyment in singing together is infectious. They will sing a lively programme of Acapella Songs, Traditional and Contemporary.

Admission is £4 which includes coffee & newspapers.

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