There’s still a chance to see the books and chat to the Friends of Wighton tomorrow morning from 10am.
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!
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