Saturday 20th July, 11am – noon: Songs and Springs from Scotland and Scandinavia

Saturday 20th July, 11am – noon: Cappuccino Concert:-

Songs and Springs from Scotland and Scandinavia with sisters Sally Garden & Alison Hart.

We at Friends of Wighton are delighted to welcome back our first Historical Musician in Residence, Sally Garden, with sister Alison Hart, for what promises to be a beautiful morning of song.

Sally and Alison hail from an Angus farming family and are just two of a flock of four sibling musicians, all with professional careers. How this happened is another story! But – Alison trained at RSAMD (Conservatoire), studying piano with Lawrence Glover, and began herteaching career with the challenge of schooling her younger sister Sally to play her scales, ‘properly!’. Surviving this musical trauma, she went on to teach music in Angus Primary Schools, develop her own teaching practice, and guide many a successful student through their Associated Board exams.

Alison’s performing career began even earlier, at the age of 14, playing (and pedalling!) the kirk harmonium to accompany the hymns. This began her organist career (same keyboard, different pedals). But most of all, Alison is known for her calm, unflappable accompanying skills at the piano. She has supported several choirs and countless singers and instrumentalists in show and concert over many years, and given 30 years service as an official accompanist for the Arbroath Competitive Festival, playing for multiple classes every day of the 5-day event.

Sally, who eventually mastered her scales ‘properly’, went on to study music at Aberdeen University, studying singing first at the North East of Scotland Music School, then with bel canto specialist Laura Sarti, in London. Her fiddle never far from her side, she played in orchestras in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, enjoying the camaraderie and occasional fee!

Gaining her doctorate at  Edinburgh University, she added another proverbial string to her bow – musicology. This took her  to Glasgow University for a spell, following which she was privileged to work as Historical Musician in Residence at the Wighton Heritage Centre, Dundee. Most of all, Sally is known for her recital work and special interest in Scots and Scandinavian art song, and in 2019 was invited to give the annual Nina Grieg Day recital at Troldhaugen, Bergen. She is founder of the Grieg Society of Scotland, part of a network of Grieg Societies across the globe, and is also vice-chair of the  Norwegian Scottish Association, Edinburgh.

Admission £5, Tea/coffee available for donation


Karen Hannah cappuccino concert

Cappuccino Concert

Saturday 18th July, 11am (doors open 10.30)

Wighton Heritage Centre, Central Library, Dundee

Karen Hannah, fiddle  and Bob Turner, keyboards

Admission £5 at door (coffee available, for donation)

The popular and talented Karen Hannah returns to the Wighton with her lively mix of fiddle tunes and humour.

She will be joined on this occasion by keyboard maestro Bob Turner, whose musical pedigree covers stage, screen, jazz, folk and world music.

Pert, Stockhausen, McGuire & Bartok in the Wighton Centre

This morning, Mark Spalding presented his diverse and fascinating programme of 20th century keyboard music for this year’s first Friends of Wighton cappuccino concert. To a full audience, Mark presented a selection of compositions played on no fewer than five keyboards – the electric piano, two electronic keyboards, melodica, and the lovely Wighton harpsichord.

Mark was joined by Haworth Hodgkinson who provided improvised percussion responses to each of the 12 sections of the Stockhausen “Tierkreis” (signs of the zodiac) cycle. The alternation of the very quick, complex, almost mechanistic keyboard sections, each played on a different instrument, with the very free and impressionistic and very loud gong percussion interludes, was really striking, and helped very much this music to become intelligible and accessible to all present. I think quite a few people were very surprised to hear the atonal Stockhausen music played on the harpsichord!

Howarth also performed two lively and thoughtful pieces of his own poetry with instrumental accompaniment, one played on a giant bass recorder and one played on a gas bottle.

In his concise but useful spoken introductions to each work, Mark made a number of interesting connections with Dundee for many of the pieces. The suite by Morris Pert which opened the programme was very well played, and it was a great pleasure to have the composer Eddie McGuire present for Mark’s playing of a couple of his piano and organ works.

Wighton harpsichord & piano concert in Dundee

On Saturday 24th January, the first in this year’s series of Cappuccino Concerts will be held in the Wighton Centre, upstairs in Dundee Central Library.

These popular Saturday morning events are held every month, with coffee and newspapers served from 10.30am and the music performance from 11am to noon. Admission is £5.

For January, the Friends of Wighton are pleased to welcome back Mark Spalding, who will perform a programme of unusual and exciting music on the piano and also on the Wighton harpsichord – a delicious 18th-century style instrument that is kept in the Wighton centre.

The programme will include some Burns night themed music by Eddie McGuire, as well as showcasing some items from Mark’s latest project to mark the 40th anniversary of Stockhausen’s “Tierkreis” (signs of the zodiac).

Mark said: “This is Stockhausen’s most popular and accessible piece: very tuneful, each of the 12 melodies has a definite tonal centre”.

Mark will also be joined by composer Haworth Hodgkinson, who will perform some of his own compositions as well as providing percussion for Mark’s Stockhausen performance.

Mark’s playing on the beautiful harpsichord is sensitive and expressive and is always a hit with Wighton Centre regulars. This unusual programme of piano and harpsichord music should prove to be a very enjoyable morning!

Scottish music 78s

Scottish 78s might make you think of Jimmy Shand or Harry Lauder, but there will be nothing as obvious as that on Wednesday 1st October. Instead, Simon Chadwick will show off some rare gems from his collection of old Scottish 78rpm gramophone records.

For the free lunchtime concert in the Wighton Centre, upstairs in Dundee Central Library, Simon will crank up his 1927 HMV portable machine to play a selection of discs dating from the teens, twenties and thirties.

Featuring stars including Marjory Kennedy-Fraser at the piano, and John MacDonald of Inverness on the pipes, the programme will present beautiful early performances of Gaelic song, Scots song, fiddle, bagpipes and clarsach.

The Wighton Centre, with its collection of historic Scottish music books, is a beautiful airy venue with a lovely acoustic, and will be the perfect setting to listen to the quiet, quavering sounds coming out of the antique machine – entirely acoustic and mechanical.

The event is at 1.15pm on Wednesday 1st October, in the Wighton Centre, upstairs in Dundee Central Library. Admission is free.

Ancient and Modern Keyboard music from Angus

The Friends of Wighton’s monthly Wednesday Lunchtime concert in Dundee will be on Wednesday 2nd March 2011, at 1.15pm. The venue is the Wighton Heritage Centre, upstairs in Dundee Central Library. Admission is free.

The programme has a local theme, with Mark Spalding playing keyboard music both ancient and modern. He will perform 17th century harpsichord music from the Panmure manuscripts, unique collections of Scottish music preserved for generations at Panmure House, near Carnoustie, Angus. The manuscripts are a rare survival of Scottish art music of this early date, and include music by the Scottish composer, William Kinloch.

Mark will also play modern piano music composed by the recently deceased Arbroath born composer Morris Pert (1947-2010). Morris Pert was born in Arbroath, Scotland in 1947. He graduated B.Mus. from Edinburgh University in 1969, and went on to study composition and percussion at the Royal Academy in London, where he was a pupil of Alan Bush. He has written three symphonies.

The Wighton Centre, upstairs in Dundee’s Wellgate library, is a beautiful performance and study space, built to house the Wighton Collection: an internationally important collection of over 700 old books of Scottish music. The collection of rare antique volumes was assembled by Dundee Merchant Andrew Wighton, and donated by him to the City after he died in 1866. The centre is also home to a very fine French two-manual harpsichord, which will be used for Wednesday’s recital.

For more information please visit
or phone 07792 336804
Morris Pert’s website is at

The attached photograph shows Mark Spalding at the Wighton Harpsichord, at a recent recital in the Wighton Centre as part of Dundee Keyboard Festival.