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!
Here’s a quick photo of Sheena singing in the Wighton Centre earlier today. A full house, over 40 people crammed into the space to hear a very interesting programme including some newly-discovered 18th century songs.