Aberdeen’s two universities have joined forces with a north-east culture group to launch a new collection of Scottish songs chosen by some of the area’s most renowned traditional singers.
Members of staff from the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University (RGU) have worked with Scottish Culture & Traditions (SC&T) on the book A Puckle O Sangs, and its two accompanying audio CDs, which was launched this week (Thursday).
Published by Aberdeen University Press, A Puckle O Sangs has been compiled by Grace Banks, and illustrated with her original photographs. The songs in the collection will form the basis of a larger online resource hosted on the SC&T website from September: www.scottishculture.org
Scottish Culture and Traditions is a charity whose aim is to advance the education of the public in Scottish culture and traditions by the promotion of Scottish traditional music, song and dance through learning and participation in a way that fosters enjoyment, enthusiasm and a sense of community.
Hosted by the University of Aberdeen,the organisation offers evening classes in Scottish song, dance and music, offering instrumental tuition from complete beginner to advanced level.
Grace Banks worked on compiling the book with Dr Helen Lynch from the University of Aberdeen's School of Language and Literature and Dr Jonathan Cameron of Aberdeen University Press.
The launch of the book was hosted by Robert Gordon University’s School of Applied Social Studies, whose Head of Social Work and Associate Head of School, Janine Bolger, has been involved with SC&T for a number of years.
Mrs Bolger said: “A lot of work has gone in to developing the book which contains a wonderful collection of traditional Scottish songs. It has words and notation, which makes it an ideal resource for performers, teachers and all those who love to sing.
“The SC&T group brings enjoyment to many people within the local community by offering high quality music, dance and singing tuition. The book is just another example of how Scottish culture and traditions can be kept alive.”
The book arose out of a wider Scottish Culture & Traditions project, Sing Aberdeen, made possible by a generous gift from a grateful Scottish Culture & Traditions Association Scots Song class participant and a Vibrant Aberdeen ACC Cultural Award.
As well as generating A Puckle O Sangs, the project included song-writing classes and traditional song workshops with groups as diverse as the Polish-Scottish Song and Story Group, Clan Cancer Care, and Riverbank Primary School in Tillydrone, and also resulted in performances from Glenbuchat to Edinburgh.
A Puckle O Sangs will form the basis for a web resource of songs for sangsters and song-writers as well as all those interested in the oral tradition, culture and social history of Scotland, providing a fascinating insight into the vibrant and continuing life of Scots song in the twenty-first century.
The collection was launched at a free event on Thursday, September 24 from 7-9pm at RGU’s Garthdee campus.
Refreshments will be provided and the evening will consist of Scottish Culture & Traditions Association singers leading everyone in a few songs from the book, intermingled with music and solo spots from those who have contributed to the online resource, including Frieda Morrison and Phyllis Lyon.
For more information about Scottish Culture & Traditions, please visit: www.scottishculture.org