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Barga School of Scottish Music Song and Dance

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There are more than 50 students and tutors in the city this week for the first ever Barga School of Scottish Music Song and Dance. The school, held from 20-27 June in the Tuscan hill town these days regarded as the most Scottish town in Italy, due to the large volume of emigration from the area to the west of Scotland, is run by the piper and pipemaker Hamish Moore, who has been nurturing affiliations with Barga since he was musician-in-residence there in 2008. (articles here)

This Friday the Teatro dei Differenti will be the scene for the Gala Concert put on by the staff and students to celebrate the opening of the school.

Other tutors include Allan MacDonald (pibroch), Sarah Hoy (fiddle), Chris Norman (flute) and Frank McConnell (stepdancing)

  • Allan MacDonald
  • Fin Moore
  • Tiber Falzett
  • Alberto Massi

A wide range of piping styles is on offer as well as the school catering for the complete range of abilities from beginners to advanced.

  • Competition piping
  • Pibroch and Pibroch Song: this is the speciality of Allan MacDonald.
  • Dance Piping: where the students will learn the tempi and rhythms needed to play for the old hard shoe percussive step dancing and Scotch reels.

Fiddle – Sarah Hoy.

Sarah is one of Scotland’s brightest and best young fiddlers and teachers and can offer a wide range of styles from Scottish, Irish, Shetland to Cape Breton.

Dance – Frank McConnel

Frank McConnel is arguably Scotland’s best step dancer with a huge wealth of teaching and choreographic experience. He is also a very well known and respected contemporary dancer.

He will be offering classes in some of Scotland’s oldest and most exciting dance forms.

  • Scottish Step Dance
  • Cape Breton Square Dancing
  • Quadrilles
  • Lancers

Flute – Chris Norman

Chris Norman is a world renowned flute player and teacher and runs the hugely successful and popular teaching festival in Nova Scotia, “Boxwood”

Chris will be teaching traditional Scottish Music of the Flute and can also offer Baroque style, something he is in demand for all over Europe.

Cello – Christine Hanson

Christine Hanson who although originally Canadian has made her home in The West of Scotland and has become known as one of the best players and teachers of Scottish Cello. She will be teaching the big Scottish melodies as well as cello accompaniment to Scottish tunes.

There will also be song-sharing sessions and these will be shared by Tom Lawrie and Scott Gardener. Tom has an absolutely stunning voice and interprets songs with great passion and commitment. He will be concentrating on some of the great contemporary songs that have entered out culture in recent years like “The Immigrants Song”, “Caledonia” or “Follow the Heron Home”

Scott is generally regarded as the best Bothy Ballad singer of his generation. He will be leading his singing classes, concentrating on traditional material and Bothy Ballads.

Click on the link below to hear the Mayor of Barga, Marco Bonini welcoming the students and tutors in Palazzo Pancrazi this morning (in Italiano and English)


Click on the link below for an interview with Hamish Moore as he describes how the course will be run and his hopes for the future for this event in Barga


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