Year Two - Events link

We were extremely busy collecting and collating information in year one, which has meant that a lot of year two has been carried on behind closed doors!  Don't worry though, we're still around and available to talk to you about the singing tradition in Orkney.  Below you will find some information on our events to date so far this year, plus upcoming events. 

In January we went to the St Ola SWRI meeting.  In February we had some workshops in schools, as well as jointly taking part in Rhythm & Rhyme, A Weekend of Workshops, which was organised by Centre for Nordic Studies and Orkney Heritage Society.  We were once again in the schools in March, and we also ran a Weekend Workshop in Kirkwall, on signing techniques.  We'd planned to be part of a SWRI fundraising concert in April, but it was disappointingly cancelled.  The beginning of May was spent in more schools, with of course the final weekend being the Orkney Folk Festival, where we had an information Singing Workshop & other gigs.  In June we were involved in putting together a production involving local schoolchildren for the St Magnus Festival, as well as other schools workshops. 

THE END... :-(

Our finale weekend, where we bade farewell to The Big Orkney Song Project


Friday 24th September 2010:  Singers' Session

Thirty songs (yes, 30!) got an airing at our singers session on Friday night, upstairs in the Royal Hotel, Stromness.  We thank everyone who came and everyone who sang.  We hope you/they enjoyed it as much as we did!


sarah jane gave a brief talk about the project so far, and prepared a background slide show which ran all evening bruce mainland and jo philby hosted the evening for us the early evening crowd, most of whom sang! emily and sarah jane (nice photo of sarah jane, don't you think..?)

l to r - bruce mainland, jo philby, robin nicolson

Throughout the evening, most of the crowd joined in a song (helped a lot by the fact that a lot of them had just come from choir practice!).  We are indebted to Bruce Mainland and Jo Philby for hosting the event for us, and singing us such a wide range of beautiful songs from their own repertoire.  We were also very pleased to be joined by Robin Nicolson (last photo, above), who sang us a few traditional songs which were very much enjoyed by all.


Saturday 25th September 2010: Workshop Session

We were joined by over 20 people interested in learning some new (old?) Orkney songs on Saturday afternoon, again upstairs in the Royal Hotel, Stromness.  The two songs were The Wreck of the Brig of Columbus and Tam Gibb's Soo.  The words will be uploaded in the next couple of days, but the workshop recordings are already available (on the widget in the left of the site or on the MP3 page).

the workshop singers get to grips with the brig columbus ... and try to get their tongues around the dialect in tam gibb's soo


Sunday 26th September 2010: Farewell Concert

The very last opportunity for us all to be together to enjoy some Orkney songs and tunes at a completely free concert.  The lineup:

  • Billy Jolly
  • Frank Keenan
  • Thora Linklater
  • The Mayfield Singers
  • Saltfishforty
  • Songshop Choir
  • Songshop Trio

(All the below text refers to the photo underneath it)

To start the concert off, the Songshop Trio (Aimee on bodhran, Sarah Jane and Emily) gave us a couple of songs.


And after a quick breather while Thora Linklater sang with her sister, Ann Tait, Emily joined Thora to sing a song which Thora had written specially for the concert!


Thora Linklater really got into the spirit of things - the first time either her or her sister had ever sang with a microphone! 


Next up, our great friend Frank Keenan.


Frank was accompanied by his band, Logan's Well.


The Mayfield Singers, who sang a world premiere!  Clive Strutt from Burray had taken inspiration from our Project to complete something he had been working on for a number of years, his 'Orkney Song Book'.  He had taken text, poetry and prose from all over Orkney with the intention of putting it to original music.  The Mayfields' performance was the first time anything from Clive's Orkney Song Book had been performed, so we were doubly honoured.  Not only did we have the impressive Mayfield Singers on our stage, but we also had our second world premiere of the evening! 


The Mayfield Singers are led by Denise Stout.


After a short break, the Songshop Choir joined the stage, led by Emily, accompanied by Aimee on bodhran.


We were then treated to a few songs and a short tale or two from Billy Jolly.  What a guy!  A complete local  hero!


Another couple of local heroes, Saltfishforty.  Douglas Montgomery and Brian Cromarty. 


Not to forget Alex Leonard, who not only accompanied the Songshop Trio in a song or two, but also the Songshop Choir. 


The evening was rounded off by a joint song between the Songshop Trio and Saltfishforty, who had taken inspiration from the Project to record an old (found) Orkney song on their new cd "The Bride's Lament".  You can hear the workshop version of this song on the widget on this website, and download the words.  The Saltfishforty version is slightly different, but it's definitely the same song.  We're rather pleased...!


Aimee and Emily in the green room during the concert - Sarah Jane's not in the shot, but was standing to Emily's left


If you liked these photos, more are available on our Facebook page.  You don't have to join Facebook to see our page, it's available to anyone.  Click  here to be taken to it. 

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