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by Susan Kingston - 20:03 on 25 April 2012

On 14th April, Orkney U3A held a "Words and Music Evening" at the King
Street Halls in Kirkwall. Though the audience could have been larger, it
proved to be an enjoyable event. At the event we had tables with displays
showing what some our our local groups had been doing, the best certainly
being a selection of lovely crafts made by members of Moira Gunn's craft

We alternated spoken word and music. To kick off two flute players, one a
U3A member, played a lovely Quantz flute duo. Ian Bell, from Northern
Ireland, read poetry by Yeats and Seamus Heaney and gave a wee talk about
Carolan, the blind Irish harper flourishing in the 18th century. Two
young Orcadian musicians, Chloe and Aidan, and Susan Kingston and Gemma,
one of the flautists, then played music by Carolan on 4 instruments
(though not the harp). We heard poems by the Orcadian poet Robert
Rendall, read by George Rendall, then a specially formed singing group,
Dial-a-Tune, sang rounds and songs. We were 6 including George Rendall
and 2 female U3A members took part!

Other pleasant entertainments were Gemma's daughter Marianne singing jazzy
songs, Naismi Flett reading poems by Stromness poet Pam Beasant, Robin
Preston reading pieces about Yorkshire and a translation of a love poem by
Pablo Neruda which Chilean Rebecca Munoz had just read in Spanish. Leslie
Tait (a member of Dial-a-Tune) played his fiddle delightfully to round off
the evening and there was also a chance in the 2nd half to hear the two
youngsters on fiddle and guitar, playing French Canadian tunes. Bruce
Mainland, a popular singer, sang 3 songs. At the interval we had some
delicious refreshments prepared by lady members of Orkney U3A and a chance
to chat. I don't have the exact figures, but I think the sum of about
£300 was raised to benefit Dial-a-Bus, the good cause we had chosen.

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