As mentioned elsewhere on the website, our final big event of the network was a performance of songs from the four nations and Britain 1750-1850 which took place at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as part of its Knowledge Exchange+ series on 18 March 2019. With the help of Samantha McShane, Head of Artistic Planning at RCS, we were able to invite four young singers from the four nations to take part and the Guildhall School of Music in London, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, The D.I.T Conservatory in Dublin and the RCS all responded. At the end of the day, our Guildhall singer had to withdraw, but we had Sofia Kirwan-Baez from Cardiff, Stephen Walker from Dublin, Erin Spence from Glasgow, and a former RCS student, Jonathan Kennedy, came in at the 11th hour. They were joined by a trio of experienced period instrument performers, fortepianist David Gerrard, violinist Aaron McGregor and cellist Alice Allen.
We are most grateful to all the performers for giving so readily and enthusiastically of their time. On St Patrick’s Day we held an afternoon and evening workshop, where we shared information about the network and worked on each of the songs. Network members were able to discuss possible interpretations of the songs, referring to their historical and cultural contexts and sharing information with the singers about individual performers of the period who were often famous for their renditions of specific songs. The following day, we all met again in the afternoon before the final performance in the evening.
Our network members who selected repertoire and attended the workshop and performance were Oskar Cox Jensen (London), Sarah McCleave (Belfast), Elizabeth Edwards (Aberystwyth) and Kirsteen McCue (Glasgow). Our network members and our performers have shared their reflections with us in two accompanying blogs on the website which you can find here.
You can find out more information about the songs performed by reading our programme and you can watch and listen to the event itself by clicking on the video here. Several of the performances of individual songs are also embedded in our series of Song Stories on the website.