Month: February 2017

Ian Davison – songmaker

    On Christmas Day 2016, Ian Davison died. One of Scotland’s most prolific and able song makers in the traditional style, Ian, born in Glasgow in 1939, was captured for the Scottish Folk Revival by a 1957 lecture given in Glasgow’s Partick Burgh Halls by Norman Buchan, one of the three key kick-starters of the Revival. Ian went on to co-found the Glasgow University Folk Club, then to teach English with Norman in Rutherglen Academy, and co-run the Academy’s very influential folk club.   For most of his teaching career, Ian was Head of English at Knightswood Academy, where he sang traditional songs to generations of pupils and, in the 1960s and 70s, collected from them several hundred street and playground lyrics and verses. He then used some of these finds in his own teaching. Throughout the Scottish Revival, Ian has been a well-respected, clever and melodic songwriter, a performer earlier with his own Ian Davison Folk Group and latterly solo or in a duo with Carissa Bovill, and a developer in workshops of the songmaking skills of others. He wrote, recorded and issued on his own label several cassettes, then CDs, of his political, comic, historical, love and other songs, including Mandela Danced in The Square, Going Home to Glasgow, The Muttonheid Wearies, McKinlayville, The Clydebank Blitz, Keeping The Elephants Out and Wrap Me In Yer Airms. Contributors...

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The St. Mungo Festival 2017 – Glasgow Cathedral Service

This was the final service of the 2017 Festival and was organised by Glasgow Churches Together (GCT) in partnership with Glasgow City Council and the Mediaeval Glasgow Trust in Glasgow Cathedral. This year was a special occasion being some 820 years since the cathedral had been consecrated and some 900 years since the Diocese of Glasgow had come into being.  This was reflected in the many layers of the service, in words, readings and music. A piper played outside the Cathedral, and inside there was quiet music from the Cathedral organist, Andrew Forbes, and from Rutherglen Salvation Army Band. Then members of the St. Mungo Singers sang Bruckner’s Locus Iste (This is the place that the Lord has made), an appropriate choice for the day. The service began with a procession of the GCT church representatives and representatives of Glasgow institutions which had their historical roots in the Cathedral, including the Glasgow High School, Glasgow University and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. They and the congregation were welcomed by Dr Laurence Whitley, minister of Glasgow Cathedral, who reflected that 1500 years ago St. Thenew had given birth to a child who is commemorated by the Cathedral – St. Mungo (or Kentigern) – and he welcomed in particular the many guests who had come for the occasion. The choir then led the congregation in singing David...

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The Mass of our Celtic Roots 2017

It’s not part of the official Celtic Connections Festival programme but the Mass of our Celtic Roots at St. Aloysius, Garnethill, has become a fixture for many attending the Festival. It is always a feast of liturgical music for the congregation to enjoy and participate in. This year the music was led by the St. Mungo Singers and members of the choir of St. Mungo’s Alloa who make this visit part of their annual programme. They were joined by a group of instrumentalists, including Claire O’Neill (violin), Carissa Swan (clarsach), John Allan (whistles), Annette McKirdie and Monica Dyer (clarinets), Anne Marie Berrie (guitar) and Jacqueline Barrett (organ). At the front door, to greet the congregation was piper Chris Edwardson. The principal celebrant this year was Fr. Michael Hutson from St. Andrew’s Rothesay in the Diocese of Argyll & The Isles, and the homilist was Fr. Michael Savage of St. Margaret Mary’s Glasgow. They were joined by Fr. Tim Curtess of the Jesuit community at St. Aloysius who, in his welcome to the congregation, explained his Celtic credentials as being 2 Irish and one Welsh grandparent, which he hoped would suffice. All three celebrants wore the beautiful vestments created by the Sacred Threads liturgical embroidery group. The combined choirs treated the congregation, before the Mass began, to the lively joy of Botor’s Misericordias Domini, and two hymns in the Celtic...

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The St. Mungo Festival 2017 – St. Mungo in the Mitchell

Saturday morning of the Festival (14th January) saw the St. Mungo Singers, children from St. Denis’ Primary and harpist Carissa Swan joining Archbishop Tartaglia and Dr.Laurence Whitley for a celebration of the life of St. Mungo in words and song.  Archbishop Emeritus Conti and Bishop Toal were also in the audience. There was the singing of an excerpt from the Vespers of St. Mungo, a brilliant and enthusiastic performance of We’re the children of the city of St. Mungo by the primary school group and readings from the Vita Kentigerni by the Archbishop and Dr. Whitley.  There was even a visit by “St. Mungo” to tell us of his pilgrimage through life. As Mrs Cathy McMaster, Chair of Mediaeval Glasgow, said, this was a chance to take time out from our busy lives to hear what the Chapter of Glasgow Cathedral would have heard on St. Mungo’s Feastday, and to get back to our roots, when Glasgow had been a centre of pilgrimage and a bishop’s burgh which was the beginnings of its importance. After the event, there was an opportunity to see, possibly for the first time since the Reformation in 1560, volumes of the City’s earliest documentary history. These included the City’s 12th century foundation charter, displayed alongside items from the City’s archives. The items were on loan with the permission of the Scottish Catholic Heritage Commission...

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The St Mungo Festival 2017 – St. Mungo Mass

On Friday evening, the Mass of St. Mungo was celebrated in St. Mungo’s Townead. Archbishop Tartaglia concelebrated with the priests of the Passionist community there (PP Fr Francis Keevins and Fr. Gareth Thomas), Archbishop Emeritus Conti and priests of the Diocese. They were joined by members of the parish, representatives of the Knights of St. Columba and St. Mungo’s Academy, and the St. Mungo Singers. In his homily, the Archbishop welcome everyone to the feast of the patron saint of the Diocese and had a special welcome for Frs. Francis and Gareth who had just recently come to the parish, and were evidence of the Passionists’ ongoing commitment to Glasgow. Archbishop Tartaglia described this Mass as the centrepiece of the Festival of St. Mungo which was a joint venture of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Churches Together and Mediaeval Glasgow. He noted that on the following day, there would be an event in the Mitchell Library where there would be a reading from the Life of St. Mungo which would cover his work of evangelisation. The readings of this Mass, he said, were so appropriate: St. Paul’s letter to Timothy, urging him to preach the Gospel, welcome or unwelcome, and the verses from St. Luke’s Gospel in which Jesus tells Peter to put out into the deep. St. Mungo had done both of these things in his evangelising, and the...

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