For the Bulletin
Highland fiddle master, Bruce MacGregor, from Inverness, Scotland, met Canadian guitarist and folk singer, Andy Hillhouse, for the first time about 2 ½ hours before they performed together at Centre 64 on Friday evening. They were brought together by Edmonton born classical cellist, Christine Hanson, who had spent much of her life as a professional musician in Glasgow, Scotland, where she met Bruce MacGregor, and who performed with them this evening in a concert of traditional and contemporary Scottish music entitled A Musical Adventure of Scotland, a concert that, by the end, brought the audience to its feet to dance to its vigorous rhythms and to applaud the musicians’ fine virtuosity.
You might think that a Highland fiddler, a classical cellist, and a Canadian folk singer they’d just met would not be the likeliest trio to make beautiful music together but, in this case, you’d be wrong. Displaying considerable improvisational skills, they took it in turns to lead each tune with the other two providing harmonizing backing. Not only did the music and songs, in true Scottish style, move from energetic to tranquil, from robust to poignant, but they were interlaced by stories about Scottish characters and events told with humour by Bruce MacGregor who proved to be as talented a raconteur as he is a fiddler.
The event was hosted by Kimberley Arts Council and put on cabaret-style in the dance studio at Centre 64. Wine and Scotch ale were on sale at the bar, and complimentary oat cakes and shortbread were to be had in an evening that celebrated all things Scottish. Much to the delight of the audience, the concert was introduced by a fine display of Highland dancing by two young dancers from Leila Cooper’s Highland dance class, Sophia Andrichuk and Holly Gale.
MC for the evening, Mike Redfern, recognized the Burrito Grill restaurant and Mountain Spirit condominiums for their continued sponsorship of concerts at Centre 64 by supplying free meals and discounted accommodations respectively for performers.
A Musical Adventure of Scotland was just the first of many concerts that Kimberley Arts Council will put on during the coming season. Next will be the launch of the Fall Jazz Concert series on September 26 when the Neville Bowman Trio from Kelowna with guest jazz singer Kinga Hemming from Toronto will perform in the dance studio. The jazz series will continue in the dance studio November 1 with Melody Diachun and Trio and conclude November 28 with the 6-piece Calgary jazz band Verisimo performing in the theatre at Centre 64. Advance tickets for these concerts are $22 for KAC members, $24 for non-members, or $26 at the door. A three concert season pass can be purchased for $60 members, $66 non-members.