St. Andrews College Hosting Scottish Heritage Symposium
The annual Charles Bascombe Shaw Memorial Scottish Heritage Symposium will be the weekend of March 28-30 on the St. Andrews Presbyterian College campus in Laurinburg.
This event, now in its 18th year, will feature scholars from Scotland and the United States. All interested are invited to attend.
"Since its inception in 1989, the symposium has provided a forum for those interested in Scottish history, culture, and genealogy to learn from top scholars in their fields," said Bill Caudill, director of the Scottish Heritage Center. "This year's symposium will feature two visiting Scottish scholars and two Americans."
Headlining this year's event is Dr. John Purser, Scotland's top musicologist who will offer two lectures -- "Exporting Tribal Enlightenment: Music from 17th and 18th Century Scotland," as well as "Where the Mountains Sing -- Scotland's Landscape in Music." Purser is an internationally known author, playwright, and broadcaster.
His research has resulted in being awarded the 2007 Scottish Traditional Music Award as well as a Glenfiddich Living History Award. His landmark work on Scotland's music has been recently expanded and re-released and is the subject of a multi-part BBC documentary currently airing in Britain.
"Dr. Purser's lectures will address the musical traditions which were known and practiced by Scottish emigrants who came to the Carolinas," Caudill.
Purser's lectures will be highlighted by musical illustrations from Scottish fiddler Bonnie Rideout, a three-time U.S. Champion Scottish fiddler. Among her many performances, she has been a featured performer at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville as well as the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland, and her recordings have been featured on National Public Radio.
"We are very fortunate that Dr. Purser and Ms. Rideout are able to be with us for what will undoubtedly be entertaining and informative presentations," Caudill said.
Also coming from Scotland for the event is Donald Bell, a native of the Island of Islay. Bell is former chairman of the Finlaggan Trust, a preservation project for the ancestral lands of the Lords of the Isles in Islay. He will address the past 600 years of his native island's history.
"As Islay was the home of many emigrants who settled in the Carolinas, Mr. Bell's presentation will no doubt be of interest to those who descend from Islay families," Caudill said.
Also on the panel of this year's symposium are Dr. Alex McLeod and Dr. Carole Troxler. McLeod, a native of the North Carolina Sandhills, is former president of the Association of Clan MacLeod Societies worldwide. A retired physician and emeritus clinical professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, McLeod's presentation, "Genetic Studies in a Scottish Clan," will address the use of DNA research in genealogical studies.
Troxler, emeritus professor of history at Elon University, will address the history of Loyalists in the American Revolution in her presentation, "North Carolina Scots Among the Loyalists in the Bahamas: A Few Examples and their Sources."
The symposium is part of the annual Scottish Heritage Weekend at St. Andrews Presbyterian College. Other events include a concert by the St. Andrews Presbyterian College Pipe Band and Scottish fiddler Bonnie Rideout.
For a schedule of events and registration information, visit http://www.sapc.edu/shc/scottishheritagesymposium.php or call the Scottish Heritage Center at (910) 277-5236.
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