Fall Concert


For more than thirty years, the Boston Branch has sponsored a gala concert featuring Scottish music and dance. Our goal is to share the rich cultural heritage of Scotland and our enjoyment of it and to offer interested audience members the chance to try a Scottish dance or two after the show.

In the early years, the concert was held at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge near Robert Burns' birthday (January 25). It was a Burns' Night celebration, complete with the address to the haggis, honoring the work and life of Scotland's national poet, who was also collector and preserver of Scottish music. (Many of his finest lyrics are set to traditional tunes.) Singer Jean Redpath graced our early shows with her unique voice, her deep knowledge of Burns, and her irreverent wit. Alasdair Fraser, the best known and most influential Scottish fiddler and fiddle teacher of the last three decades, joined her for several shows in the late 'eighties, to the delight of Boston audiences.

In the mid 1990s, we moved the concert to early November and settled into a new home at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, MA. The benefits included less worry about snowy weather, superb acoustics and sightlines, and ample free parking. Our headliners vary year to year. Alasdair Fraser is a perennial favorite, with accompanists such as guitarist Tony McManus and cellist Natalie Haas, and we regularly feature Boston's own premier Scottish musicians, such as fiddlers Anne Hooper, Barbara McOwen, Hanneke Cassel, and Laura Cortese; keyboard player Susie Petrov; and Boston-trained stars such as fiddlers Laura Risk and Lissa Schneckenberger. Pipers including Alastair Gillies, Gordon Webster, Mike MacNintch, and Lezlie Webster have contributed their mastery of the pipes, great and small. We've also hosted the Canadian Celtic band, Scantily Plaid, singer Ed Miller, story-teller Susan Cardwell, Gaelic singer James Graham, the McKassons, and many others.

Naturally, the concert features Scottish dancing as well as Scottish music. Choreographed country dance medleys weave in and out of the musical segments, performed by the Boston Branch Demonstration Team, often in period costume or full Highland dress. We also feature champion Highland dancers, such as Karen Campbell Mahoney, and Highland Dance Boston, the innovative ensemble she co-directs with our own Robert McOwen. Every year we marvel at the way the music inspires the dancers and the dancers inspire the musicians. Our audiences tell us that they, too, are inspired and energized by the unique blend of music and dance that is the hallmark of our show. Hope to see you there!

The Boston Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society presents its

23nd Annual Concert of Scottish Music and Dance

Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 3:00 and 7:30 PM
Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library
33 Marrett Rd., Lexington MA 02421
featuring the Jeremy Kittel Trio, also featuring Will Woodson and Eric McDonald with Highland Dance Boston
and the Demonstration Team of the RSCDS, Boston Branch

Artistic Director Robert McOwen