D&G Art Festival Fever Hit Thornhill at the Weekend

Festival fever hit Thornhill on Saturday when the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival rolled into the ducal village.

Kicking off at 2pm, a live showcase of the region’s finest young musical talent took place at the Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel.

On the day there were songs from Bethany Nicholson, Ella McTier, Molly McTier, Rowan Hastie, Dumfries’ Kate Kyle, and Ailsa Black. There was pipe rock from Marie Prentice and Sam Murphy; guitar accompaniment from Sam Solley; and a duo of song and guitar by Eve Watson and Ava Bowie.

Led by Robert Maitland or the Smart Indie record label, the kids took turns on the stage to show off some very fine musical ability.

Special guests on the day were award-winning local musicians Emily Smith and Jamie McClennan who not only performed a short set but also answered questions from the young rising stars.

Robert, who was delighted with yet another successful Burnsong event, said: “Well done to all of the young performers who helped to create a special Saturday afternoon of music at the Buccleuch Hotel Thornhill for Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival.

“What wonderfully talented young Burnsong performers and songwriters we have, and what talented older ones too.

“I’m always amazed that they listen to me.

“It was wonderful for the young ones to share the same stage with Emily and Jamie. Emily introduced and sang the beautiful song Come Home Pretty Bird that she co-wrote with David Scott at the first Burnsong songhouse in 2005.

“Thank you to Claire McTier for her lovely piano accompaniment for Molly and Rowan.

“A special mention must go to Ella McTier as this was her first ever live concert performance and, may I say, what a beautiful performance she gave. Thank you also to Phil Shaw from Smart Indie records for the videos.

“Louise Davies, Sara Bain and Pete Renwick for their tireless work with Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival.”

he Burnsong group, back row from left: Sam Murphy and Robert Maitland. Middle row: Marie Prentice, Eve Watson, Ava Bowie, Bethany Nicholson, Kate Kyle and Ailsa Black. Front row: Molly McTier, Rowan Hastie and Ella McTier

The next Burnsong concert will be the Christmas and New Year Concert.

Robert added: “If anyone knows of any talented young ones, let me know so we can have a listen. You never know, they might be in the next show.”

The next workshop is a singing workshop on Sunday, 5 June with Stranraer’s award-winning Scots trad singer Robyn Stapleton.

Also on the day, the theatrical dance troupe that opened the Crawick Multiverse last year, Oceanallover, brought their stunningly visual, thought-provoking performance to the streets of Thornhill at 3pm.

Setting off from Thomas Tosh in East Morton Street, the dancers took to the pavements to perform the latest version of Not to Scale: Solar Flares – a production that began last year at Crawick.

Finishing off the day at the village community centre was a lively and energetic performance from Glasgow band Samson Sounds.

Over 100 people crammed into the centre to enjoy the positive vibes from this young electronic band, three of whom are from the Thornhill area.

This was the first time the band has performed in the village and the feedback on this highly successful festival event has been tremendous.

Singer Owen Docherty said: “This was a great night, especially for the three of us from this region – me, Roger Marsh and Anders Rigg.

“People came out to support us and everyone seemed to be having a really good time.

“Thanks to the Farmer’s Arms for providing the bar, to the arts festival for helping us to stage the event and to the Holywood Trust for supporting young promoters and musicians.”


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