13 May 2022

Join us this summer

The exquisite Arts and Crafts Music Room at Marchmont House is the setting for the first of a series of concerts we are presenting at this historic venue in the Scottish Borders.

Samling Artists soprano Haegee Lee and tenor Nicky Spence will be joined by pianist Malcolm Martineau on Friday 20 May for an evening of song in English.

The programme will draw on the house’s rich musical associations from past and present to include music by composers who have visited the house – Ralph Vaughan Williams, Charles Villiers Stanford and most recently, Jonathan Dove. In July last year Jonathan joined us at Marchmont as part of our Artist Programme residency when he shared with us the duet cycle Man, Woman, Child that we commissioned to mark our 25th anniversary. This will surely be one of the highlights of this early evening concert.

Marking the 150th anniversary of Vaughan Williams, who was a regular visitor to Marchmont, Nicky will be singing On Wenlock Edge having just released his recording of the cycle in April 2022 to resounding critical acclaim. Described as one of the ‘finest ever’ recordings for ‘its thrilling assurance, strength of imagination and rapt instinct’ (Gramophone Magazine) this is a special opportunity to hear his ‘gift for combining pure tone with direct, daring expression’ (The Guardian).

Haegee Lee and Malcolm Martineau are making welcome returns to Marchmont. Malcolm led our Samling Artist Programme there in November 2021, and Haegee was one of the artists on the same course. Along with Amy Beach’s settings of Robert Browning, Haegee will sing ‘A Soft Day’ by Charles Villiers Stanford, who was a close friend of Marchmont’s former owner Robert Finnie McEwan and was involved in the design of the house’s organ. There will also be songs by Purcell, Elgar, Parry, Bridge and Quilter.

‘This will be the first event at Marchmont that we have been able to offer free from the restrictions imposed by the pandemic and we are thrilled that we can finally throw open the doors to our Friends and supporters and share this wonderful venue with them,’ said Artistic and Executive director Karon Wright.

A special free return bus transfer for ticket holders will run from Berwick-upon Tweed station to Marchmont House – full details and the concert programme can be found on the booking page.

Samling Academy: Sea Pictures

Rehearsals have just started for our first Samling Academy summer project since the pandemic. In a programme of words and music, ‘Sea Pictures’ will bring to life maritime stories of sailors and the lovers they’ve left behind, of fishermen and women, of mermaids and myths, and with some traditional seaside fun thrown in!

The concert will be directed by Samling Artists Miranda Wright and pianist Jo Ramadan who will also accompany our Academy Singers. Performances will take place at
Saltburn-by-the-Sea on Wednesday 13 July and Sage Gateshead on Friday 15 July.

What better way to spend an evening after fish and chips and a walk on the pier!

We look forward to seeing you very soon.

Main image: Samling Artists Bethany Horak-Hallett and Michael Sikich at Marchmont. Photo credit: Mark Pinder