Groam House Museum's concert trailblazer in Fortrose sees folk queuing out the door for trad stars Charlie Mckerron and Marc Clement
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A TRAILBLAZING Black Isle concert featuring two of Scotland's top traditional musicians has been hailed "a fantastic success" and could now pave the way for more.
Fans were queuing out the door at Fortrose Free Church on Friday to see Charlie Mckerron and Marc Clement perform a concert arranged by and for the benefit of Groam House Museum in neighbouring Rosemarkie.
The event aimed to offer high calibre live music, starting with local group, Fèis the Music.
Fortrose Free Church provided the venue with impressive acoustics and comfortable seating. Catering facilities allowed museum volunteers to provide tea and coffee during the interval.
A captivating performance by Mckerron and Clement saw the audience treated to a musical feast including their own compositions, songs, fiery jigs and soulful airs.
Film director and concert attendee Sunny Moodie said: “I feel like the whole audience, myself included, was uplifted and energised by their incredible performance.”
Artist and storyteller Lizzie McDougall said: “Charlie is a wizard, and it was fantastic that he and Marc were playing here on the bonny Black Isle. Thank you so much Groam House Museum, for organising this special gig.”
McDougall has connections with the museum, having led storytelling evenings for the museum in the past.
Ticket sales exceeded expectations, with a queue out the door so long the start time was delayed. Riding on the success of this event, the Groam House Museum is pleased to announce the intention to bring more concerts to the Black Isle community.
Drawing high quality musical acts while providing opportunities for local acts to gain exposure and experience, is an ideal way to simultaneously benefit the Rosemarkie and Fortrose area and raise funds for the museum.
Doug Maclean, chair of the board of trustees, said:“Although we’ve run concerts before, this was our first since the Covid outbreak and demonstrates that there is a real appetite for high quality live events in this part of the Black Isle. The Fortrose venue was a great place to host it and we will certainly be looking at whether we can offer more events of this calibre in the future.”
The independent museum doesn't charge admission and meets the bulk of its running costs from donations, fundraising events, lectures, shop sales and membership fees. Funds from the concert will be used to help keep the doors open. Groam House Museum in Rosemarkie is open daily 1-4pm.
What is Groam House?
Groam House Museum, situated in the centre of the picturesque village of Rosemarkie, is an outstanding centre for Pictish and Celtic art in Ross-shire and also houses the nationally-recognised collection of the work of artist George Bain (1881-1968), the ‘father of modern Celtic design’, as well as a significant local history collection.
The unique display of Pictish and Celtic art is focused on 15 carved Pictish stones which all originated in Rosemarkie, an important centre for early Christianity. The pride of the permanent display is the magnificent Rosemarkie cross slab, decorated with Pictish symbols and Christian crosses.
In the summer of 1981, Groam House Museum opened its doors for visitors to admire the splendid, eighth-century Rosemarkie Pictish cross-slab in its new home.
Since the end of the 19th century the cross-slab had stood in the churchyard outside Rosemarkie Church but thanks to the generosity of local businessman Mario Pagliari, who in 1974 gifted Groam House to Fortrose Town Council, this magnificent stone was given a permanent shelter from the elements.
More sculpted stones were brought from the churchyard and over the years, the museum display space was enlarged to include a mezzanine floor. To date this award-winning museum has developed three areas of collecting: Pictish stones; prehistoric, historic and local history items from the local area; and the George Bain Collection now recognised as a Nationally Significant Collection by MGS (Museum Galleries Scotland).