This month it won’t be the hills that are alive with the sound of music but a valley – our very own Clyde Valley.
The local stretch of the riverside is reckoned by many to be Clydesdale’s most scenic area.
It is also one of our most historic and that history is to be celebrated by a series of musical events which will include two free concerts and a songwriting workshop as part of the Clyde and Avon Valley Festival.
The musical content of the festival is, in turn, part of the Lanarkshire Songwriters’ Fruits of Their Labours project, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership.
The events will have the breathtaking backdrop of the valley’s orchards as they burst into bloom for the spring.
Explained a festival organiser: “Through Fruits of Their Labours, the Lanarkshire Songwriters have collected oral histories from former local fruit growers and pickers and brought them to life through creating new orchard-inspired songs with local schools, members of the public and the Songwriters.
There is to be a free ‘‘Apple Day Concert’’ in Kirkfieldbank Village Hall on Wednesday, May 10, from 1.30pm to 2.30pm, no booking required.
Members of the public are invited to join this premiere of a collection of new songs written and performed by pupils at Crossford’s Underbank Primary School and Kirkfieldbank Primary School in collaboration with the Lanarkshire Songwriters. Pupils at the former Overtown Primary School were also involved in writing songs and the Lanarkshire Songwriters will perform them on their behalf.
Songs will include such horticultural airs with titles like ‘‘Apple Day’’, ‘‘Dung!’’ ‘‘The Wee Rab Rap’’ and ‘‘Walking Down to the Clyde’’ which were written by the pupils inspired by the oral histories and stories from the Lanarkshire Songwriters.
Those who can’t make it to the live performance can listen to the Apple Day album at www.clydeandavonvalley.org/museum.
A free Fruits of Their Labours songwriting workshop is being held in the Crossford Inn on Sunday, May 14, from 1pm to 5pm, booking through firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 01698 359362.
All are invited to join the Lanarkshire Songwriters for the workshop on the art of songwriting on the theme of the Clyde Valley orchards.
Said the organiser: “Whether you’re starting out as a budding musician, or looking for guidance on how to progress, anyone is welcome to bring along their instrument and get stuck in. Starting with an introduction to the steps of songwriting, the workshops will include groupwork to come up with lyrics and music and will end with an informal performance. Oral histories and archive material will be on hand to help inspire you, or you can bring along your own stories, objects, photos and ideas.”
Finally, on the same day, May 14, a free Fruits of Their Labours Cappuccino Concert is being held in the Flowers of Scotland Garden Centre at Rosebank between 7.30pm and 10pm, no booking required. This event will showcase the songs written by the Lanarkshire Songwriters as part of the Fruits of Their Labours project.
Songwriter Billy Stewart said: “My family was involved in local fruit growing and horticulture so this project is very special to me. It was a fantastic experience to connect pupils with this special part of Clyde Valley’s history.”