Local musicians champion neglected Scottish composers

Agapanthus Duo will be performing a programme of popular classical favourites for Hawick Music Club on February 24.
Agapanthus Duo will be performing a programme of popular classical favourites for Hawick Music Club on February 24.

Agapanthus Duo will be performing a programme of popular classical favourites for Hawick Music Club on February 24.

As a duo with piano, Andrew Sherwood has played with many pianists in most parts of the world, and is now delighted to have the friendship and enduring enjoyment of playing with the superb retired Head of Music at Hawick High School, James Letham - whose career has been based firmly in Scotland.

Jim has so influenced Andy that they now play quite a lot of Scottish repertoire where they champion neglected Scottish composers.

Jim, one time president of Hawick Music Club, is a composer, pianist, educator and conductor of several choirs including the Abbey Consort.

He has certainly done a great deal to support and promote all forms of music in the Borders.

Andrew was well into his teens in Africa before starting the violin. This became possible only after a tendon transplant in his right hand gave him mobility taken from him by polio as a young boy.

A scholarship to the Royal College of Music led to a career as a violinist that was never boring.

His first paying job was in the Royal Opera House before freelancing in British orchestras including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and leading the Mercury Ensemble for Ballet Rambert.

Recitals, concerts and masterclasses have taken him to most parts of the world.

Performing has always gone hand in hand with teaching and he has been professor of violin at Trinity Labon Conservatoire (formerly Trinity College of Music) for many years.

His students visit the Borders every year and perform in Hawick. Other ventures range from an early appearance with Vera Lynn in her home village in Sussex for the Queens Silver Jubilee, arranging and performing palm court music for festivals and on the radio, having an on-stage part written for him in a West End Restoration comedy to recently writing and recording with Jim his own music for an arts film in Scotland.

Agapanthus Duo perform with their characteristic entertaining style of presentation and highly skilled musicianship.

The concert will take place at the Heart of Hawick at 2.30pm.

Tickets £10 from www.heartofhawick.co.uk. Under 18s free.