From the trenches of war to a Hawick church

A violin which was played in the trenches in the First World War is set to be played in a rather less dangerous venue at Hawick Music Club.

By Kevin Janiak
Thursday, 10th February 2022, 4:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th February 2022, 4:48 pm
Andy Sherwood and Jim Letham.

The forthcoming concert on Sunday, February 20, will feature violinist Andy Sherwood and pianist Jim Letham.

The duo will play an arrangement of ‘The Road to Passchendaele’, a haunting piece about the brutal battle in 1917, originally written by local Scocha musician Alan Brydon and Maj (Ret) Gavin Stoddart BEM, MBE.

And if that’s not poignant enough, Andy will be using a violin that has been loaned to him which was actually played in the WWI trenches.

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The duo will also play three old Viennese dances written before the First World War by Fritz Kreisler. who himself served in the Austrian trenches and wrote of his experiences in a book called ‘Four Weeks in the Trenches’.

Hawick Music Club is celebrating its 70th anniversary this season, and is hoping to get things back on track following a long Covid-19 enforced shutdown.

The concert starts with sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven.

Other repertoire includes beautiful lyrical music from Sweden.

Andy and Jim have just released a new CD of popular classical repertoire for violin and piano, and a couple of those pieces will be played at this concert.

Andy, who lives near Hawick, has and still does perform in many parts of the world as conductor and violinist.

He has been Professor of Violin at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London for about 30 years.

Jim is himself an extraordinary pianist, choir director and composer, who lives in the Borders and probably needs no introduction to music lovers in the region.

He was for many years head of music at Hawick High School.

These two musicians, who go by the title ‘Agapanthus Duo’ really do bring their enjoyment of playing together to their audiences. Their manner of presentation is fun, informative and informal.

The concert takes place on Sunday, February 20 at 2.30pm at St Cuthbert’s Church, Slitrig Crescent, Hawick.

Tickets will be available on the door and there will be refreshments.