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Panelists to focus on religion, Gaelic, poetry, music at 2011 Scottish Heritage Symposium

Laurinburg, N.C. – Religion, Gaelic, poetry and music will be the focus of the lectures scheduled for the annual Charles Bascombe Shaw Memorial Scottish Heritage Symposium at St. Andrews Presbyterian College.

Presenting lectures at the March 18-20 event on the St. Andrews campus will be Rusty Roberson, Máiri Síne Chaimbeul, Anne Landin, and Dr. John Purser.

“Our symposium has provided a forum for those interested in Scottish history, culture and genealogy to learn from top scholars in their respective fields,” said Bill Caudill, director of the Scottish Heritage Center. “Since beginning in 1989, our symposium has gained national recognition as a leader in the exploration of Scottish culture.”

North Carolina native Rusty Roberson will present the first lecture Friday afternoon entitled “Openly Profaneand “Of a Poor Character”: The Argyll Colony’s Ministerial Needs and the Society in Scotland for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge’s (SSPCK) Response.

Roberson is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Edinburgh, who received an undergraduate degree from Pensacola College, has a M.A. in history from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has an M.S. in Education at the City University of New York. Having presented research to conferences in Galway, Ireland, Cambridge and various locations in Scotland and the U.S, he received the Scottish Studies Graduate Student Award given by the University of Guelph for his essay “Scottish Imperialism and the American Borderlands.” He will give a second presentation, The Curious Relationship of the SSPCK to the “Great Awakening” Saturday afternoon.

Internationally recognized Gaelic scholar Máiri Síne Chaimbeul from Plockton, Wester Ross, Scotland is the second speaker. She will present Traditional Tales in Gaelic Friday afternoon and Iain macMhurchairdh (John McRae), His Life and Poetry on Saturday.

A faculty member of the Gaelic College in Skye, Chaimbeul has taught courses in both Gaelic and Communications and has been involved in the development of B.A. courses in Gaelic and related subjects. She has written three children’s books in Gaelic and has written scripts for radio and television. She presented at the 22nd Celtic Symposium at Harvard University in 2002.

In addition to her scholarly and written works, Chaimbeul won the Medal for Traditional Singing at the Oban Mod in 1992 and released Thall an Loch Aillse, a CD collection of Gaelic songs.

The Argyll Colony Plus editor Anne Landin is the third speaker for the weekend. A North Carolina native, she is descended from 18th century Highland emigrants. Landin enjoys researching, reading and writing about all aspects of the Argyll Colonists, their history in Scotland and their descendents. She has been a proponent of Gaelic, having learned the language herself, and has conducted research on Gaelic song in Cape Brenton, Nova Scotia from the 1950s through the 1970s. She will present An Overview of the Gaelic Language and How it Can Help in Genealogical and Historical Research on Saturday morning.

Well-known musicologist, composer, poet, playwright and broadcaster Dr. John Purser serves as the fourth presenter. In 1992, his book and eponymous radio series, Scotland’s Music, won him the McVitie Scottish Writer of the Year and Sony Gold awards respectively. He also received the 2007 Scottish Traditional Music Award for Services to the Industry.

Purser is also an award-winning composer and playwright, with his work Carver, winning a Gold Medal at the1991 New York International Radio Festival. He is currently working as a research fellow for Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic College on Skye.

After appearing at the Scottish Heritage Symposium in 2008, he returns to share The Prehistoric Music of Scotland.

The weekend also includes the Scottish Heritage Awards Banquet and a concert featuring award winning Scottish fiddler Bonnie Rideout with narration by Dr. John Purser, Gaelic song by Máiri Síne Chaimbeul and piping and drumming by members of the St. Andrews Presbyterian College Pipe Band. The festivities conclude with a Kirkin’ of the Tartans worship service at Laurinburg Presbyterian Church.

For a full schedule of events and registration information, please go to http://www.sapc.edu/shc/scottishheritagesymposium.php or call the Scottish Heritage Center at 910-277-5236. Email reservations are also taken at rsvp@sapc.edu. Please remember to include Scottish Heritage in the subject line and include names of all participants.

About St. Andrews Presbyterian College

An innovative and bold academic venture, the distinctive character of St. Andrews has been marked by an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews ONLINE.

On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to info@sapc.edu.


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