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Festival Commissions Suite Silver Dart

Inspirations & Legacies:

Celtic Colours International Festival Commissions Suite Silver Dart

February 23, 1909: a unique and inspired group of individuals brought together by Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell known as the Aerial Experiment Association watch their dream take flight in the Silver Dart over Baddeck Bay.

Skip forward 97 years…..

October 14th, 2005: Celtic Colours International Festival presents the World Premier of an orchestral piece called Full Circle which was commissioned by Celtic Colours and composed by Phil Cunningham of Scotland. In the Audience this evening is Sharon Morrow from the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. Inspired by the performance and thinking ahead to the 2009 Silver Dart Centennial Celebrations, she has an idea. Why not a piece of music commissioned to celebrate Bell and the 100th anniversary of the Flight of the Silver Dart?

Sharon approached composer Scott Macmillan and Joella Foulds, Artistic Director of Celtic Colours International Festival with her idea. More than three years and many meetings later, “Suite Silver Dart” is soon to become a reality. The World Premier of ” Suite Silver Dart ” will be performed during the 2009 Celtic Colours International Festival which takes place from October 9th to the 17th. Celtic Colours is pleased to be partnering with Centre Bras d’Or and the Silver Dart Centennial Association on the funding of the composition and is grateful to the Nova Scotia Culture Division for its support of the commission.

Scott Macmillan, a Celtic Colours International Festival regular and one of Canada’s leading musicians is working with Celtic Colours on creating a musical piece that will be a lasting legacy of the 100th Anniversary of the flight of the Silver Dart. Upon accepting the commission, Scott and Joella were invited by the Bell family to experience the rare and humbling opportunity to visit the Bell House at Beinn Bhreagh. Scott sat at the very piano that Alexander Graham Bell, an accomplished musician, had played for hours, and Mr. Bell’s favorite music books were still next to the piano. With such inspiration, Scott is creating a one-of-a-kind piece of music that will reflect Bell’s tastes and his brilliance as an inventor.

“Being welcomed in this way by the family has made me feel very close to this project”, said Scott Macmillan. “I would like to reflect the relationship between Alexander Graham Bell and his wife Mabel. They worked as a team and you will hear that in the music.”

The date, location and artists for the Premiere of Suite Silver Dart will be announced with the lineup of the Celtic Colours International Festival program in late June 2009.

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