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John MacDougall’s Tunebook unveiled at Strathspey Place

The grand finale led by fiddler Ian MacDougall and dancer Harvey MacKinnon.


-by John Gillis

    Fans of Cape Breton Celtic music experienced some very magical moments last Wednesday evening at Strathspey Place, hearing many of the otherworldly tunes of the prolific composer John MacDougall for the first time.
    The show, led by the late composer’s former student and cousin, Ian MacDougall, was nothing short of a remarkable tribute to John and his tremendous gift for composition.
    It is estimated that MacDougall’s compositions number some 38,000 tunes composed over a 40-year period.  MacDougall was very protective of his creations during his lifetime and entrusted young Ian MacDougall with their care in his passing. John MacDougall never took much credit for composing the tunes, believing they were essentially gifts from fiddlers and musicians who had long since passed onto the other side.
    Ian MacDougall worked closely with Celtic Colours and his musical friends over the past year to program the show.

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