Honorary degree for Scotland’s greatest living folk singer
Issued: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 14:15:00 GMT
Scotland’s greatest living folk singer is to be awarded an honorary degree from the University of Glasgow this summer.
Jean Redpath MBE will receive the honour, at a ceremony in the University of Glasgow’s Bute Hall on 17 June 2009, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Scottish music and culture.
On the same day, the University will award an honorary degree to Professor Ross Roy in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Scottish literature.
Born in Edinburgh in 1937, Jean Redpath first learned traditional Scottish music from her parents. As a Medieval Studies student at Edinburgh University, she met folklorist Hamish Henderson who was working in the School of Scottish Studies. Fascinated by the archive of tapes and discs of music and songs, Jean not only learned about 400 songs but also the oral folklore that put them into historical context.
In 1961, aged 24, Jean Redpath moved to the United States where she worked with stalwarts of the folk revival including Rambling Jack Elliott and Bob Dylan who were influenced by her performances and admired her phenomenal vocal technique. From 1972 to 1976 Jean was artist-in-residence at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut where she became a popular lecturer in folklore.
Her work recording the songs of Robert Burns, with composer and arranger Serge Hovey, represents the most ambitious Burns song project ever undertaken and which – along with her renditions of Haydn and Lady Nairne - won her critical acclaim around the world. Since 1979, Redpath has been a lecturer at the University of Stirling.
Ross Roy – former Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, USA - founded the premiere academic journal in Scottish Literature, Studies in Scottish Literature in 1963 which has published ground-breaking literary scholarship in every area of the subject from the medieval period to the early twentieth century. Among Professor Roy’s many contributions to Burns Studies his two volumes of The Letters of Robert Burns stand out as the standard edition and as a monument of scholarship.
Clerk of Senate & Vice Principal of the University of Glasgow, Graham Caie said: “Jean Redpath has made a huge contribution to the performance of Scottish folk song and the University is delighted to award her an Honorary degree in recognition of her contribution to Scottish culture and broadcasting. Professor Ross Roy’s scholarship in the field of Scottish Literature also deserves the highest recognition and the University is delighted to award him a Doctor of Literature honorary degree. It is particularly apt for Glasgow to honour Ms Redpath and Professor Roy for their work as the University is home to the Centre for Robert Burns Studies.”
Jean Redpath will receive a Doctor of Music honorary degree and Professor Ross Roy will receive a Doctor of Literature honorary degree at the graduation ceremony on Commemoration Day, 17 June 2009, in the Bute Hall at the University of Glasgow.
Martin Shannon, Media Relations Officer
University of Glasgow Tel: 0141 330 8593