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3 Feb 2020

Gregg violin played on Capitol Hill

Written by David Hopes
A group of people stand at the end of a table, on which are displayed old books and documents.
The Gregg violin and treasures from the US national Burns collection, Library of Congress
The violin which Burns danced to three years after the US Declaration of Independence was played on Capitol Hill, Washington DC, at the nation’s largest library, and before a distinguished audience of Scottish universities alumni and congressional staff, yards from the White House.
A man holding a large silver tube and two ladies at Capitol Hill, Washington DC.
Alistair with the Gregg violin at Capitol Hill

Staff at the Library of Congress had brought out of storage rare books and manuscripts relating to Burns, including two Edinburgh editions, miniature editions in a decorative Mauchlineware box, and souvenir editions ‘Bought in the Cottage’.

Alistair McCulloch played a Burns medley on the Gregg violin before the instrument was examined by musical instruments specialists, Susan H Vita and Robin Rausch, and senior folklife specialist, Nancy Grose. 

Alistair McCulloch playing the Gregg violin at the Library of Congress, Washington DC

At a special Burns Supper, supported by the Scottish Government and organised by Scottish Universities Alumni, Washington DC, held in the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, two blocks from the White House, I proposed a toast to the immortal memory of Robert Burns and introduced our special guest, the Gregg violin. Alistair McCulloch played an astonishing set of Burns tunes, receiving a standing ovation from 200 guests. A spirited ceilidh followed.

A video showing the itinerary for the Gregg violin tour

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