639. Professor Ian Russell
Professor Ian Russell runs Village Carols, a unique organisation which records and promotes local carol singing traditions, researching their origins and reintroducing lost music.
Professor Russell, from Aberdeen, has published five CDs and books, raising over £10,000 for charity, and has amassed thousands of recordings, manuscripts and newspaper articles on carols. Through Village Carols, he has worked with the Smithsonian Institute, the Library of Congress and the British Library, supplying them with hundreds of recordings for their National Sound Archives.
In a personal letter to Ian, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your passion for carols and traditional music is preserving and rekindling rich local traditions as well as raising money for charity.”
“It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to help, support and encourage local village carolling traditions during the past 47 years. Not only are the upholders of these traditions remarkable people but the carols they sing are very special. Over the years I’ve worked hard to document and gain recognition for this vital cultural heritage and hope in the future to be able to continue to do so.”