Vierne Vigil Mass – 23 February 2019

Starting off our 2019 programme, we are really excited to return to the beautiful ornate building and acoustics of St Aloysius’ Church in Glasgow. This will be an exciting outing, the music of Vierne being sung throughout the church’s Vigil Mass at 5.45pm.

With Frikki Walker at the helm as usual, and Kevin Duggan accompanying on St Aloysius’  new “French style” organ, we invite all to come along to the service. The music is ideal for the church, being in the style for the sound of this organ when it was written, and the beautiful choral arrangements both of which will come together superbly in St Aloysius.
We are well into the planning for our 2019/2020 year and will have some really exciting news about that soon. Please keep an eye out here for what we are planning.

Dunblane Cathedral closing out 2018

And so we bring the curtain down on 2018 for the choir with a trip to, for many, a familiar haunt in Dunblane Cathedral. The Parry music – especially Crossing the Bar – was beautiful in the setting as night fell.

As always, our thanks to Frikki Walker, soldiering on through a bad cold to lead and encourage the choir. We would not be the choir we are without him. And thanks also to our accompanist, Kevin Duggan, at home on his normal instrument, the Flentrop organ…with his improvisations!

A big thank you to the Dunblane Cathedral choir for so kindly supplying us with refreshments in the morning we were spoilt with coffee and cakes! Also to the Reverend Colin Renwick who led us as an excellent cantor in the Grayston Ives’ preces and responses. Add in the Wesley Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in E, and we were certainly ready to sojourn to the local hostelry, the Tappit Hen, for a little light refreshment.

Our next outing will be in February with a Vigil Mass at St Aloysius in Glasgow on the 23rd at 17.45. More details closer to the time, but in the meantime, to all associated with RSCM Scottish Voices, and our social media friends, I wish you all the best over the frantic period for church choirs ahead of us, and I will be in touch again soon. In the meantime, please enjoy yourselves!

Final outing for 2018 – Evensong in Dunblane Cathedral

We are returning to Dunblane Cathedral for our final event for 2018 before the onslaught of the Advent and Christmas hurly-burly hits many of our choir members in their own churches. Coming so closely after Remembrance Sunday, and in light of the 100 years since the end of the 1st World War, our service takes perhaps a more thoughtful aspect. With the music of Parry (who also died 100 years ago) and Wesley we are delighted to be ending the year with such fine music.

If you are in the Dunblane area, please come along to the service at 4pm on the 17th November. You would be very welcome and we would love to see you and perhaps have a light refreshment with you afterwards! Having heard us, and if you would like to be part of the choir, auditions are now open, so please talk to any member of the choir.

Couperin’s “Messe pour les Couvents” in King’s College Chapel, Aberdeen

King's College Chapel, Aberdeen | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Well – what an outing yesterday! Couperin’s Mass setting played on one of, if not the, finest French style organs in the UK, sounding how it would sound in Couperin’s time. Interspersed with motets by Byrd, Dering, Giovannelli and Victoria, this was a very special service. Frikki Walker excelled himself on the organ, with music which was inspiring – lively, rhythmical and dance like. Matthew Beetschen capably lead and directed the choir, having put us through our paces in the morning.

It was a real pleasure to see Paul Mealor, Professor of Composition at Aberdeen University and renown for his Royal Wedding motet, in the congregation and hear his praise for an enjoyable service. We were truly honoured to have the Right Rev. Anne Dyer, Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney overseeing the service and communion. Bishop Anne was delighted with the service, and has asked to be informed when we will next be in the diocese so she can attend and hear us.

And of course, many thanks to all the choir members who so capably sang (and readjusted their normal voice parts) to give a full, balanced, melodic service. Well done to all!

Our next service is back to the relative calm and known format of Evensong, in Dunblane Cathedral on 17th November at 4pm. Full details will be provided closer to the time.

French Organ Mass – Aberdeen, 6th October 2018

Only a week to go before the RSCM Scottish Voices choir descends on Aberdeen. In the beautiful setting of the King’s College Chapel, Frikki Walker will lead the mass playing the wonderful music of the Messe pour les Couvents on the superb French style organ, with Matthew Beetschen leading the choir in motets by Byrd, Couperin, Victoria and Giovannelli. We are honoured and delighted to have the Right Reverend Anne Dyer, Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney, as our celebrant. If you are in the area on Saturday, please come along at 4pm and join us for what will be a superb service of music, truly praising God. We would love to see you and meet you afterwards and I’m very sure it will prove, once again, to be a thirsty outing.

Successful evensong at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh

A successful outing just past, with the choir in good voice under the (as usual) expert tutelage of Frikki Walker in the Song School before heading across to the Cathedral and joining Kevin Duggan putting the St Mary’s organ through its paces.

Beautiful music to sing with Bairstow’s Evening Service in D Major, and two magnificent Parry items – I know my Soul hath Power and the outstanding My Soul, there is a country. A joyful and friendly outing, where we welcomed two new basses to our ranks, and wetted our whistles afterwards in a local hostelry. How else should one enjoy an autumn Saturday?

Our next outing comes on us very rapidly on Saturday 6th, with Couperin’s Messe pour les Couvents in Aberdeen where we are honoured to have Bishop Anne Dyer joining us as our Celebrant, with Matthew Beetschen as our Musical Director, and our very own Frikki Walker on the organ.

Choral Evensong – St Mary’s Edinburgh 4pm on 15th September

Can’t wait to get our teeth into the music for our first outing fresh from our residential in August – music by Parry, Bairstow along with the Rose responses. If you’re in the area – and it’s easy to find from the Haymarket Station – we’d love to see you. If you like what you hear, why not enquire about joining? We’re on the lookout to augment the choir and we’d love to hear from you. You could be singing with us in our outings to Dunblane, Glasgow, Perth and back to Edinburgh for our birthday party in St Giles!

Next outing – 15th September at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh

The next outing of the choir is a return to a fantastic Cathedral in Edinburgh – St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral. What a space to sing in! We are really looking forward to this outing, and if you’re in the vicinity on the 15th September, why not come along and join in the service? We’d love to see you there, and meet up with you after the service.

New website and new Administrator

As I start out in my new role as Administrator for the choir, I just wanted to publicly record in this historical sequence of the Choir’s history, the phenomenal contribution Gary Young has made to the choir, to more than just the choir members. All the posts in this blog were from Gary, recording every outing, and letting everyone see what we were doing, planning to do, and had just done.

The existence of the choir, and how it operates so effectively, is as much to do with Gary as Frikki – their combination of friendship and professionalism made the choir what it is today. As the choir members found out at the Residential at the start of August, Gary’s grasp of data and statistics and analysis of the data is second to none.

Gary has left me with a stunning panoply of spreadsheets, word documents, and social media tools to use. He has also left me with a very large pair of shoes to fill. Gary is taking a well-earned break from the choir for a short time. We wish him well and hope he enjoys his well-deserved relaxation.

Haste ye back, Gary!

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