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Sun, weddings, football, and Evensong

Glorious weather, a Royal wedding, and two football cup finals.  How could Saturday 19th May 2018 be any better?

Well, the answer to that of course is connected to 38 singers, a musical director, and an organist making their collective way south from Scotland to the awesome Durham Cathedral to sing Choral Evensong.

We absolutely LOVED Durham, a true high spot in our choir’s ten year history, we were made to feel very welcome, and we look forward to a return visit at some time in the future.

Directed as ever by the wonderful Frikki Walker, we sang the responses by Herbert Sumsion (very appropriate since they were written by him for Richard Lloyd and Durham Cathedral choir), Sir John Stainer’s B flat setting of the Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis, and the somewhat epic Evening Hymn by Henry Balfour Gardiner, so plenty opportunity for our organist Kevin Duggan to explore the tubas and 32′ stops of the magnificent cathedral organ, the showpiece of Durham based organ builders Harrison & Harrison .

That draws to a close the first half of the 2018 season of RSCM Scottish Voices, other than us singing as part of the massed choirs at the 2018 RSCM Scotland Triennial Festival in Dundee on 2nd June, as well as during that service singing Let all mortal flesh keep silence by Bairstow as our own contribution on the day.

We have exciting trips in the second half of the year, with visits to St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh, Dunblane Cathedral, and Kings College Chapel in Aberdeen, but before all of them we are very much looking forward to our residential rehearsal weekend in August when we will be returning to the Scottish Police College to learn some repertoire and to socialise together.  Both very important activities!

Watch this space for details of our music lists, and please like our page on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, to keep up with all our news and activities.

Chrism Mass

Our 2018 season started in fine style yesterday with a totally unaccompanied Choral Evensong in the wonderful acoustic of the mediaeval quire of historic Bothwell Parish Church, directed by Frikki Walker and with the service led by Rev Jim Gibson, Minister of Bothwell and Chaplain in Ordinary to Her Majesty the Queen in Scotland.

Our thoughts turn now to our next meeting, on Saturday 24th March, when at 4pm we shall be providing the music for the Chrism Mass in St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow, led by the Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway, the Right Reverend Dr Gregor Duncan

Frikki will, as normal, be directing the choir and we are glad to be accompanied again by Kevin Duggan of Dunblane Cathedral.

Setting: Communion Service in G (Dr Francis Jackson)
Motet: A new commandment (Peter Nardone)
Motet: Let all mortal flesh keep silence (Sir Edward Cuthbert Bairstow)

We will remember them

Our 2017 season drew to a close yesterday, fittingly on Armistice Day, when we sang a Remembrance themed Choral Evensong in St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Dundee, directed by Frikki Walker and accompanied by Kevin Duggan.

St Paul’s continue to be most welcoming and generous hosts, and we look forward to future visits.  Thanks are particularly due to the Pastoral Musician Stuart Muir for his help in making the arrangements and for his tireless work on the day making us tea and coffee and generally being helpful, and to the Provost the Very Revd Jeremy Auld not only for allowing us to visit but for his sensitive leading of the service and his singing as cantor in the responses.

So our year finishes and whilst the thoughts of our singers turn towards the music they will sing in their home choirs over Advent and Christmas our Musical Director and particularly our Administrator put their minds to the various behind the scenes changes involved in the impending change from oversight by the RSCM Scotland committee to oversight by RSCM HQ in Salisbury, and all that entails. Initially a “child” of the RSCM Scotland committee back in 2008 the choir has gone from strength to strength with the magnificent support of the committee since we first sang a service together in January 2009, and we thank committee members past and present for that support, whilst looking forward with excitement to the new chapter in our corporate life and the opportunities that may present themselves.

And looking into the near’ish future, the next time we sing together will be in the Mediaeval Quire of Bothwell Parish Church in Lanarkshire, when we will sing an unaccompanied Choral Evensong at 4pm on Saturday 17th February 2018.  We hope to see you there!

They shall grow not old

After a most enjoyable Choral Evensong yesterday in St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow under the direction of James Kealey and with Christopher Nickol accompanying, our thoughts turn to our next event, the last of 2017, when we will be singing  a special Choral Evensong for Remembrance at 4pm on Saturday 11th November in St Paul’s Cathedral, Dundee, led by our Musical Director Frikki Walker and accompanied on this occasion by Kevin Duggan, Musical Director of Dunblane Cathedral.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
we will remember them.
                                                     Laurence Binyon

A first for RSCM Scottish Voices

Our next meeting is a return to the familiar and much loved territory of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow, where our Musical Director Frikki Walker is Director of Music and where a fair number of our singers are in the Cathedral Choir, to sing Choral Evensong at 4pm on Saturday 7th October 2017.

Introit: O pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Herbert Howells)
Responses: Bernard Rose
Psalm: 37 vv 1-11
Canticles: Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in F (Peter Aston)
Anthem: Evening Hymn (Henry Balfour-Gardiner)

While the venue is very familiar to us, this will be a first for RSCM Scottish Voices since because of the recent departure to Ely of our now former Assistant Musical Director Richard Walmsley and the non-availability on this occasion of our Musical Director Frikki Walker, we will be directed and accompanied by James Kealey and Christopher Nickol respectively, the very first time that any of our meetings hasn’t featured either (or more usually both) Frikki or Richard.

We are of course in safe hands, we wouldn’t be so foolish as to experiment wildly. 

James has recently moved to Glasgow from Somerset where he was Senior Organ Scholar and Second Assistant at Wells Cathedral (where Frikki was previously a Vicar Choral in the choir at the same time that Richard was a Treble in the choir, small world, isn’t it?) and he has taken up the position of Director of Choral Music at St Aloysius’ College in Glasgow (coincidentally replacing Keith Roberts who until he moved south a few weeks ago sang countertenor in the choir of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral under Frikki).

Christopher Nickol is quite simply legendary in choral and organ circles in Glasgow, famous for his undoubted organ playing skill but also for his party piece of being able to play anything you care to name, instantly, and without the need for music. Born in Cambridge, he was a music scholar at Ampleforth College, Organ Scholar at Royal Holloway College (University of London), and postgraduate scholar at the Royal College of Music, and is currently Director of Music at New Kilpatrick Church in Bearsden, staff pianist and organist at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, pianist at the Dance School of Scotland, accompanist of Bearsden Choir, and a regular deputy organist at both Glasgow Cathedral and Glasgow University. Christopher has performed as an organist and soloist with the BBC SSO, Caledonian Voices, Glasgow Cathedral Choir & Choral Society, Glasgow Chamber Choir, the National Youth Choir of Scotland, the RCS Chamber Choir, the RSNO and RSNO Chorus, and the choir of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow. He has given over 500 concerts on the organ in Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow, including one that went viral on social media on the day that the death was announced of David Bowie when, without any printed music, he played Life on Mars and a mobile phone video recording of it has been viewed on Facebook alone almost 2 million times.  It’s well worth a watch/listen and it can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-35292054
or a shorter clip on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsAYfEQMGkk

2017-18 music list

The music list for the next 12 months has just today been finalised and announced, and we’re really looking forward to a lovely balance of revisiting some previously performed classics and learning pieces we’ve never sung before. Please do come along to any of the services if you’re in the area.

All of it is contained on our “future services and events” page on this site, but is reproduced below.

7th October 2017
St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow
Choral Evensong at 4pm
Director: James Kealey
Organist: Christopher Nickol

Introit: O pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Herbert Howells)
Responses: Bernard Rose
Psalm: 37 vv 1-11
Canticles: Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in F (Peter Aston)
Anthem: Evening Hymn (Henry Balfour-Gardiner)

11th November 2017
St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, Dundee
Choral Evensong for Remembrance at 4pm
Director: Frikki Walker
Organist: Kevin Duggan

Introit: The souls of the righteous (Herbert Murrill)
Responses: John Bertalot
Psalms: 60 & 61
Canticles: Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in F (George Dyson)
Anthem: Though I speak with the tongues of men (Edward Cuthbert Bairstow)
Vesper: For the fallen (Douglas Guest)

17th February 2018
Bothwell Parish Church
Unaccompanied Choral Evensong in Mediaeval Quire at 4pm
Directors: Frikki Walker & Kevin Duggan

Introit: This is the day which the Lord hath made (Anonymous, probably Osbert Parsley)
Responses: Richard Ayleward
Psalm: 43 (Scottish Paraphrase – tune: Martyrs)
Canticles: Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis First Service (Robert Parsons)
Anthem: Hear the voice and prayer (Thomas Tallis)

24th March 2018
St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow
Chrism Mass at 4pm
Director: Frikki Walker
Organist: Kevin Duggan

Setting: Communion Service in G (Francis Jackson)
Motet: A new commandment (Peter Nardone)
Motet: Let all mortal flesh keep silence (Edward Cuthbert Bairstow)

19th May 2018
Durham Cathedral
Choral Evensong at 5.15pm
Director: Frikki Walker
Organist: Kevin Duggan

Responses: Herbert Sumsion
Canticles: Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in B flat (Sir John Stainer)
Anthem: Though I speak with the tongues of men (Edward Cuthbert Bairstow)

Queen of the South revisited

Our next outing is a very welcome return visit to sing Choral Evensong in the beautiful town of Dumfries, close to the border, in St John’s Episcopal Church at 4pm.

Introit: Abendleid (Josef Rheinberger)
Responses: Herbert Sumsion
Canticles: Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in G (Herbert Sumsion)
Anthem: Let the people praise Thee O God (William Mathias)

We will as usual be directed by the wonderful Frikki Walker and on this occasion, having recently said a sad goodbye to our friend and Assistant Musical Director Richard Walmsley who with his family has now moved to Cambridgeshire to take up the position of head of music at the King’s School in Ely, we will be accompanied by Steven McIntyre, Assistant Organist at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow.

2018 season announced

After several months of work our administrator has finally put the last pieces into place for our 2018 season, so we can now officially announce all of our future dates and venues from this point onwards.

All of it will be rewarding and enjoyable, but in particular we’re looking forward to our second proper foray across the border, and having sung in Carlisle Cathedral in 2016 we travel a little further south and lots further east to the magnificent Durham Cathedral.  Another highlight will undoubtedly be taking part in a Mass in King’s College Chapel in Aberdeen, featuring music by Francois Couperin (1668-1733) which has been a particular interest and study subject of our Musical Director Frikki Walker who had the opportunity to travel to France in June this year with a group of fellow organists from the Royal College of Organists to play various organs including one in the Palace of Versailles.

Friday 11th to Sunday 13th August 2017
Annual Residential Rehearsal Weekend, Scottish Police College, Tulliallan Castle (NB no public access)

9th September 2017
St John’s Episcopal Church, Dumfries
Choral Evensong at 4pm

7th October 2017
St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow
Choral Evensong at 4pm

11th November 2017
St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, Dundee
Choral Evensong at 4pm

17th February 2018
Bothwell Parish Church
Choral Evensong at 4pm

24th March 2018
St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow
Chrism Mass at 4pm

19th May 2018
Durham Cathedral
Choral Evensong at 5.15pm

2nd June 2018
Along with choirs from around Scotland we will be taking part in the RSCM Scotland Triennial Festival in Dundee

Friday 10th to Sunday 12th August 2018
Annual Residential Rehearsal Weekend, Scottish Police College, Tulliallan Castle (NB no public access)

15th September 2018
St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh
Choral Evensong at 4pm

6th October 2018
King’s College Chapel, Aberdeen
Mass at 4pm, featuring music by Couperin

17th November 2018
Dunblane Cathedral
Choral Evensong at 4pm

We are a non-denominational choir that sings in churches of varying traditions, and often in them we sing Choral Evensong which although of Anglican origin is a beautiful Christian service which lends itself wonderfully to some of the most fantastic music ever written.  The following was spotted by our administrator in a cathedral in England and they did not object when they were asked if we could use it, so for several years it has been included in all of our Choral Evensong Orders of Service:

Some have said that Choral Evensong seems to be more of a concert that an act of worship. That would be true if the singing were offered to those present – but it isn’t. It is offered by the Choir, on behalf of the whole church, to Almighty God – who alone is the audience to all worship; we are part of that offering, even though we say little and sing even less; by our presence and our silent assent we are worshipping as we allow the Choir – doing something beautiful for God who creates, preserves and redeems us – to lift our hearts beyond the mundane into the realms of the eternal and glorious life of heaven.

Vacancies for singers

It doesn’t happen all that often, but at the moment we’re actually in the position that we have a limited number of vacancies for singers, primarily basses but also one or two altos and a tenor.
Have a look at the attached poster, and elsewhere on this site where there’s details of what we’re all about and what membership involves, and get in touch with our administrator to arrange an audition.
We’re actually a nice bunch of sociable people who happen to sing stuff to a high standard, and we’d love to see you join us!

TOPCOP revisited

After our visit to the Church of the Holy Rude in Stirling, the next time we meet will be on Saturday 20th May 2017 when at 4pm we will be singing Choral Evensong in Peebles Old Parish Church in the Scottish Borders.

Introit: Let all mortal flesh keep silence (Edward Cuthbert Bairstow)
Responses: William Byrd
Psalm: 104 vv24-35
Canticles: Magnificat Primi Toni (Giovanni Perluigi da Palestrina)
Canticles: Nunc Dimittis in B flat (Charles Wood)
Anthem: O clap your hands (Orlando Gibbons)

We thoroughly enjoyed our previous visit to Peebles, it’s a lovely town, and we’re very much looking forward to our return visit.

And the title of this post?  Well it alludes to The Old Parish Church Of Peebles!

Thanks to Kim D Smith for graciously allowing us to use her photograph as the background to our poster.

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