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!

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!

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