A decade that’s seen a number of firsts: our first trip outside of Scotland in an exchange visit with the KVU Singers; our first community Come & Sing; and the first time we’ve worked so closely with a composer on a piece designed specifically for the choir, in the Adopt A Composer scheme. Our regular Accompanist Chris Baxter left for a new job, to be succeeded in turn by Laura Ayoub, Geoffrey Tanti, Gina Baker, and now Penny Watson. Musically we thoroughly enjoyed Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass, Dvorak’s Te Deum, and Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. Our tribute to the First World War centenary was Howard Goodall's Eternal Light.
The decade in which, after 30 brilliant years, our Director, Rosalind MacGowan and Accompanist, Helen Barclay, made the decision to retire. The choir before and since owes them a huge debt for their professionalism, commitment and vision. Check out Joyce’s poem, delivered at the 30th Anniversary party.
They were succeeded in 2007 by the inspirational Mark Evans, who has continued to push us and lead us to places we never dreamed we could go.
It was in this decade we found our permanent rehearsal home in Balfron Church.
Musical highlights included the Millennium performance of Haydn’s The Creation with guest conductor, John Currie; and the commissioning of Showings from renowned composer, Sally Beamish, who lives locally.
From an archival point of view, this looks a little like the lost decade, but musically it continued to make demands of the choir including Bach’s Mass in B Minor in Spring 91, and his St. Matthew’s Passion in 1993. Both involved a weekend of rehearsals in St. Andrews, which by all accounts were much enjoyed… It was also the decade in which we were joined by our indefatigable Librarian, Ewing Wallace, who procures our music and chases our dilatory returns. Any further contribution to this part of the archive would be gratefully received.
The decade of dressing up! The ‘70s having ended with ‘Pirates’, the theme continued with both The Gondoliers (1982) and HMS Pinafore (1986). Lots of lovely photos and press cuttings here. There was also a memorable performance of Bach’s Magnificat in St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh in 1983.
1977 was the year the choir was started by Rosalind MacGowan, Michael Ryall, Joyce Begg, and Liz Brander. Both Joyce and Liz are still singing with us, as are Jenny Lunn and Catherine Davidson-Carr, who were among the pioneers who set this whole venture on the road. Originally rehearsals were in the old Leisure Centre in Killearn (now houses), then the Church Hall (now the pharmacy), and eventually the Kirk session house.