Wakey, wakey!

For those early-birds amongst us, next Sunday the early morning service on Radio Four is at 8.10 am, from St Mary’s Cathedral, Great Western Rd, Glasgow.

That’s not the worst bit…you have to be in your seat at 7.40 am!

…..see you there!

…a ?????? of Organists?

A goodly number of un-recognised faces (and bodies) appeared at St Mary’s Cathedral  on Sunday, and whilst there was no choir (one of their days off) the singing was lusty! It turned out that the Ulster Society of Organists were on a trip round parts of Scotland, looking at (not surprisingly) church organs.

Having been taught the organ at a church in Finaghy, near Belfast and had my early days of tinkling the ivories over there, it was lovely to speak to some of my country colleagues. One actually knew the organ where I had been taught and an organ-builder was from my home town.

So I hope they had an enjoyable few days in the coolness of church buildings whilst we were all out enjoying the sunshine!

….but what do you call a gathering of organists?….a console, perhaps?

St Paul’s Church, Kinlochleven

Once known mainly for its position on the road between North Ballachulish, and Glencoe, before the Ballachulish Bridge by-passed it, Kinlochleven was the sun-lit setting and St Paul’s Episcopal Church the venue for our  afternoon Evensong service, on 10th April, lleading up to Easter, led by Rev Donald Davidson. We were  joined by some of the Community Choir and other folk, and Kerr Jamieson was at the keyboard. The small church was packed, and we were able to process into the Sanctuary where there was only-just enough room.

Music was:-

Mozart….Psalm 148 from Missa Brevis

Hymns:- Praise My Soul

                  At even, ere the sun was set

                  The day Thou gavest

Psalm 84:- O how amiable are Thy dwellings

Anthem:- ‘All in the April Evening’, Roberton/Tynan

Vesper:- ‘Go now in love, go now in peace’  Patrick Liebergen

Watch Songs of Praise next Sunday!

The High School of Glasgow Choir is now through to the final of the BBC Senior School Choir Competition. They were conducted by Frikki Walker, whom we know well at the Cathedral, in a perfect rendering of ‘Just as I am’.

The final is on BBC next Sunday, 10th April, and will be between Glasgow and two other schools….you can guess the one we will be cheering-on!

….but we will be elsewhere, returning from a little West Highland village where we were singing Evensong at the time, so will be desperate to hear the result!

A sad loss

We must record the passing of Rev Canon Roy Ferguson Flatt, at a relatively-young age. He was Rector at Christ Church, Lochgilphead in Argyll, where we went in October 2007, for a Choral Evensong. It was the celebration of St. Francis of Assisi, and the whole service was built round nature and animals.

It was wonderful fun and is still vivid in our memory. Can one forget the great spread in the Rectory afterwards? Rev Roy so enjoyed that evening that if you find the website of the church you will see Angelus Singers outside the building just before the service…..shown below

Some of us will be going up to a gathering in Lochgilphead to celebrate the work he did for the local community. Our sympathies go out to his wife Andrina and their two sons.

A New Generation of Singers

Tonight I attended a concert in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. It was held in St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow, and consisted of the RSAMD Chamber Choir under the unforgettable Frikki Walker. It being Lady Day and our cathedral being dedicated to St Mary, there was a leaning towards music dedicated to her.

It started with the magnificent Haydn ‘Te Deum in C’, which is not  normally sung during the season of Lent, but was a fitting opening piece. Geoffrey Woollatt at the organ gave us a Charles Tournemire  ‘Improvisation on the Te Deum’, showing us his virtuosity.

Grieg’s ‘Ave Maris Stella’ by the choir, followed by the organ piece by Jean Langlais, ‘Ave Maria, Ave Maris Stella’, and Gorecki’s  delightful ‘ Totus Tuus’ made a lovely little group.

The music of Bob Chilcott (whose Jazz Mass we have heard in the Cathedral) featured next as we heard his ‘Missa Cantate’….a strange piece, involving extempore singing….

A thumping ‘March Triomphale’ by Dubois, and samuel Sebastian Wesley’s ‘Ascribe unto the Lord’ brought to an end an event that went to prove that music is alive and kicking, and that the RSAMD is doing a fine job!!