Sunday, 18 April 2010

Holy Trinity Kilmarnock

Another meeting, another stride forward!

Unfortunately at the last minute our exceptionally talented Musical Director, Frikki Walker, wasn't able to rearrange his regular Saturday morning teaching commitments at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) so wasn't able to join us exactly as planned, however fortunately our exceptionally talented Organist, Richard Walmsley, stepped into the breach and took over, so the two of them effectively swapped roles for the day with Frikki arriving early afternoon to play the organ for the last bit of the rehearsals and the service itself!

And what a time we had.  It's always refreshing to be conducted by someone else occasionally, and it was a pleasure to be waved at by Richard.  I personally thought that the choir has again taken a good step forward in standard, and the feedback I've had from both Richard and Frikki was very positive. 

On another personal note it was nice to sing a Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis I'd never seen before, although Healey Willan sounds like he should be a sports car not a composer!

The photo is by gordonrasmith.  Well kind of, since he's actually in it and it was taken by a member of the congregation so that Gordon could be in one for a change!

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in the centre of Kilmarnock is an amazing wee building, with wonderful murals, and the welcome we all got was excellent.  Thanks again to our own Pat, Carole and Kat for all that.

And so to the important bit - the pub!  At lunchtime, recommended by Kat and Carole, a crowd went to First Edition nearby, and were impressed enough by it to head there after the service too.  A nice big crowd of choristers, probably around twenty or so of us, managed largely to get round one table, and had a very nice time replacing lost fluid and having a laugh and a joke. 

We also bounced around some ideas for the future, including the choir having our own robes instead of each wearing the robes of our "home" choir, the acquisition of music folders, the choir having its own library of music, and not least - sponsorship.  Possible sponsors were trotted out, like Guinness, Taylor's (RSCM Late Bottled Vintage Scottish Voices?), Tennants (because their logo is almost cruciform!) and Coors (simply because that was what some of us were drinking!), and whilst it was a jokey interlude with quite a lot of laughs, if we are going to seriously consider such things as buying robes and folders (and I think we should think about such things) then we need to think about how we are going to pay for them, and get some discussion going.

RSCM Scottish Voices as an entity has a lot to offer the right sponsor in terms of market penetration and visibility, as there must be loads of brands whose target audience is the demographic of church-goers.  Pimms, Gordons, Interflora, Co-Op Funeral Service etc etc.  OK that last one was a joke, but you get my drift!

Another exciting idea bounced around by Richard, apart from of course him inviting the choir to sing at his wedding in July which is fantastic and which will doubtless be the subject of future posts and many emails from me, was the possibility of going on a week's tour of cathedrals, minsters, abbeys and churches in England, probably as an alternative to a residential rehearsal weekend, and the Yorkshire area was mooted by him as an option.  This would require some serious organisation and would require commitment from enough choristers to make up an effective choir if it were to be considered.  I'd very much welcome feedback on what the choir's thoughts are on that one.

The last four of us left the pub around ten to eight, and I staggered up the road to (just) catch the 8pm train back to Glasgow, with thoughts of money, sponsors, robes, tours, weddings and music libraries revolving round my head until I arrived back home just before 10pm, having set off on the five to eight train that morning.  Quite a long day, but a very rewarding one, and this morning having now reconciled the money, written up the accounts, filled out the bank pay-in slip and emailed the details to the RSCM Scotland Treasurer, completed the attendance spreadsheet, replied to a couple of emails from people who were apologising for not being there, replied to an email from a chorister who is now bowing out of the choir, and posted this entry, I'm not going to do anything relating to RSCM Scottish Voices for the rest of the weekend!  Except I'm going to have a chat with Frikki tonight after Evensong about stuff

Who'd be an administrator is a question which often enters my head I have to confess, but after a day like yesterday a resounding "me!" is the answer I usually come up with, and it's a heartfelt thanks I send to all members of RSCM Scottish Voices for making it ultimately so enjoyable, musically and socially.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Kilmarnock music list

The next meeting of RSCM Scottish Voices will be this coming Saturday, 17th April 2010, at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 1 Dundonald Road, Kilmarnock KA1 1EQ and Choral Evensong will take place at 4pm, lasting around an hour.

The music list, hot off the press this afternoon, is:

Introit: This Joyful Eastertide (Anon - arranged Wood)
Responses: William Smith of Durham
Psalm: 89 vv1-19
Canticles: Healey Willan in E flat
Anthem: Sing Joyfully (William Byrd)

I've found the following on YouTube, which may be of some use for giving the choir an idea of what some of the music sounds like, as a rehearsal aid.  You have to go to 4minutes 8seconds on the Westminster Abbey one to get to the Smith, and it's only the first part (the Preces) they sing.  Part of the second bit (the Responses) is on the next video down, and I couldn't find the rest of it!

Oh, and just for Ruth, Sing Joyfully is performed by a New Zealand choir!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


I've recently had a few emails from choir members worried that they've missed an email from me giving details of the next meeting of RSCM Scottish Voices on Saturday 17th April at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Kilmarnock.

Just to set your minds at rest, the answers to the FAQs are:
  • Yes I know it's now less than two weeks away

  • No, the music list has not yet been finalised, it's being worked on at the moment

  • Yes, I know it is now too late for everyone to source their own copies and if music is chosen that you don't already have, then it will be provided to you on the day
That's about it for the moment!

I know that's a bit jokey, but in all seriousness, the lead up to Lent and then Easter is a frenetic time for choirmasters, and it's only today that there's been a window of opportunity to have the music list worked on by Frikki who is an expert in that field (amongst others) and always takes time to painstakingly and carefully make sure the service hangs together well and the chosen music fits with each other and with the theme of the liturgical season.

I have an email all typed up and ready to go out containing the details of where and when, and the main thing I'm waiting on is the music list so I can include it all in one go.  The timings on the day are exactly as normal, and it's in the centre of Kilmarnock.  More will follow by email.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon.