Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Benefit Concert for Christchurch, New Zealand

Scottish singers are coming together for a major benefit concert on Monday 28th February 2011 at 8pm for the people of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Brynne McLeod - mezzo soprano
Nick Morris - baritone
David Sloane - cello
Geoff Woollatt - organ
Michael Bawtree - conductor

The concert will take place in St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, 300 Great Western Road, Glasgow, which is an almost exact twin of the cathedral which has been damaged in Christchurch. The two buildings were built at the same time to a design by the same architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott.

As well as Requiem by Maurice Duruflé the concert will also feature tenor Stephen Chambers and Soprano Ruth Elder, New Zealanders based in Glasgow. They will perform music by HANDEL, BRITTEN and traditional New Zealand folk songs. Soprano Rachel Hynes will also perform.

Choristers from RSCM Scottish Voices, Glasgow Chamber Choir, Strathclyde University Chamber Choir, the RSAMD, St Mary’s Cathedral Choir (Glasgow), St Mary's Cathedral Choir (Edinburgh), Edinburgh Singers, Glasgow University Chapel Choir, and Edinburgh Royal Choral Union will join together at St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow’s West End. Two New Zealanders currently studying at the RSAMD will also perform at the concert.

Cathedral Provost The Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth said: “People in Scotland have all kinds of strong links with people in New Zealand. This concert is an act of solidarity with the people of Christchurch. Christchurch Cathedral is like a 'twin' of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow, having been built by the same architect at almost exactly the same time. As we look around the building in Glasgow, our hearts go out to those who are struggling to cope in a damaged city half a world away.”

Organiser Michael Bawtree added: “Scotland has very strong links with New Zealand. Many of us who will perform have friends and family living and working in Christchurch; many have visited, lived, performed and worked in New Zealand; others are simply keen to show that support by giving of their time and talent.”

Stephen Chambers, an RSAMD Opera student from New Zealand who will perform at the concert, said: "My Dad (Dr. John Chambers) was in Christchurch on a Medical conference when the Earthquake hit. He managed to escape unscathed from the fourteenth floor of his hotel, which looked as though it was about to collapse. Like so many Kiwis around the world, I feel helpless. I hope that in putting on this concert we can get some money together to aid those hardest hit in the beautiful country that I call home."

Funds raised at this benefit concert will be passed through official channels to those most in need.

For those who are into such things there is an associated Facebook Event but the important thing is to come along to the concert and donate whatever you can afford.

Please consider supporting this worthy cause, and if you can't make it along to the concert you can give online to the Red Cross New Zealand Earthquake appeal by following this link.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Dunblane music list

The next service in which you can hear RSCM Scottish Voices sing is on Saturday 5th March 2011 at 4pm when we will be taking part in Evening Prayer in the wonderful surroundings of Dunblane Cathedral which dates back in parts to the 13th century.

The music list, hot off the press, is:

We wait for Thy Loving kindness (William McKie)
Magnificat in e minor (Daniel Purcell)
Praise our Lord, all ye gentiles (William Byrd)
Gaudete Omnes (Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck)

Due to the unavailability of our Musical Director Frikki Walker who will be in Sheffield that weekend conducting one of his other choirs in the semi final of the Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year competition, for this service RSCM Scottish Voices will be directed by Richard Walmsley (Organist and Master of the Choristers at St Ninian's Episcopal Cathedral in Perth) and accompanied on the organ by Matthew Beetschen (Musical Director and Organist of Dunblane Cathedral, and Chair of RSCM Scotland).