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We had been asked by RSCM Scotland to provide some music at the start of this event, so we sang four pieces, Laudate Nomen Domini by Christopher Tye, Tree of Life by Marty Haugen and arranged by Frikki Walker, Ave Verum Corpus by William Byrd, and Sanctus I and II from the Missa Brevis by Giovanni Perluigi da Palestrina. Our Musical Director, Frikki Walker, was unavailable due to a prior engagement, but thankfully we have the expertise of our assistant Musical Director and Organist Richard Walmsley to call on, so he was the man in charge. It's a great luxury having two such fine musicians to work with.
The singing went very well, I thought, and everyone seemed happy, and despite a poor turnout and a later than advertised start which kept the choir hanging around at a bit of a loose end, the evening went very well.
Lindsay Gray has been Director of the Royal School of Church Music for about three years, and comes from a background of having sung in the choirs of Kings College Cambridge and Durham Cathedral, to name but two. A languages teacher, he was headmaster of Llandaff Cathedral school for 14 years before becoming the top man at the RSCM. After giving us a flavour of his own background, he spoke very well on his role and that of the RSCM, touching on various resources available to affiliated choirs, before taking part in a short question and answer session with those gathered. If you get the opportunity to hear Lindsay at a similar gathering, I'd suggest you take the chance.
Then it was on to the wine and nibbles at the back of the Cathedral, with lots of simultaneous conversations mainly centred on church music, as far as I could gather.
Then, on to the pub where six of us had a small refreshment and a couple of pizzas to stave off any stray hunger and thirst, with more chat in a less formal arena. And a small part of the chat was when I revealed to the assembled company the existence of a Cathedral Choir Pubs website, created and run by Richard Shakeshaft who sings at Lichfield. Have a look at it, it's a useful resource!
Hence only getting round to typing this at one in the morning!
I had been told before meeting Lindsay that he's a nice guy, but you know what? He actually IS a nice guy! He's in Scotland for a few days, this being day one, and hopefully despite the poor turnout for the RSCM Scotland event he at least enjoyed what RSCM Scottish Voices sang for him, I know we enjoyed singing it.
So, the next time YOU can hear us is in a little over a week, on Saturday 17th September, again in St Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow, when we shall be singing Choral Evensong at 4pm