On 14th September 2013 at 4pm we will be singing Choral Evensong in St Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral, in the beautiful city of Inverness. This will be our first visit to Inverness, and all of the choir are very much looking forward to it, particularly our two members who live in Elgin who will have a significantly shorter trip than usual!
On 12th October 2013 we will be departing from our normal services, and will instead be taking part in a concert at 7.30pm in the historic Dunfermline Abbey. It's a concert in conjunction with The Carnegie UK Trust, in their 100th year, and it's entitled 'Most Elevating of Voices' - The Musical Legacy of Andrew Carnegie: a transatlantic celebration.
As well as hearing RSCM Scottish Voices sing, this will also be an opportunity to hear the organ played by the exceptionally talented Michael Bawtree, who although Scottish based is very much in demand internationally as an organist and choir director. You can read more about Michael on a Herald article here and on Glasgow Chamber Choir's website here
The first 15 minutes of the concert will be in the old nave (by kind permission of Historic Scotland) and we will then move to the newer (heated and lit!) Abbey to complete the evening.
The concert will include music by Thomas Weelkes, Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Peter Philips, George Dyson, Herbert Howells, Edgar Bainton, Charles Villiers Stanford, and George Frederick Handel.
The transatlantic element of this is that on Wednesday 20th November 2013 the other half of the celebration takes place in the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine, New York City, USA, and there is quite a lot of music in common between the two concerts. Sadly we don't get to travel to New York to sing, but conversely they don't get to come to Scotland either! There is no charge for attending the Dunfermline concert, but it's by ticket only and they are being issued by The Carnegie UK Trust so to reserve yours please contact the Trust by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call their office on 01383 721445.
The press release from the Carnegie UK Trust is as follows:
To celebrate the musical legacy of Andrew Carnegie and the Carnegie UK Trust, there will twinned concerts in Scotland and the USA, featuring what Carnegie called ‘that most elevating of voices’ – the pipe organ, as well as choral music particularly associated with the Carnegie UK Trust. Carnegie funded 7,689 organs throughout the world, with over 4000 in the USA and over 3000 in the UK. The Carnegie UK Trust funded the pioneering publication in the 1920s of ten volumes of Tudor church music which was to transform musical life in the UK and throughout the world. In Dunfermline, the RSCM Scottish Voices choir will sing some of this beautiful repertoire in the mediaeval nave of Dunfermline Abbey, with the rest of the programme containing music by a former chair of the Trust, Sir George Dyson, as well as some of the finest repertoire for choir and organ, sung in the Abbey church.
On 23rd November 2013 we return to St Aloysius' RC Church, Rose St, Glasgow, where at 5.45pm we will take part in their Vigil Mass on the eve of the festival of Christ the King. This is an absolutely stunning building, both visually and acoustically, and we are very much looking forward to our return visit there, having first sung in the Vigil Mass in 2011.
Our 2014 season commences on 15th February 2014 at 4pm with a first visit to the lovely town of Linlithgow, where we will be singing in the beautiful St Michael's Parish Church, right next to Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots
On 5th April 2014, the eve of Passion Sunday, at 4pm we make our first foray into the Scottish Borders, when we sing in Peebles Old Parish Church, a lovely building overlooking the high street of Peebles.
They say that time flies when you're having fun, and this certainly seems to be the case with RSCM Scottish Voices, because having sung our first ever service in January 2009 our 2014 season is our fifth as a choir, so to celebrate this anniversary we've decided to put on a special Choral Evensong on 31st May 2014 at 4pm in the historic Paisley Abbey, and we're going to be inviting members of our sister choirs RSCM Young Scottish Voices, RSCM Voices North, RSCM Voices West, and RSCM Voices South, to join us. So there will be singers from all over Great Britain converging on Paisley to raise the roof of the Abbey, which itself has been celebrating a rather more splendid anniversary year in 2013, being 850 years old!
Our Musical Director Frikki Walker is Director of Music at St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow and many of our members also sing in the cathedral choir there. Our choir is grateful for a variety of support we receive from St Mary's so we always enjoy a visit to what has become, despite our membership being drawn from all over Scotland, almost "home" territory. On 14th June 2014, the eve of Trinity Sunday, we will be singing Choral Evensong in St Mary's Cathedral at 4pm, and doubtless it'll be followed by some of the best socialising we engage in throughout the year, as the cathedral (and specifically the cathedral choir members) know how to throw a party!
Our annual residential rehearsal weekend will take place from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th August 2014. The venue has still to be decided, we'll have a think about how well Stirling University has just suited us this weekend and decide whether we want to return there or not, but in any case it involves no public performance or access, it's purely rehearsing and socialising.
Another welcome yet overdue return visit will be on 6th September 2014 when we travel to St Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in Dundee, to sing Choral Evensong at 4pm. Our previous visit back in 2010 was memorable not just for the music we sang, but for the outstanding welcome we received from the cathedral, and in particular Stuart Muir and his choir members.
It's a year of first visits, and although it's taken us five years to get something scheduled, our trip to sing Choral Evensong in the very historic St Giles Cathedral on Edinburgh's Royal Mile on 4th October 2014 at 4pm is one to which we're really looking forward.
Our 2014 season will draw to a close with another eagerly anticipated return visit, this time to the stamping ground of our Assistant Musical Director Richard Walmsley who is also the Organist and Master of the Choristers in St Ninian's Episcopal Cathedral in Perth, where we will sing Choral Evensong at 4pm on 1st November 2014.
So, by the end of 2014, our fifth anniversary year, we will have sung in abbeys, cathedrals and significant churches throughout a large chunk of the Scottish mainland, from Dumfries in the south west to Inverness in the north west, Peebles in the Borders to Aberdeen in the north east. We know there's a lot more of Scotland to be visited, and it's in our plans to visit further north than Inverness, (perhaps St Magnus Cathedral on Orkney, maybe Shetland), further west than Glasgow (Oban springs to mind, as does perhaps the tiny yet charming Cathedral of the Isles in Millport on Cumbrae), and further into the Scottish Borders (oh wouldn't it be great to be able to sing in one of the ruined Borders Abbeys). But all of that's for the future. Watch this space. Or better still, come and hear us, maybe even come and join us!