50 years on ...
This collage - a real jumble of impressions - is the best representation of a very full and amazingly pleasing day as the St Maura Singers celebrated our 50th year of singing together - celebrated it with a concert in the place where we began, where we chose our name (from one of the Canons' Stalls in the choir), where we learned so much music and not a little about ourselves.
The photos here include the lovely programme specially produced for the concert, and its back page with the photos of us in past times and of our friend Kenneth Elliott, whose 90th birthday it would have been and whose arrangements of the music of the Scottish Court have been a staple of our repertoire since 1970. There's one of the start of the concert, with Katherine and John in the Lady Chapel singing (and whistling!) The Gowans are Gay; one of Alastair introducing items; a sample of the music we sang - you can see that All Sons of Adam is the original copy I sang from in 1970. There are a couple of photos of the exterior of the Cathedral buildings and one of the bubbly with which we toasted ourselves after the concert.
We performed two of John McIntosh's (aka Mr PB) pieces - Advent Song, even in the middle of a warm summer's day, had the effect of reducing more than one audience member to tears; the Wedding Song was written for our #1 son's wedding in 2000 and we've not sung it since (it's awful good!). We ended with Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus so that we could sing along with the splendid organist Peter Wakefield (from St Bride's Hyndland Road).
The great joy as far as I was concerned was that it sounded so good, that my own voice didn't let me down (it's an issue, after a certain age), that even after talking to the audience about the two McIntosh pieces I could still make the required sound. (I grew up wanting to sound like Alfred Deller, if that helps). By the end of the day I was completely exhausted, coming down from the high-as-a-kite exuberance to crashing helpless on the sofa after dinner and feeling incapable even of going to bed.
But I did.
Extra photo is of the start of our epic afternoon - the terrifying queue to board the ferry from home to the other side of the Clyde. We still had another ferry ride to Cumbrae to achieve at this point ...
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