Random thoughts from Pencefn

…. an engineer, singer and photographer living in Scotland

A Century of Service

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Exterior of St Margaret's Newlands

Exterior of St Margaret’s Newlands


On Sunday evening I had the pleasure of attending a concert at St Margaret’s Newlands, on the south side of Glasgow.

Well just another concert – No! This concert launched the appeal for funds to rebuild the organ. My association with St Margaret’s and its music making goes back to 1977. Having just moved to Newlands, I joined the choir at St Margaret’s. Very soon afterwards I started Organ lessons with the then Director of Music. I continued into my early degree years, when studying for an engineering degree had to take priority over organ lessons and associated practising. I regret that I did not resume when time allows, however I have retained my interest in Church Music.

The organ at St Margaret's

The organ at St Margaret’s

The organ at St Margaret’s has been serving the building for a century, hence the appeal title (and title of this post). It was last rebuilt by the Willis organ company in the early 1960s, and despite regular maintenance,time has caught up,and a major rebuild is required.

So to launch the appeal a concert was held given by a group of string musicians gathered from the RSNO, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet, under the direction of Michael Bawtree – the current Director of Music at St Margaret’s.

The programme started with Mozart’s Divertimento in D Major (K136). For this excellent performance the orchestra played this with out a conductor. The other piece before the interval was Gerald Finzi’s Clarinet Concerto Op 31, with the clarinet played by the excellent Scottish instrumentalist, Calum Robertson, conducted by Michael. Calum give a stirring performance and added a great deal of expression to the piece.

The Organ Console

The Organ Console

After the interval during which fizz was served and concluded by Michael playing the organ, a selection of the string players directed by Michael from the Harpsichord played Bach’s third Brandenburg Concerto. Finally the complete string ensemble played Grieg’s Holberg Suite.

An excellent programme to launch the appeal. If you wish to contribute yourself,this can be done by complete the form in the appeal brochure.

I will watch (and probably contribute more) the appeal with interest, and wish them every success.

Author: Stewart

An instrumentation engineer who enjoys photography and singing. Working in the West of Scotland; a member of St Mary's Cathedral Glasgow and Southwark Cathedral; and a volunteer guard/signalman on the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales.

One thought on “A Century of Service

  1. Thanks for your thoughts on the concert and for your support. I’m glad you enjoyed it. St. M’s seems to leave a lasting impression on many who have spent time here. We look forward to seeing you again in the future.

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