Over the last few weeks, we have attended several Christmas Concerts and Services. The Christmas Services at St Mary’s have already been chronicled.
Eastwood Choral: Christmas Concert – Sunday 6 December 2015
This was the first concert under the direction of the new Musical Director, Oksana Mavrodii, took place at Park Church in Giffnock. Also featuring the choir of Our Lady of the Missions Primary School and accompanied by Maciej Granat. As well as the usual christmas carols, the featured work was Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten.
Whitburn Band: Christmas Concert – Saturday 12 December 2015
On a frosty Saturday evening at the Brucefield Church in Whitburn, the Whitburn Band concert was in four parts, featuring in turn Whitburn Wee Band, Whitburn Youth Band, Whitburn Heartlands Band and Whitburn Band. As well as seasonal items, the bands played competition pieces that had resulted in them winning national competitions in 2015.
Bathgate Band: Christmas Concert – Friday 18 December 2015
After a train journey across central Scotland on a Friday evening, we attended the Bathgate Band concert, at St Mary’s Church in Bathgate. Following an initial set from the Youth Band, the main Band gave an entertaining selection of seasonal music, including some audience participation carols. Under the baton of their charasmatic conductor, Anne Crookston, an entertaining evening was had.
City of Glasgow Chorus: Christmas Cracker – Sunday 20 December 2015
On the Sunday before Christmas, we headed to Glasgow Royal Concert Hall for the Christmas Cracker, with the City of Glasgow Chorus, accompanied by the orchestra of Scottish Opera. As in previous years, Graham Taylor, Director of Music for the chorus, was in charge, complete with some of his Christmas Cracker style jokes, and playing to the audience, including the group that had come from the Vale of Leven.
St Mary’s Cathedral: Christmas Carol Service – Thursday 24 December 2015
And so to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and St Mary’s Cathedral. Already chronicled in detail, a highlight for me was the singing of the Icelandic Carol to the Virgin Mary, Eg vil lofa eina þá (Bára Grímsdóttir), with choristers reading the Prologue and Epilogue.
Schola Benedicti Lessons and Carols – Sunday 27 December 2015
The Sunday after Christmas, and another Lessons and Carols. Schola Benedicti is a relatively new choir based in the west of Scotland. The service took place at St John the Evangelist Church in Barrhead.
And to conclude two concerts at the beginning of January 2016, in two of Glasgow’s Cathedrals.
Glasgow Cathedral Choral Society: The Messiah – Saturday 2 January 2016
And onto a traditional performance of The Messiah. Glasgow Cathedral Choral Society perform Handel’s great Oratorio every two years in the medieval Glasgow Cathedral. Under the direction of James Slimmings, the soloists were Charlie Drummond (Soprano), Lea Shaw (Alto); Magnus Walker (Tenor), and Colin Murray (Baritone)
Caledonia Voices – Sunday 3 January 2016
Another event at St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow. This time from Caledonian Voices, and small group of singers performing their Fifth Anniversary Concert. Formed from an idea that Calum Fraser and Andrew McTaggart had in the summer of 2010, Caledonian Voices titled their concert “An English Affair“. The programme featured works from English composers such as Benjamin Britten, Hubert Parry, William Walton, Charles Stanford and William Harris.