Sunday 15th October Alison McNeil (Voice) and Sasha Savaloni (Guitar)
On Sunday 15th October Alison McNeil (Voice) and Sasha Savaloni (Guitar) came to give a concert in Aberfoyle. They only made their debut as a duo in 2011 and are now one of the foremost voice and guitar duos in Scotland, having performed in Spain and throughout Scotland and also recorded for Classics Unwrapped on Radio Scotland.
Their concert in Aberfoyle was varied and interesting – focusing on songs from France, Spain and Scotland. Some light hearted French folksongs by Matyas Seiber were followed by Four Attar Songs written especially for Alison and Sasha by Stuart MacRae. These songs, which they recently premiered at the St Magnus Festival, demonstrated the different colours that can be produced by both guitar and voice. Sasha played a lovely solo guitar piece and the concert finished with three Spanish songs by Rodrigo and a peaceful prayer. Alison’s beautiful voice combined with Sasha’s glorious guitar playing was a real treat to listen to.
Sunday 17th September 2017 – Alastair Savage and his frineds – Scottish Fiddle Music
We were treated to another great concert from Alastair Savage and his fellow musicians. There was a strong island theme to the concert with music which had links to St Kilda, Lewis and Harris. The concert ranged from the well known18th century music of Neil Gow and 19th century music of James Scott Skinner to some lovely contemporary music written by Alastair Savage himself. There was even a trip over to the East coast of America with some jigs and a reel from Boston.
Many thanks to all the musicians – Alastair Savage (fiddle), Iain Crawford (double bass), Eddie McGuire (flute) and Ewan Robertson (whistle piccolo, alto flute) for a thoroughly enjoyable, foot-tapping concert.
Sunday 20 August 2017 : Dr. Peter Christie, Organist at All Saints Episcopal Church, Bearsden, Organ Recital.
Dr Christie gave a wonderful concert of organ music on Sunday 20th August, demonstrating the colour and range of the organ.
He started with some glorious J S Bach and then moved through composers from France, Canada, America and Scotland. Dr Christie concluded his concert with some of the hugely entertaining fairground style music of Lefebure-Wely.
Dr Peter Christie has been a church organist since the age of 14. He has been director of music at several churches in the central belt, including St James’s Church of Scotland Paisley, St Bride’s Scottish Episcopal Church Hyndland, and St Mary’s Collegiate Church Haddington; he was appointed to All Saints Scottish Episcopal Church in Bearsden a year ago.
Early retirement from the world of doctoring in the NHS has enabled organ recital playing to resume its rightful place in Peter’s life!
Training choirs is one of Peter’s great musical enthusiasm – he has been fortunate to have had a number of church choirs which grew in numbers and musical skills while he was in charge. Being the conductor of the Helensburgh Oratorio Choir for a few years, and conducted and played for several ‘come and sing’ massed choir events.
Feis Fhiort -16th July 2017
This young and vibrant group gave an excellent concert of traditional Scottish music at the start of their annual tour of central Scotland. The enthusiasm for the music and their instruments was much appreciated by the audience.
Pippa Reid Foster (and friends) 19th March 2017
Pippa Reid Foster and Helen Reid Foster (harp and violin) gave us a very relaxing and enjoyable concert on Sunday 19th March @ 3pm.
They played a mixture of traditional and contemporary Scottish music – from the traditional “Farewell to Nigg” to contemporary pieces written by Pippa herself.
There were also performances from two students – Becca and Sarah (harp and flute) which added to a varied and interesting programme.
Before the concert, Pippa met a couple of local children to talk about playing the harp and they were even allowed to play on her harp.
The Gliondar Enemble played at St Marys’ on 19th February 2017
The Ensemble consists of:
Emma Roche (Flute), Anne Rankin (Oboe), Alex South (Clarinet), Rosina Alter (Bassoon), and Fergus Kerr (French Horn).
The Ensemble are former Tunnell Trust winners,
The Gliondar Wind ensemble gave a lively and varied concert ranging from Mozart to Piazzola, with interesting and
amusing introductions to each piece. The concert lasted beyong 4.15 p.
m., so the audience got their money’s worth from this virtuoso quintet.
Pistons and Pipes – 15th January 2107
Pistons and Pipes are Tom Poulson and Calum Robertson
Both are incredible and talented musicians. They gave a good sized audience at St Mary’s a wonderful perfomance on Sunday 15th January on the organ, trumpet and clarinet.
The programme range from Baroque to modern, and included works byCharpentier, Vivaldi, Rautavvara, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Morrison, Friedman, MacMillan and Hakim.
Calum was full of praise for our Binns Willis organ which he said was better than organs he usually had to cope with. Very flattering !
We do hope that they may agree to come and play for us again
The Kentigern String Quartet – 20th November 2016
The Kentigern String Quartet gave a wonderful concert on Sunday 20th November at St Mary’s to a small but enthusiastic audience. They are worth going to hear if you ever get the chance. A really talented (
and very nice) bunch of musicians.
The Dvorak American Quartet in F is particularly evocative and has lots of lovely (some well know) tunes. The whole
concert was well balanced and very lively.
We hope to see them at St Mary’s again
Recital by Liam Devlin, Ann Archibald and Lloyd Griffin – 18th September 2016
A fantastic Recital by incredible musicians, played to a very good sized audience at St Mary’s on 18th September. It was good to hear our restored organ in full voice, played by Liam Devlin. Lloyd Griffin nobly stepped in as the trumpet in place of Iain Muirhead , who had broken his arm and therefore unable to play. Lloyd is a student at RSC and clearly a star in the making. Ann Archibald filled the Church with her wonderful voice.
Ann Archibald – Soprano Ann has been a principal with Scottish Opera, English National Opera and Royal Danish Opera and is now a free-lance singer and teacher. Her discography includes an acclaimed recording of Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. As well as an extensive career in oratorio and opera, Ann created the role of Fish in Param Vir’s opera, Broken Strings.
Lloyd Griffin -Trumpet Lloyd is originally from Bonnyrigg, Midlothian and is in his 4th year at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire studying under John Gracie, Peter Franks and Sandy McGrattan. Lloyd performs with many various ensembles including the RCS Symphony Orchestra and Conservatoire Brass. As well as playing with Úraich Brass, specialising in contemporary music, Lloyd is also a member of the newly formed “New Antonine Brass”. Lloyd is also a member of the Whitburn Band.
Liam Devlin – Organ Liam is a free-lance musician and part-time lecturer at the University of Glasgow, chiefly on Venetian music and art. He studied at the RSAMD, and then the Universities of Glasgow, Durham and Paris, taking organ and piano-lessons with Michael Gough Matthews, Yvonne Loriod, Odile Pierre and with Moura Lympany. He is currently organist at Pollokshields Parish Church.
Sponsored by The Scottish Churches’ Trust
Pure Brass – 21st August 2016
Pure Brass, one of the UK’s most established brass quintets, gave a wonderful concert in St Mary’s to a good sized and enthusiastic audience on 21st August 2016.
Playing an eclectic mix of music which ranged from the classic to the romantic, Pure Brass demonstrated why their reviews rave about them. With introductions to each piece from each of the group in turn, they are highly entertaining and amusingly irreverent.
We have always been told that the acoustics at St Mary’s are good. But Pure Brass(literally) filled the air with their brilliant sound.
We hope that they will return.
Sunday 17th July
Feis Fhiort played at St Mary’s
A Fèis is an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate the Gaelic arts: song, dance and traditional music on a wide range of instruments. In Gaelic ‘Fèis Fhoirt’ translates as ‘Forth Festival’ (pronounced faysh orsht), and we are the 43rd member of Scotland’s ever-growing Fèis movement, ‘Fèisean nan Gàidheal’. Through the Fèis we aim to keep the music, song and dance of the Scottish Gaelic tradition accessible and fun!
The players were: (Left to right in photograph)
- Fergus Walker – Mandolin & Guitar (Callander)
- Orla Stevens – Fiddle & Voice (Dunblane)
- Rhona Stevens – Guitar & Voice (Dunblane)
- Evie Waddell – Clarsach, Fiddle & Voice (Stirling)
- Selena Ross – Fiddle & Piano (Kippen)
- Andrew Herrington – Guitar (Erskine)
The Fèis Fhoirt Ceilidh Trail is a paid summer job and a professional development opportunity for young people aged 16 – 25 who are considering a performance career in traditional Scottish music. It is also a cultural tourism project bringing high quality traditional music performances to communities across Scotland throughout the peak tourist period in July and August. This is the fifth Fèis Fhoirt Cèilidh Trail, and there are now over 10 similar projects throughout Scotland this summer. You can find out more at the Fèisean nan Gàidheal Ceilidh Trail website
Scottish Fiddle Journey – 18th June 2016
As promised Alastair Savage and his friends returned to St Mary’s on 18th June. These wonderful musicians play an outstanding collection of traditional and new tunes. Alastair is a talented composer, and his own tunes are emotive and evocative – particularly the pieces written in memory of the Clutha Bar Helicopter tragedy ( November 2013.
Les Trois Blondes
Les Trois Blondes gave a small, but enthusiastic, audience a wonderful concert on 30th October 2015. Their sound, and skill/talent, need to be heard more often. We tried to make the evening as ‘french’ as possible. But next time it will be the full works with table, table cloths, restaurant food and waitresses !! – just wishful thinking ?
Les Trois Blondes are the only band in Scotland specialising in Bal Musette, the French café music of Paris. Perhaps to one’s surprise, there is a very strong tradition with Scottish accordionists of playing this style of music which is mostly in waltz tempo. The band comprises John Burns (lead accordion), George Burns, his brother (2nd accordion) and Fergus Wood (drums and compere). John Burns is the current Musette Champion of Scotland and former All-Scotland Accordion Champion.
Much of the music played by the band features numbers made famous by Maurice Chevalier and Edith Piaf, the little sparrow and several items in their programme of over 80 compositions are by the two Burns brothers. Musette goes well with French wines and French cooking.
Feis Fhiort at St Mary’s- 31st July 2015
This group of incredibly talented young musicians tour venues in the local area and played for us at St Mary’s on 31st July 2105 as part of their summer get together.
As always, the group showed that we are not short of talent – and they all live locally as well !
Scottish Fiddle Journey – Alastair Savage and Friends 24th April 2015
Alastair Savage and his friends returned to St Mary’s on Friday night. With increased numbers (6 musicians this time), the concert was quite fantastic. Thes talented musicians have a great following, and in there second year at St Mary’s, we are now adding to this.
A lot of the material they played was written by Alastair. In particular his tunes dedicated to the Clutha Helicopter disaster and the Encore (“What you are missing”) are quite beautiful, and very evocative.
They have promised to return in 2016 !
and we look forward to that
Voskresenije Russsian Choir – 13th November 2014
The vocal ensemble Resurrection -Voskresenije in Russian -gave us a wonderful concert. It was well attended by a record sized audience. This was the fist visit of this choir to St Mary’s, so noone really knew what to expect. They surpassed all our expectations and we do hope that they will come back again next year. This was the 35th concert on their current UK wide tour. With only another two weeks to go, we wish them a successful finish to their tour and a safe return home.
Previous Concerts at St Mary’s
Frequent Visitors – Telemann Ensemble
March 2010 and May 2011
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