Accompanist Retires

Ayr Choral Union’s AGM marked the end of an era when a presentation was made to the choir’s long serving Accompanist Morag Walton.

Morag, who studied music at Glasgow University, and has taught many aspiring young pianists over three decades, originally joined the choir, as a singer, in 1975. She became the choir’s accompanist in 1994. During the succeeding twenty-seven years, her meticulous and conscientious approach to her role has seen her support rehearsals of many of the great choral works including the choir’s most recent performance of Bach’s St John Passion in April. She has also accompanied the choir in concerts in St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh and Paisley Abbey. Morag’s skill as an arranger has been demonstrated in performances over the years especially at Christmas. Choir members are delighted that Morag is not retiring fully as she will return to sing in the new season.  

Ayr Choral Union, Castlehill Chirch, Ayr AGM marked the end of an era when a presentation was made to the choirs long serving accompanist Morag Walton. She became the accompanist in 1994 Photo shows Morag ( centre) with Marion Andrews & Kate Wilson ( current president of Ayr Choral Union )

We Came…and Tried

On a rainy Saturday afternoon, fifty members of the choir and some new faces turned out for a ‘socially-distanced’ taster of Bach’s St John Passion with Andy McTaggart. Andy had us trying out some of the gentler Chorals before tackling one or two of the more challenging choruses!

It was great to see so many people and we are all looking forward to returning to regular rehearsals after the Christmas break. Full rehearsals for the St John Passion begin on Tuesday 11th January at 7.30pm at Castlehill Church and the first few weeks will see us working in sections with both Andy and our assistant conductor, Nils Meier.

We hope some of the visitors who came and tried will join us regularly and if you are interested in joining, then please contact ayrchoral@outlook.com – we look forward to seeing you!

Come and Try Bach’s St John Passion

Come and Try St John Passion with Ayr Choral and Andy McTaggart.

Join us as we start learning this magnificent piece, ahead of our concert in April, at Castlehill Church in Ayr on Saturday 8th January from 1pm – 3pm. Whether you are thinking of joining the choir or just fancy a bit of singing – come and give us a try! Distancing and sanitisation measures will be in place but if you have any questions ahead of the day, contact us at ayrchoral@outlook.com.

Christmas Concert

Christmas with Ayr Choral 2021  

Sunday 12th December 7.30pm  

Venue: Ayr Town Hall, New Bridge Street, Ayr KA7 1JX  

On the programme this year Ayr Choral will perform the joyful and heavenly piece Vom Himmel Hoch (From heaven above to earth I come) by Felix Mendelssohn. The choir rehearsed this piece last year online and look forward to performing it live this year. Included in the wide variety of Christmas music will be the beautiful O Magnum Mysteriumby Morten Lauridsenand the Ceremony of Carols, with harp accompaniment, by Benjamin Britten. The joyfulness will continue with lots of your traditional Christmas favourites.  

Ayr Choral’s fabulous conductor Andrew McTaggart kept the choir goingthroughout lockdown with fun and vigour using the wonders of online technology. However, Christmas will be very special as we will be singing live with a real audience.  

Andrew will be assisted by Nils Meier our Assistant Conductor.  

The soloists will be Soprano Charlie Drummond, former Scottish Opera EmergingArtist and graduate of the London Opera Studioand Baritone Christopher Nairne, soloist and ensemble member at Opera North. Piano and organ accompanist will be Andrew Forbes, Director of Music at Glasgow Cathedral.  

Tickets are available from members of Ayr Choral, the Gaiety Box Office, and online at www.ayrchoralunion.net.   

Welcome back

Welcome back to all our members, friends and anyone who would like to join our return to live rehearsals in Castlehill Church in Ayr on Tuesday 31st August!  We will be getting our voices back into choir mode and learning some sparkling music. If you would like to join the choir or check us out, please contact our Secretary at ayrchoral@outlook.com for further information.

It is important though to read our guidance for members before turning up on a Tuesday night.

April Newsletter

We are getting ready to welcome members and guests to our next online offering of singing fun “Broadway and Back again” in May. Read our Presidents newsletter for more details.

If you want more information about the current guidelines for choral singing safely please visit the site below. Bear in mind it refers to the current situation in England . Choir members may want to read this before completing your questionnaire

https://www.abcd.org.uk/Resources/COVID-19

Broadway & Back again!

To end a highly successful Season with a range of choral adventures on Zoom, Ayr Choral are planning to be in laid back mode for our May project – exploring a range of popular choral music appropriate for Spring and recovery. 

There are four sessions on Tuesday evenings in May for anyone who would like to Zoom in and join us for some relaxed “sing along” familiar music based on four themes:  Stage, Screen, Opera and Scotland. Music will include excerpts from Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, Chilcott’s Like a Singing Bird, a touch of Gershwin, a dip into West Side Story and back via Carousel and Lord of the Rings. This musical miscellany will round off our 2020-21 Season on a high note!

For further information see www.ayrchoralunion.net or Facebook @ayrchoralunion.  Cost is £15 for the four sessions, and booking can be done online by emailing ayrchoral@outlook.com