The choir is excited to have been approached to take part in the kick-off event for the UNBOXED festival 2022, through participation in the About Us multimedia event. Featuring projection mapping, animation, music and poetry to tell the story of the Universe from the Big Bang to the present day, About Us will take place in front of Paisley Abbey, the first of five locations across all four UK nations, between 1 and 6 March. We will be singing a new, original score by the acclaimed composer Nitin Sawhney, as images of the origins of life, showing how we are all connected, are projected on to the walls of the ancient Abbey. The Paisley Philharmonic Choir and City of Glasgow Chorus will be performing on the other nights.
So wrap up warm – as we will do – and come and join us one night for this spectacular sound and light show.
In October 2021 the choir held it’s first concert since the pandemic began. Fittingly we performed at the Burns Club in Irvine, the venue of our final pre-pandemic concert in February 2020 (though we did also sing evensong at St Bride’s in Glasgow the following month).
A mixed programme of French, German (Bach) and Scottish music was presented, comprising renaissance, baroque and contemporary pieces – we may even have given the premiere of parts of a work generously made available for choirs to download free earlier in the year by composer Tom Cunningham, setting words penned by Alexander McCall Smith.
The concert was warmly received and it felt good to be singing in public again. Since then we have also sung a mass for All Souls in St Bride’s church, Glasgow – featuring Victoria’s glorious Officium Defunctorum requiem mass – and we will be singing a further mass at St Columbkille’s church, Rutherglen at the end of November. Mindful of social distancing and capacity requirements, we have fielded a reduced choir for each event, but care has been taken to ensure that every member gets to sing in at least one event.
We hope that, with rehearsals now taking place in our original venue at the University of Strathclyde again, this is just the start of a planned full season ahead.
The choir is now preparing to resume in-person rehearsals for the 2021-22 season, but we have been far from quiet during the second and third lockdowns. In the wake of our recording of Caledonia (see post 15 September 2020), a much more ambitious effort has seen the choir record four movements of CV Stanford’s Mass in Bflat; these were then skilfully put together by two contacts of our musical director.