We are delighted to announce that we have chosen Strathcarron Hospice as our Charity of the Year for the 2022/23 season.
Some of you may know that one of our longest-serving members, Margaret Miller, was cared for at the hospice before her premature death in August. Margaret was a hugely popular member of the choir and was an extremely efficient Librarian.
She was passionate about music, cooking, family and the outdoors. Teaching for 36 years at Gartmore Primary School, she was a pioneer of outdoor learning in Scottish schools, showing how nature can be a part of every lesson, no matter if the school is country or urban. Following retirement, she worked with nurseries and schools in the Central Region to teach others how to prune, identify and share her love of apple trees from ‘pip to plate’, which gave her such pleasure.
Musically, Margaret had been a member of a number of musical ensembles across Scotland over the years, including The Edinburgh Bach Choir, Strathendrick Singers, Inchcolm New Music Ensemble, Strathclyde Harmonia and SUCC. She also loved to combine singing with travel: singing at the Laycock Summer Music School for 20 years, in Spain, France and even in Havana! Choral and organ music were woven into every aspect of Margaret’s life. To have her own composition of Preces and Responses sung by SUCC was a joy.
There will be a celebration concert for Margaret at Gartmore Church on Saturday 27th February 2023 where members of SUCC will be joined by the West Linton Singers and other groups who Margaret enjoyed singing with – more details of this will be provided closer to the time.
In the meantime, the choir will be heading to the IKEA store in Braehead over the weekend of December 3rd and 4th to sing Christmas carols and raise funds for the Hospice.
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.