Sunday was the return leg of the annual combined concerts with the Corran Singers (Mid Argyll, red jumpers) and the Kilmallie Singers (Fort William, blue hooped sweaters). I missed the first leg in Fort Bill because only a private Harrier jump-jet would have gotten me there in time from Ipswich.
This year’s programme was:
- Haydn – Nelson Mass
- Mendelssohn – Hear My Prayer
- Mendelssohn – Extracts from Elijah
- Mendelssohn – There Shall a Star Come out of Jacob
The full credits include:
Conductor: Sheila McCallum
Organist: Morley Whitehead
Soprano: Charlotte Sutton
Mezzo-soprano: Marion Ramsay
Tenor: Warren Gillespie
Baritone: Benjamin Weaver
Only a small audience, but then the Public Hall in Ardrishaig is not one of the west of Scotland’s top venues. In fact it’s a bit of a hole and the fact that this is it as far as arts venues go in the Lochgilphead are tells you everything you need to know about the attitude of the local council to culture.
Anyway, back to the main event. Your writer is to be found lurking in the bass section desperately hoping that someone will confidently (a) be counting the intervals accurately and (b) sounding out with the right note. I like the Haydn; this is something I know I’ve sung in the past, probably as a teenage bass, and I enjoy the dynamic movement of the piece. The Mendelssohn on the other had I can quite easily never sing again. I find the Elijah musically trivial and the other pieces terribly bland. All goes to show how little of a music critic I really am (or ought to be).
Still, no major bloopers from the bass section, at least none that earn a scowl from the conductor, and we leave the field bloody but unbowed, honours even, until the next year.