May/June Edition 2013
Songsters 14th Annual Concert
It’s hard to believe that they have been going for so long but true nevertheless and those of us who were present for their first concert in the newly opened centre were treated to an evening of splendid entertainment.
The theme was “Hollywood to the Highlands” which gave a clue as to what would be sung in the two halves of the performance. Stage and Screen was the sub-title for the first half and the Songsters, en-masse gave it laldy with numbers including “Another Op’nin’ Another Show” (Kiss me Kate), “You’ve got a Friend” (Toy Story) and “Rhythm of Life (Sweet Charity).
In between a group of the men called No Direction, whose numbers have swelled recently to good effect, did justice to that good old belt-it-out favourite
“There is Nothing like a Dame” (South Pacific). Not to be outdone of course a group of the ladies called The Gladettes responded with that equally enjoyable favourite from the same show, “I’m Gonna Wash that man etc…” Well done ladies.
On an even smaller scale Tim Wheater and Helen Rowell did a humorous Eric Idle number, “A Song That Goes Like this” for Monty Python fans and Michael Tissington soloed with “Send in the Clowns,” in my opinion a brave choice for a solo but handled very competently.
Finally the ubiquitous, not to say peripatetic Gargoyles who continue performing throughout the summer at various locations and festivals gave us their usual high standard of performance in “Down to the River to Pray” (O Brother Where Art Thou”).
As ever Johan Mailer worked her socks off on her faithful Roland keyboard.
A 30 minute interval with drinks, nibbles and the raffle draw followed, or so they tell me for I had to nip next door to read a Hairy McLary bedtime story for my
granddaughter and only arrived back just in time to grab a few crisps and take my seat for the second half. Such is village life!
“Scottish” was the theme this time with all the old favourites that the Songsters are so good at performing. Smaller groups this time were Sheila Dowds, Alice and Jane Kilgour singing “Ho Ree, ho Ro..” a Tiree love song, the irrepressible Bridget with another of her “Tales from the Bothy” and a solo at short notice due to the illness of her opposite number from Lynne Rickard, “The Wellie Boot Song.”
Well done Lynne.
The audience got the chance to join in a couple of numbers too and did so with great gusto. One was that old favourite, “A Rare Bog, A Rattlin’ Bog,”… you know, the one where there’s a flea on the feather, a feather on the bird, a bird on the nest, a nest on a twig etc…. Well, Dave King played the part of the tree well in full fancy dress being progressively loaded down with all the bits and pieces mentioned in the verses until at the very end he was chased off stage by wife Issy with a very large axe! Splendid, rollicking fun.
All too soon the end came and Chairperson/Songster Helen Rowell gave the most comprehensive vote of thanks yet (I only say that because even I got a wee
mention!) Helen also announced that a new Conductor would be in place in the autumn, one with experience of a similar choir in Brightons.
A special mention is due to temporary Conductor Linsey McQuillan who volunteered to take over the daunting task of leading the choir and organising their
repertoire for the concert only a few months ago when Samantha had to leave. Very well done Linsey, you played a blinder.
I’m sure that all who were present on the night went away feeling, like I, that it was well worthwhile having attended. The choir continues to produce a fuller, richer sound with the extra men and the organisation, I felt, was smoother and well-oiled.
No sooner was one number or act over than Jeanette Wilson was on her feet to link in to the next. Even the raffle was better organised; details that made a difference. As a result the concert came to its conclusion pretty much bang on time, well before the Community Centre chairs began to make themselves only too plainly felt.
This is the first time the new professional lighting system has been tested in a concert, ably handled by our own Callum Farquhar, sitting off-stage in the
garden room. Thinking back to the days when I used to perch on a window sill trying to take concert photos under the relatively feeble lighting then available I could only feel very envious.
So if you haven’t been to a Songsters concert for a while I would strongly recommend you come to the next one. They just get better and better and I’m sure that will continue to be the case under their new leader too.