Garleton Singers Photograph

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The May concert was performed with panache and flair, and a little bit of cheating by those people who wrote the words to Sumer Is Acumen In on the backs of their hands. Our new formation helped our men in particular to a sharper focus that was pretty darn zingy! The orchestra, led by the inimitable Lawrence Dunn, played with an assurance which was obviously appreciated by the audience. Our organist, John Anderson, added an extra dimension to Parry’s I Was Glad (as did the trumpeters, who surprised some of the front row with their enthusiastic fanfares).

One audience member reported that the choir’s entry to Zadok the Priest was utterly thrilling … echoing through the packed church and spilling out into the gorgeous twilight to the delight of passers-by.

Well done to everyone.

The March Concert

… went well. This was the first time we had sung music by Kodaly, and we embraced the challenge of his Missa Brevis, and that of Liszt’s Missa Choralis, with courage and fortitude. On both nights there were songs and movements with power and beauty, in which the Garleton Singers proved that they are capable of great things. We weren’t perfect. One audience member came up to a chorister after the concert and said confidentially ‘I liked the Liszt very much, but it’s a shame that the organ was out of tune whenever it came back in’, which will possibly annoy Caroline! Caroline Cradock was superb throughout, and we hope she will play with us again very soon. Congratulations to our soloists and semi chorus members – Sadie Maskery, David Wilson, Graham Miller, Kay Henderson, Katie Hamilton, Sharon Keulemans, Davina Briggs, Nicola Cuthbert, Gerrie Macarthur, Morag Sheriffs, Ann Browning, Helen Bennett, Christopher Farquar, Simon Williams, and Michael Smith. In particular can I extend my heartfelt admiration to the Missa Choralis semichorus who, on the Saturday, sang with absolutely no support after what could perhaps be described as car-crash choralling by the rest of us in the preceding moments. Overall, we should be proud with what we achieved. Sunday night in particular was exhilarating, and left many of us wishing we could sing it all over again. (After a nice long rest and a stiff gin, of course.)

And we sounded like …. this. (Right click on the link, download the mp3, be stunned by our lalalalalalalalalalas.)

The Official Review

“With a beautifully balanced programme, The Garleton Singers presented a concert of Hungarian focused choral music at St Mary’s, Haddington on Sunday last – 21st March 2010.

The programme opened with Seiber’s Three Hungarian Folk Songs. And what a thrilling opening it was, with the confident, unaccompanied choir singing from memory. John Brown’s spurs really did ring!

Next, by contrast, came a Liszt organ piece energetically played by Caroline Cradock.

Kodaly’s Missa Brevis is scored for choir, organ, a soprano semi-chorus and a trio of alto, tenor and bass, and it is a mark of the conductor Stephen Doughty’s confidence in his singers that all these roles were sung by members of the choir. The circumstances of Kodaly’s composition of this piece add poignancy to phrases such as “donna nobis pacem” – “give us peace” – from the Agnus Dei, as it was written whilst evading persecution from the Nazis and given a first performance during the siege of Budapest in 1945.

The work presents difficulties of balance and tuning; and the high soprano entries at the beginning and end of the work were particularly well handled. Indeed, the quality of sound from the soprano and alto sections throughout was noteworthy.

The second half of the programme started with Kodaly’s unaccompanied Evening Song and was beautifully sung. The ladies and gentlemen gave us separate motets next, and the tenors and basses really swaggered with Halmos’s jubilant Jubilate!

Finally, to Liszt’s Missa Choralis. The drama of the work came through very clearly. Particularly enjoyable was the word painting in the Credo. Again, a semichorus provided contrast and the work left a lively impression.

I appreciated the carefully contrasting elements of the overall programme and it is refreshing to hear a local choir tackling such rarely heard and challenging repertoire. It is a mark of the stature of this choir that it was presented so effectively.

The Garleton Singers can be heard again in St Mary’s at Haddington Festival time, with Handel’s Zadok the Priestst May at 7:30pm.” and other festive favourites on Monday 31

John Stone

Guess who?

As part of the celebrations, we are planning to put together an Anniversary Exhibition and we would like your help with this. The photograph below will form part of the exhibition.  Do you recognise anyone? There are a few of you still singing with us, I know, but at the moment even the date on which this was taken is a mystery. If you see someone you know (or even yourself), could you contact us at stating both the name and where they appear on the image?

Many thanks.

Garleton Singers

Herewith a version with numbers on it to help you…