Christmas Concert 2017

Come and join us for our annual Christmas Concert at St Marys Parish Church Haddington 7pm on Tuesday 12th December 2017.

It is always a night that is guaranteed to get you into the festive spirit with music including:

Magnificat Pergolesi

I saw Three Ships Preston

Mary’s Boy Child and

Holy Night to name just a few!

George Wilson on Organ and the infamous Stephen Doughty Conductor.

Tickets available from Choir Members, Hilary’s Deli Kesley’s Bookshop, Betty’s of Haddington or at the door (but it can be a sell out!)

£12 Adults, £8 students, £3 children.

Garleton Sopranos back from their European tour!

  Eight sopranos from the Garleton Singers were hugely privileged to be invited to join the Belfast Philharmonic Choir on their recent tour of Poland and Ukraine.
The Garleton’s Musical Director, Stephen Doughty is also the Chorus Master of the Belfast Phil, and he invited the “Garletons” to supplement Phil’s soprano section, and ensure the correct balance of choral parts across the touring choir.
Those of us who participated went over to Belfast on a number of occasions both to rehearse the repertoire for the tour, and to take part in two concerts which included the repertoire – Mozart’s C Minor Mass and Poulenc’s Stabat Mater.
The tour, which took place at the end of August 2017 started in the pretty Polish city of Opole, where the concert took place to a packed audience in the beautiful Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
The second concert took place in the Basilica of Christ the King in Katowice – the largest cathedral in Poland – in the presence of many local dignitaries. The acoustics were ……interesting! Again we sang to a full house.
The third and final concert was in the Philharmonic Hall in Lviv, Ukraine – a beautiful concert venue, where the sound was amazing. Nearly every seat was taken and there was a standing ovation at the end.
All three concerts also featured the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra, and local soloists. There were two conductors involved in the tour – one Polish and one Ukrainian.
As well as having the chance to sing in some fantastic venues, the singers were able to undertake optional tours in Krakow, Wroclaw, Lviv, the Wieliczka Salt Mine and Auschwitz.
We were made extremely welcome by our good friends in the Belfast Phil, and we are most grateful to Stephen, our Musical Director both for suggesting the tour to us, and for giving up his time to rehearse us in Haddington. His own arrangements of “Danny Boy” and “Charlie is my Darling”, which we performed as encores, were a great hit with our Polish and Ukrainian audiences.

By Lin Macmillan

Summer Concert May 29th 2017

Sing a New Song!

Come and join us at our Summer Concert – a Sparkling Collection of music for choir and organ

7.30pm St Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington.

Click here for poster: Summer Concert 29th May 2017

Works including:

Dove – Seek Him That Maketh The Seven Stars

Elgin – Lux Aeterna

Goodall – Love Divine

Musgrave – On The Underground

Tickets available from: Choir Members, Hilary’s Deli, Kesley’s Bookshop in Haddington, Betty’s of Haddington, online or at the door. £10 adults, £3 children

Spring Concert review

Spring Concert Review…..

On 19th March, the Garleton Singers presented an inspiring programme of music at St Mary’s, Haddington. Entitled “The Coming of Spring”, they were supported by the Garleton Singers Orchestra, and led by their tireless conductor, Stephen Doughty.

The evening opened with a splendid rendering of ‘Upon Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring’ by Frederick Delius. This well-loved favourite began the evening most appropriately; its dreamy, bucolic quality, evoking a warm spring day, with the promise of warmer and sunnier days to come, was performed adroitly by the orchestra under the skilful direction of Stephen Doughty.

The choir had prepared two different main offerings for each half of the programme, each one evoking different moods and traditions connected with Spring. In Haydn’s ‘Spring’, we had all the skill, classical elegance, humour and honesty of a composer writing at his very best. The soloists set the tone for the work by complementing each other beautifully with their unforced, yet very confident, rendering of the opening trio. Indeed, Emma Morwood’s lovely voice, completely free of any shrill or over-dramatic quality and yet full of expression, was perfect for the Haydn. John Arthur, the baritone soloist, and Conor Breen, the tenor, interpreted their parts (in both the Haydn and also the Mendelssohn in the second half) with great skill and feeling. They were supported in the choruses by the choir, who blended their voices in a most harmonious balance.

Opening the second half of the concert, the choir gave a rendering of two short choral pieces. The first, sung by the male voices of the choir, was ‘A Madrigal’ by Humphrey John Stewart, a tremendous piece of fun and a real romp, enjoyed by all – both singers and listeners. The second was a lovely rendering by the Sopranos and Altos of ‘Spring’ by Gustav Holst. Here the women’s voices showed themselves to great advantage.

The women were again able to show their strengths in the final work, the lesser known cantata by Mendelssohn, ‘Die Erste Walpurgisnacht’. It has all the classical quality we associate with earlier composers, such as Mozart and Haydn, which is then combined with some real drama, which the choir clearly enjoyed and sang with great gusto. This is a work full of dark doings, Druids and forests on the surface but, in fact, it has a subtler message, appealing for tolerance towards persecuted minorities and probably has as much resonance today as at any time. Here, however, it’s ‘diese dumpfen Pfaffenchristen’ (‘these stupid Christian priests’) who are the ‘baddies’, overzealous Christians persecuting a pagan minority. The music is an amazing tour de force of choruses and solos, preceded by a very dramatic overture, the whole work lasting just over half an hour. Mendelssohn captures the drama and romance of the setting but does so in a strictly classical way. Once again both soloists and chorus caught the sense of drama without losing classical poise in the more dramatic moments, and and they clearly enjoyed it. One member of the choir is particularly worthy of mention: Grace McKinnon interpreted the aria of ‘an aged woman of the people’ in a remarkably dramatic and skilful way.

By the end of the evening some of us were asking ourselves why these pieces by Haydn and Mendelssohn are less performed or well known, since they contain some of the most inspired writing of these two great geniuses.

I am sure we all look forward to Stephen Doughty’s next concert with the Garleton Singers at St Mary’s, on Monday 29th May.

The Coming of Spring – upcoming concert!

Garleton Singers Spring Concert 2017

You know Spring is here when the Garleton Singers rejoice in the turning of the season with their annual spring concert.

So come and join us on Saturday 18 March 2017 – 7.30pm St Cuthbert’s Church Edinburgh or Sunday 19 March 2017 – 7.30pm St Mary’s Parish Church Haddington for “The Coming of Spring” where we shall be performing….

Haydn “Spring’ from e Seasons”

Delius “On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring”

Mendelssohn “Die Erste Walpurgisnacht”

Accompanied by:

Emma Morwood, Soprano,  Conor Breen, Tenor, John Arthur, Bass

Tickets available from:

Choir Members, Hilary’s Deli, Kesley’s Bookshop in Haddington, e Queen’s Hall Edinburgh box o ce (St Cuthbert’s concert only), online or at the door. £12 adults, £8 students, £3 children