RSNO Chorus: Sacred Music

Sunday June 21, 2015

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I sing. I love singing. Ella Fitzgerald said that the only thing better than singing was more singing. We can all do it and should do more of it simply because it makes us happy. I have sung previously for Her Maj and the Queen of Denmark. I've sung in the White House for a US President; in Hong Kong for the last Governor-General; in Ottawa for Canada's parliament and Prime Minister. Singing has taken me to the Sydney Opera House and war-torn Jerusalem, and next year, hopefully, will take me to China.

On Saturday, 27th June, I'll pass a glorious Saturday night with the RSNO Chorus singing Durufle’s Requiem in St Mary's Cathedral on Great Western Road, and I hope you'll be able to join us. You won't be disappointed. Religious choral music can deliver unique spiritual beauty far beyond earthly prejudices.

Durufle's Requiem emerged from the embittering stresses and tensions of Nazi occupied Paris in the early 1940s. It was commissioned by the collaborating Vichy government. But its nine short movements were only completed three years after liberation as Paris made peace with itself to regain its place as the city of light and love.

The 100-strong chorus will be conducted by our recently appointed Musical Director, Gregory Batsleer, and accompanied by Steven McIntyre on the splendid St. Mary’s organ. The programme also provides a trio of beautiful motets by Anton Bruckner.

Whatever this wonderful concert delivers, it underscores Glasgow's prestigious legacy in choral singing. The RSNO Chorus evolved from the Glasgow Choral Union, formed in 1843 to sing the first full performance of Handel’s Messiah in Scotland. Almost 50 years passed before Scotland’s national orchestra was officially founded and chorus and orchestra still perform The Messiah every year on January 2nd.

Remember there are over 100 choral groups in Glasgow and, in this our 20th Festival, there are around 25 singing groups participating – virtually a whole festival in its own right. Glasgow Youth Choir conductor, Audrey McKirdy, ran a magnificent singing workshop for kids over the first WEF2015 weekend at Hillhead Library. That same weekend the City of Glasgow Chorus, directed by Graham Taylor, performed the Faure Requiem, alongside other choral classics, at Hyndland Parish Church.

The Mackintosh Choir, featuring John Rutter, performed to a standing room only audience on 14th June, and, over the past couple of weeks, we’ve enjoyed Gospel, Russian, Chamber, A Cappella, Barbershop and Evensong, as well as the Harry Ensemble from London ….. and still lots more to look forward to .... just as Ella said. The only thing better than singing is more singing.

RSNO Chorus performs Maurice Durufle's Requiem at St Mary's Cathedral, Great Western Road, Glasgow on Saturday June 27th.


Liz Scobie, Festival Chairman


Guest Post - Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir

Monday June 24, 2013

Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir 1

The Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir date back to 1944 and while in the immediate post-war years many of the members would have had connections with the home island, today’s members have backgrounds in both Gaelic and non Gaelic speaking areas of Scotland and even beyond.

Over the years the choir has had considerable success particularly at the Royal National Mod, winning the Lovat and Tullibardine Shield on 10 occasions with particular success in Skye in 1982 when they won all 4 competitions.  They have also tasted success at the Pan Celtic Festival in Ireland and at the Vancouver Mod and the Choir has been invited to sing at the Eistedfodd and the International Eistedfodd.  Over many years the choir had a strong relationship with the Gaelic group Runrig, appearing with them on many occasions, and in 1996 they produced a “Tribute to Runrig.”

The choir is renowned for its perfect tone and the emotions of sadness and joy that their music produces, moving native speakers and non Gaelic speakers to tears.  All of which is down to the musical expertise of their well known conductor Kirsteen Grant.

The choir will be performing at the West End Festival on Wednesday 26 June at Hyndland Parish Church. Tickets are £8 at the door and for more information please visit the facebook page or call 0141 942 7603.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Guest blog post by Robert McNair, Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir

Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir Logo


What's on this weekend: 14-16 June

Friday June 14, 2013

We like to bring you some snippets of events happening every weekend. This week we're giving you the event plus the details! #wef13

Have a look on our website and search the date, venue, category or event title to see what else is happening...

Friday 14th

1. FREE event - Glasgow School of Art Goes West 10am-5pm

Iota proudly presents the new cutting edge of contemporary painting: ten of the best from the M Litt in Fine Art Practice (Expanded Painting) at the Glasgow School of Art for 2013.

Venue: Iota Gallery, 25 Hyndland Street Glasgow, G11 5QE

0141 338 6052

2. West End Festival Winds by Cottier Chamber Project at Cottiers

Music: Mozart   Gran Partita   K.361

£7 in advance, £9 on the day, £5 students. £25 for both concerts with main course and drink, £20 for concert and pre theatre menu. A beard like Brahms’ get you in free for the concerts (genuine beards only!)

Tickets in advance from or in person from the Box Office at Cottiers Hyndland. 0141 357 4000.

3. The 25th Annual 
Putnam County Spelling Bee at 7.30pm

Mad Props Theatre present their inaugural production, the Glasgow premiere of this Tony Award-winning play.  Six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grownups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t make you a loser.  With profits going to Leukaemia Research and with laughs guaranteed, don’t miss out on this cult musical where anything can happen!

Booking and ticket info:

Tickets £12 plus BF • 0141 357 4000

Venue: Kelvinbridge Theatre, Lansdowne Church 414 Great Western Rd, G4

0141 357 4000

Saturday 15th

1. Paintings On Railings - All day Saturday, Sunday

Long established outdoor art gallery at the Botanic Gardens railings started in 1996 as part of the first West End Festival.  Come and see a large variety of original art, craftwork and photography - meet the artists and maybe buy something! To exhibit call Lynne Scobbie 07779 977612.

If wet, come back another day!

Venue: Botanic Gardens, 730 Great Western Road Glasgow, G12 0UE

0141 276 1614

2. O2 Glasgow Mela    12:00pm - 8:00pm

also on Sunday 16 June 12:00pm - 8:00pm

For one weekend Kelvingrove Park will be transformed into an extravaganza of music, dance, exotic food and eclectic stalls with the 02 Glasgow Mela, Scotland’s biggest multi-cultural festival.   The two-day event is open to all ages, and includes family activities and an array of stalls to browse and food to try, as well as a richly diverse programme of colourful performances across three stages. Join us at Kelvingrove Park to celebrate the multi-cultural influences that make Glasgow so vibrant, creative and cosmopolitan.  Delivered by Glasgow Life.

Venue: Kelvingrove Park, G12

0141 334 6363

3. Lari Don: Little Red Riding Hood 11am and 2.30pm

 A magical experience for all the family.  The renowned children’s writer and storyteller Lari Don will read her stunning new retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, encouraging the listener to imagine fairy tales and magical journeys of their own.  Woodland crafts activities after and tasty baking! Age 4-7 and families.

Venue: North Kelvin Meadow, Clouston Street, Glasgow, G20

4. Peter MacCalman Symphony No 1 at 8pm

Performed by the Cappella String Quartet and piano.  Popular and contemporary composition collide in an exploration of the symphony – a format rooted in the classical tradition of Western Europe, yet one that has evolved and changed from its original meanings and structure. Rooted in today’s culture, but incorporating and respecting the history of the symphony, Peter MacCalman’s work uses chamber-sized forces to produce music on a symphonic scale.  “Sonorously atmospheric live music composed for string quartet by Peter MacCalman” - Herald 2007.

Booking and ticket info: Tickets £12

Available from or 0141 357 4000

Venue: Cottier Theatre, 93-95 Hyndland Street Glasgow

Sunday 16th

1. Kids Creative Corner 12-5pm

Why not bring the kids along this afternoon for some fun food and arty-crafts? Pop in to the Lansdowne between 12 and 5 where the kids can occupy themselves in a fun way while Mum and Dad can eat lunch in peace and quiet?

Booking and ticket info:

Tickets £5 per child. Info 
0141 334 4653

Venue: Lansdowne Bar, 7a Lansdowne Crescent Glasgow G20 6NQ

0141 334 4653

2. FREE - Queen Margaret Drive 
– Street Festival (also on Sat 15th)  12:00pm - 6:00pm

Come and join the West End Festival’s latest community street event in Queen Margaret Drive, just to the north of Byres Road. We have a great selection of independent shops and businesses. Join us for music, craft beer, authentic food, art and craft workshops, street stalls, vintage clothing, face painting and children’s activities. Families welcome and parking free!

3. RSNO Chamber Series: 
Classical Strings  2:30pm

Relax and unwind on a Sunday afternoon with the RSNO Chamber Series. This is a refreshing chance to hear the musicians of the Orchestra up close and personal, performing music by great composers in an intimate setting. Join our quintet of strings for a concert of celebrated classical chamber music, including Wolf’s Italian Serenade and Schubert’s String Quintet in C major.

Booking and ticket info:

Tickets £12, disabled £6, under 26 £5, under 16 free (max 2 with paying adult)

Venue: St Mary's Cathedral, 300 Great Western Road Glasgow, G4 9JB

0141 339 6691

4. Storytelling: 
Julia Donaldson Favourites - 10.30am

Celebrate Father’s Day with a collection of Julia Donaldson stories. Tam Dean Burn will read Tales from Acorn Wood in the morning (Family event but best for under 5’s).and The Gruffalo stories in the afternoon (Family event but best for under 8’s). Music from Emma Schad and Andy Alston.  There will be crafts, face painting, home baking and, in the afternoon children can meet The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child!

10:30am Tales from Acorn Wood.  
2pm The Gruffalo and Gruffalo’s Child event


www.childrenswood.comVenue: North Kelvin Meadow, Clouston Street Glasgow G20

5. The Mackintosh Choir Sings “America!” 7pm

After our very successful launch at last year’s West End Festival, please join us for another wonderful night of song, this time with an American theme. We will delight you with many familiar songs, songs from the shows, exciting Aaron Copland songs, and many more.

Booking and ticket info:

Tickets £7 (children £3) at the door or in advance from choir members

Venue: Mackintosh Church, Queen’s Cross 870 Garscube Road Glasgow G20 7EL

0141 946 6600