Choral’s 60 years of fine music

THE 60th consecutive Spring Concert of the Montrose and District Choral Society will be held next Sunday (April 29), at 7.30pm in the Town Hall.

It was under the baton of Marjorie Fyfe, during her 16-year tenure as musical director between 1956 and 1972, that the regular pattern of annual concerts was established.

This year, as a celebration of the diamond jubilee, the choir will perform a programme which reflects the enormous variety of works performed at these popular spring concerts over the past 60 years.

As has become the tradition, the programme will feature one major choral piece, which this year is Carl Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’.

The 24 poems which make up ‘Carmina Burana’ were set to music by Carl Orff in 1936, and quickly became a staple work in the classical music repertoire. The opening and closing movement, ‘O Fortuna’, has been used in countless films, television advertisements and, of course, is currently the introductory music to the X-Factor.

‘Carmina Burana’ is one of the most popular pieces of music ever written and performed.

In addition, the programme will include excerpts from Faure’s ‘Requiem’, and on a lighter note the ‘Hippopotamus Song’ by Michael Flanders and Donald Swann, which became the signature tune of the late Ian Wallace.

Other popular favourites will also be performed.

The choir will be conducted by its musical director Ralph Jamieson, and as well as their regular concert accompanist, Arthur Balfour, there will be additional musical support by Graeme Stevenson on piano, Fiona Ewen on timpani, Leah Farquhar, Murray Jamieson, Peter Jamieson, Isobel Luke on percussion and by Anne Webster on oboe.

There are around 30 members in the choir and it will include one lady member, Angela Martin, who also sang at their very first Spring Concert in 1952.

The Choral Society has received a generous financial donation from GlaxoSmithKline in support of this year’s Jubilee concert.

GSK are themselves celebrating 60 years of business in Montrose this year. A choir spokeswoman said: “Their continued support, and that of many other local companies and businesses, recognises the important contribution that the Choral Society has made to the cultural life of the town over the decades.”

Tickets for the concert are priced £10 for adults, £8 concessions and £2 for children; and are available from choir members or at the door on the night.

The Choral Society is always keen to attract new members.

Anyone interested can contact the choir at