thepencil: January 2009

Here we thank Jimmy Allan for his time in the choir, review the Christmas concerts, St Andrews night and get the round up on what else has been happening. Regular items on the quiz, dates for your diary and future concerts also feature.

Jimmy Allan

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Jimmy Allan our much-loved baritone decided to hang up his music folder in the past session and was presented with a certificate, a cheque and also a bottle of something to keep out the chill! Jimmy has been a wonderful choir member over many many years and he will be greatly missed. His readings were the highlight of many a concert. Who can forget David and Goliath, Deputation to the Manse, Larkhall Cheese, The Jumble Sale and many many more. It was of great interest to Choir members to watch the reaction of the audiences to Jimmy. Some were not sure whether to laugh or not. Others were crying with enjoyment. What a talent he has. Well done Jimmy and our best wishes.

Christmas concerts

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Gordon decided that when singing the Christmas songs we should have an in-house percussion section. The instruments were handed out to members who lacked musical ability. Their efforts were appreciated more by Choir members than the audiences!

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The Choir's concert at Blantyre was well received. We even sang Christmas Crackers complete with Santa. Gordon really suits this style of hat!

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The Bowler hats aka Laurel and Hardy with friends performed once again. Ian Harkness , the new guitar accompanist, was as you can see, greatly influenced by the style of Elvis Pressley.

Number 1s Christmas quiz

Each letter represents a word in a song:

DTKIC
MCE
MAW
WACIB
MXE
WYB
MBC
LTC
SD
IHAD
AMLT
CA

The first correct answer to be received by the president will win a CD of a very famous local choir.

St Andrews night in Stonehouse

The 2008 St Andrew's Night had a capacity audience and was much enjoyed by everyone. Highlights, almost too many to detail included a tribute to the Proclaimers from Robert Hamilton and Hugh McMillan, a new song to us called " A Kiss from Wishaw Cross" sung brilliantly by Ray
Ashe, an innovative pantomime arranged by David Brown with contributions from Ken Mackie, Ian Gray and George Russell, a reading from our own Secretary Bill Miller, songs from Walter McLaren and Past President Dickson, two contributions from the Jolly B's whose team included the
Harkness family, John Hamilton, Dave Smith, Jimmy Meikle, David Bryden and Alistair Mackie.

A big surprise was Alison Millar, rumoured to be related to our conductor who performed "The Quine Who Did The Strip At Inverurie" to great applause. Her dress and make up was complemented by two feather boas lent to her by Ray Ashe. Say no more!

As usual there was a big finale and this time this was no exaggeration as there were 19 members of the choir singing solos. All performed well and have given our conductor some ideas for the future.

The producer is considering some ideas for 2009 and has enrolled David Bryden and George Russell to assist. Anyideas would be most welcome.The committee has decided that we have outgrown
Stonehouse Bowling Club and we will be heading for a new and bigger venue in November.

Other news

In December 2008 we were saddened to learn of the death of Jackie Stewart for many years a stalwart in the first tenors. The funeral was well attended by choir members for Jackie was a very popular man with a wicked sense of humour. This humour was even evident at the funeral with
the music chosen by him" My Way " from the Choir CD being played as we left the crematorium. This achieved I am sure his desired effect with all of us leaving with a smile.

Our own Cathy is well settled in Avonhaugh and greatly appreciates the many visits from choir members. The Jolly B's performed for her recently and Cathy was given a tambourine to show off her musical skills to the other residents.

While mentioning the Jolly B's, this group under musical director George Russell gives up to 12 concerts a year to small groups and organisations. At full strength there can be 11 choir members involved. Keep on going lads! Our concerts in the past session have been well attended and even Gordon has been nearly pleased with them. Our highlight was probably at Stewarton although the concerts at South Parish Church East Kilbride, Cadzow Parish Church Hamilton and the Christian Aid concert in Blantyre were enjoyable. We also fully participated in the Stonehouse Christian Aid concert.

And we now have our own all singing and dancing electric piano which is transportable. No more badly tuned pianos at concerts now! With our own staging and piano, surely we must be heading for the West End!

Dates for your diary

Monday 2 February 09 Hope Hall Baillieston
Friday 20 February 09 St Andrew’s Parish, Carluke
Thursday 5 March 2009 St Andrew’s Church, Coatbridge
Annual concert 19/20 March 2009
Massed choirs 27 March 2009
Annual general meeting date to be confirmed

Future concerts

5 October 2009. St Machans Church Larkhall Joint concert with Hamilton CBC in aid of the Machan Trust.

22 October 2009. Possible concert in Biggar Kirk as part of the Biggar Little Arts Festival.

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