ARBROATH Choral Society’s concert in St Andrew’s Church at 7.30 p.m. on Sunday, April 17, will open with Robert Browning’s poem ‘The Pied Piper’ set to music by Hubert Parry.
First performed in 1905, this is a beautifully written work where Parry has cleverly matched the music to Browning’s words. When the children are running and skipping so too is the music.
When the door in the mountainside opens slowly to let the children in, the music reflects the awe and wonder of the event.
The mood then changes dramatically with ‘Agnus Dei’ arranged by Kenneth Jennings. This is a vocal version of ‘Nimrod’ from the ‘Enigma Variations’ by Elgar.
The first half closes with the famous duet from Bizet’s ‘The Pearl Fishers’.
The second half is given over to Puccini’s ‘Messa di Gloria’. This was composed as an exam piece when Puccini was only 18. After its first performance in 1880 it was laid aside by Puccini, rediscovered in 1951 and performed in the United States in 1952. Interestingly the reviews of 1880 and 1952 are remarkably similar.
The orchestra comprises 30 musicians mostly drawn from Tayside. Musical director Jane Miller enjoys conducting both choir and orchestra. Rehearsals have been very ably supported by the accompanist, Alison Hart. The parts of the Mayor and Pied Piper will be sung by Ross McInroy and Tyler Clarke who will also perform the duet and the solos in ‘Messa Di Gloria’.
Arbroath’s Ross McInroy began singing with Sheena Guthrie. He won the Blue Riband at the Arbroath and District Music Festival in 1998. He began his studies at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama where he gained his BMus (Hons) and was awarded the Governor’s Recital Prize, Linn Choir Prize for Scots song and Mary D. Quant Scholarship. In 2009/10 Ross was a member of English National Opera’s ‘Opera Works’ programme. Ross graduated from the Royal College of Music International Opera School and the Royal Academy of Music (distinction award).
British-born tenor Tyler Clarke is studying at the National Opera Studio with Dennis O’Neill, CBE. Tyler is a recent graduate of the Royal College of Music International Opera School where he held the Gisela Gledhill Vocal Scholarship, Drapers’ de Turckheim Scholarship and the Peter Pears Vocal Scholarship.
Tickets, priced £8 for adults and £3 for children can be obtained from any choir member or by ‘phoning 01241 874228.