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Adopt a Music Creator blog: A Glow of Satisfaction

Full House - Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra

Making Music Blog

Sheila Biegala of Ugie Voices and Foss Foster of Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra (ASO) describe the grand finale of their performance of 'Rhymes and Recollections'.


What a wonderful feeling of warmth, a glow from the satisfaction of a job well done and an enthusiastic audience. Even the beautiful Acorn Centre glowed! From the moment we walked into the auditorium we felt welcome, and the appreciation lasted right down to the last minute.

“We came to the concert not knowing what to expect, this wasn’t the sort of thing we would normally listen to, but we enjoyed the music immensely.” - Allan


Some of the audience were there because of an interest in the poet William Thom who lived and worked in the area in early Victorian times. Ben Lunn discovered Thom's poetry while doing his research on the area, and it served as his inspiration for the composition ‘Rhymes and Recollections’. In between singing, our local Doric expert Gordon Hay gave full-bodied renditions of three of Thom's poems. The audience was certainly not disappointed!

”I thought it was really good that the programme had the full text of all the poems in it so we could follow along.” - Carol

We were proud to have re-awakened an interest in Thom’s works locally. Inverurie knew about Thom but his actual poetry seems not to be in current awareness which is a shame as it deserves a wider audience. 

”But my, wasn’t Thom a social commentator - documenting the grim way of life for so many ‘hidden’, impoverished Scots.” - Margaret

This section of the audience may have come primarily for the poetry but they listened to the music and enjoyed it.


”… my husband enjoyed the programme from beginning to end and enjoyed ‘Rhymes and Recollections’ more than he expected to. ”- Heather

We were also proud of ourselves for tackling such an enormous work, a full 30 minutes of music, and the challenging early stages of online Zoom rehearsals and socially-distanced outdoor rehearsals in bitterly cold temperatures.

Ben’s music is intricate and complex with unusual harmonies, making it challenging and exciting - well worth making the effort as the effect created is magnificent.

“On the text, this was not the easiest music for the choir to sing, I’d guess, but they went at it with enormous commitment and belief. The orchestra, of course, were terrific - what a sound!“ - Margaret

Thanks to Covid, six of our members had to miss the final show which was a terrible pity after all the work that they’d put in, but everyone else rallied round wonderfully. Ben sang with the choir as did their MD James Campbell who had already nobly taken a back seat so that ASO’s MD Richard Ingham could conduct the combined ensemble. The choir’s accompanist, Mathew McVey also joined the singers.

Prior to our première of ‘Rhymes & Recollections‘, we presented a programme of three pieces by each group to showcase their usual repertoires. In their set, ASO premiered a piece commissioned from their MD Richard Ingham in the memory of one of their players. So the audience were treated to not just one première of newly composed music, but two! How wonderful that new music is greeted with such enthusiasm.

Ben should be really proud of his inspired creation and the excited buzz of congratulations at the end will stay with us for a long time.

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