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Performance at the Acorn Centre, Inverurie

Updated: Apr 21, 2022

The successful première of Ben Lunn’s Rhymes and Recollections, composed in collaboration with us and Ugie Voices also signalled the retirement of Richard Ingham as our Music Director.

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 that we walked into the auditorium we felt welcome and the appreciation lasted right down to the end of the last conversation and ‘meet the composer’ over coffee in the foyer afterwards.

How wonderful that the premiere of new music was greeted with such enthusiasm.

Some of the audience were there because of an interest in the local poet William Thom whose poetry was the inspiration for Ben Lunn’s composition. They weren't disappointed. Gordon Hay, our local Doric expert, gave full-bodied renditions of three poems in between singing in Ugie Voices.

“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 R & R more than he expected to” Heather

We were also proud of ourselves for tackling such an enormous work, ( 30 mins of music) with a lot of the early stages being done over zoom during Covid restrictions and all the rehearsing, including a bitterly cold outdoor one, being done with social distancing in place.

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.

“Re the texts settings, 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.

This was a terrible pity after all the work that they’d put in, but everyone else rallied round wonderfully.

Prior to our première of Rhymes & Recollections, we presented a programme of three pieces by each group to showcase our usual repertoires. In the case of ASO we premiered a piece that we had commissioned from our musical director Richard Ingham in memory of one of our players. So the audience were treated to not just one première of newly composed music, but two!


Richard Ingham and Benn Lunn receiving a well deserved applause
The Two Composers receiving their well-deserved applause

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

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