Every year the Dumfries Choral Society holds a special Christmas fundraiser and long-term BMA supporter Agnes Riley, as patron of the society, suggested they chose us as their 2013 appeal.
The audience at the society’s annual Christmas Concert, at St John’s Church on 15th December, were treated to an evening of joyful festive music and some community singing, under the conductorship of the Society’s new Musical Director Ian Hare. With a lovely candlelit setting and warm atmosphere, the choir sang out 3 well-known choruses from Handel’s Messiah, and performed Christus Natus Est by Cecilia McDowell, a modern Christmas medley containing some well-known Carols, in the first half.
A lighter second half including The Twelve Days of Christmas had some effective audience participation with minimal rehearsing! The evening was accompanied most impressively by Margaret Harvie on the piano, and John Morris, organist, who exemplified the range and quality of the fine St John’s organ. In the second half John Morris performed a thrilling and demanding organ solo ‘Carillon de Westminster’, written by French composer Louis Vierne, a fantasia on the Westminster chimes which have rung from the Palace’s clocktower (Big Ben its most famous bell) since 1858.
The Dumfries Choral Society also sang Carols for shoppers, who gave generously to the charity, and at the Christmas Concert a collection was made, and a cheque presented to Agnes, on behalf of BMA. Between the two events, on 7 and 15 December, the total sum raised was £1,000. The BMA is extremely grateful to all of the donors and especially to Agnes for such a great effort.
Earlier in 2013, a very spritely Agnes walked 30 miles coast to coast across the Lake District in aid of the Bhopal Medical Appeal. More power to your elbow Agnes! Agnes in her Lake District Walk, click here.