SCOTLAND
October 19-26 2002


The Welsh pride themselves in the wonderful camaraderie that exists between fellow Celtic nations. That is the fundamental reason why Treorchy choristers have long-since expressed their eagerness to tour Scotland. This was the first occasion for the Choir to travel this far north since their 1953 exchange visits with the Glasgow Police Choir and its Conductor Farquhar MacDonald.

Andrew Badham was the musical director of the tour with Janice Ball as accompanist and soloist Paul Kay. The lengthy journey to the north of England, with a rest in Worcester, saw the Choir reach the beautiful town of Harrogate by late afternoon and settle into the Imperial Hotel before rehearsal in the magnificent Royal Concert Hall. This truly awesome building was a wonder to perform in.

On the following morning the Choir boarded the buses and headed further north over the Scottish border, stopping at Alnwick for lunch. Having crossed the Forth Bridge, the Choir reached the King Malcolm Hotel in Dunfermline and settled into their rooms before
enjoying the journey into the heart of the beautiful city of Edinburgh. The concert venue was the Queen’s Hall and the Choir gave an excellent performance.

 

A free day allowed the choristers to visit Dunfermline and despite the wet weather, members wandered through the streets and settled into a local watering hole. Later in the afternoon they undertook a two hour journey to the quiet town of Hawick. It was a delight for the choristers when they realised that legendary rugby commentator Bill McLaren had accepted their invitation to attend the performance. Accompanied by his wife Betty, this wonderful couple were a joy to entertain. Bill, of course, posed for photographs, signed programmes and answered some rugby trivia. The concert performance was enjoyable, and during the event a presentation was made to Mr McLaren on stage.


 
Another free day in Dunfermline was followed by a journey to the charming city of Dundee. At 4pm choristers were ushered into the Mayor’s Parlour in Dundee for a delightful Civic Reception.

Gifts were exchanged and as a vote of appreciation the choir performed "Men of Harlech" for the civic dignitaries of Dundee. Then it was a walk across the main square to the magnificent Caird Hall with its truly outstanding auditorium.

Following an early breakfast on Wednesday, the Choir headed to Glasgow and reached the Royal Philharmonic Hall, undoubtedly the most impressive auditorium in Scotland and certainly one of the largest the Choir performed in.

After surveying the scene choristers were ushered to a local shopping mall to perform a selection of items for the passing crowd to assist in selling more tickets for the evening performance. For the remainder of the free time in the city, choristers walked Solihall Street before ending up in the Horseshoe Bar for a meal.

At the evening concert there were some very special guests in the audience, namely the Glasgow Phoenix Choir. It is this organisation that, as its name suggests, rose from the ashes of the old Glasgow Orpheus Choir. Its legendary conductor, Sir Hugh Roberton, was a close friend of Treorchy’s founder conductor, John Haydn Davies.

Therefore it seemed apt that tonight both choirs rekindled this friendship and invited their conductor on stage to receive a Choir shield. A presentation was also given to the Lord Provost and a Member of the Scottish Parliament. The Choir’s performance was superb as choristers really sang their hearts out to ensure a top performance for the specialist crowd.
 

Thursday was a free day of the tour and was enjoyed by one and all. Many choristers hired minibuses and travelled into Edinburgh for plenty of fun, visiting the castle and sampling the many drinking establishments along Rose Street. On the following morning the Choir undertook a two-hour journey to Anstruther and booked into the Crow’s Nest on the windy seafront. The evening performance was the highlight of the tour as far as concert performances were concerned. The Choir travelled to the Rothes Hall in Glenrothes to find the auditorium packed to capacity and the crowd were on an absolute high throughout the entire performance.

Following a free day in Anstruther, the Choir prepared for the journey to St Andrews where choristers were reunited with old friends at the New Golf Club. They were frequent visitors to this establishment during previous rugby international weekends north of the border. The last concert of the tour at the Younger Hall was a total triumph. The choristers were on top form and their performance was absolutely superb. Following the victorious final night the Choir visited the New Golf Club for a buffet and an enjoyable hour with old friends, sampling their finest whiskey, singing a host of songs and ending the tour on a high note before the return journey to Wales on the following morning.


To view the full tour report click here

Concert List

Oct 19             Royal Concert Hall, Harrogate

Oct 20             Queens Hall, Edinburgh

Oct 21             Town Hall, Hawick

Oct 22             Caird Hall, Dundee

Oct 23             Shopping Mall, Glasgow

Oct 23             Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

Oct 25             Rothes Hall, Glenrothes

Oct 26             Younger Hall, St Andrews



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