Finale of the specially composed concert was electric.

The Adopt a Music Creator project matches vocal and instrumental leisure-time music groups with some of the UK’s most promising music creators to collaborate on creating a new piece of music. The project leads to a premiere performance and broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

By John A. MacInnes
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 3:50 pm
The choir and orchestra pictured at the finale.

And that’s exactly what Ugie Voices and Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra did for their special concert titled, ‘Rhymes and Recollections’.

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

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

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, local Doric expert Gordon Hay gave full-bodied renditions of three of Thom's poems.

All those involved were rightly proud of themselves 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 was magnificent.

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.

In their set, ASO premiered a piece commissioned from Richard Ingham in memory of a players. So the audience were treated to not just one première of newly composed music, but two!

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