Saturday, July 12, 2008
A high old time
This, it has to be said, was one of the best incarnations of Cumbrae Cathedral Choir that I've experienced. Eight voices, nae passengers, old friends from University Chapel Choir and early days in teaching, sopranos without a wobble, either mental or vocal. We were able to sing through everything and concentrate on unanimity, and no-one lost their cool for so much as a flicker. And in between we giggled like school kids - remember, only two of us were under 60 - and the years vanished.
The service was joyous - clouds of incense, some great music (from Boyce's All the Ends of the Earth through to Britten's wonderful Festival Te Deum), +Martin's address of welcome. At the end, we watched with interest as a small pipe band appeared over the lawn: would they strike up before Jonathan Cohen had finished his Vidor? But no; they were well-briefed and there were no hiccups other than a degree of mild hysteria.
Afterwards, of course, there was the photo-op (I handed my Leica to Frank, fresh from Texas via Aberdeen). This was another flash-back moment, as it was this kind of event which propelled me into the arms of the Piskie Church in the first place, and when I have more time I shall scan a similar but ancient photo for comparison. (If you click the pic, you can see who was who). And people thanked us, over and over again. What do you say? It seemed wrong, somehow, to be thanked for having such a good time.
But the last word belongs to Martin, Bishop of Argyll. Emerging from the cathedral to the choir waiting in the porch at the end of the service, he punched the air: "Yes!" he said. "Amen!". Amen indeed.