Friday, March 20, 2009

1984 revisited: The choir

Choir of '84
Originally uploaded by goforchris.
Shortly after the Miners' Gala, our church choir, led by Mr B, took part in a festival of choral music in the Cathedral of The Isles, Cumbrae. This choir was a delight - they sang in tune and sensitively, they were well-disciplined, they read music, they had sweet voices. And, as you can see from the photo, the majority of them were children: the head chorister was about 14 when this photo was taken. In fact, the adult voices were one per part, with Mr B doubling as bass - and it occurs to me that at least two teenage choristers are missing from this photo.

What is obvious, however, is the fact that they are not happy. For this was their last trip together before the tidal wave from the activities detailed in the last few posts swept this choir away: the organist was relieved of his job and most of the choir left with him. A few stayed on with his replacement - and it is interesting now to wonder if he would have been so hastily despatched had there not been an eager wannabee waiting in the wings - but there was to follow an entirely barren period in the musical life of this church which lasted for some years.

And it's a sad fact that these children had a sudden and unpleasant encounter with the realities of church life, with the effect that most of those pictured here didn't really darken the door of a church again. But today I'm remembering them with joy and pride. They were a great bunch, and I loved singing with them.

This post is dedicated to the memory of Craig, Head Chorister. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

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