"My Heart's in the Highlands" was a descriptive enough title to whet the appetite. In reality the concert presented a Celtic tour touching down once in Wales, thrice in Ireland with a quick deke over to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in honour of the diaspora, as well as homing in on the true Highland Folk. The proceedings were ably conceived, controlled and introduced by David Millard, resplendent in his Farquharson tartan, and superbly set off by two instrumental guests. Elisa Thorn, a noted teacher of harp in Vancouver and Greg Schnider, a long time member of the BC Uilleann Pipers' Society, jointly and severally, provided interludes to the choral action, as well as accompaniment to some of the choir's Scottish pieces.
A large and sympathetic audience greeted evey item with applause, sometimes sustained. They shared outrage at the shabby treatment meted out to Irish itinerants in their own country, may well have been mystified by Amergin's cryptic boasts in the poetry of Robert Graves and saddened by tales of love won, sought, and lost by, and occasionally in, the waters of lochs, lakes and seas - and that was just the first set!
One singer's favourites: the menacing trudge of English army boots underlaying the Loch Lomond melody in Jonathan Quick's amazing arrangement, Stanford's ineffable Blue Bird laying a shaky claim to another Irish slot, and the very English Vaughan Williams setting of the nonetheless very Scots "Ca' the Yowes." Finally it is noteworthy that amidst all this Gaelic-ry there was a preponderance of Canadian composers and arrangers - Millard, Peach, Quick, Healey, McGillivray, Calvert and Dainow. Good job all round!
Many thanks for the pictures taken at Trinity-St. Marks in Kits, mostly by Susie Smith:
The concert was repeated on Sunday June 17th at St Hilda's by the Sea Anglican Church in Sechelt and the choir is very grateful to the super audience in a sold out house. Guest Soprano Sara Douglas joined us for a performance of a setting of Ezra Pound's poem "The Tree" written for Sara by David Millard some years ago; David accompanied on the piano. On this occasion the men's performance of the Welsh hymn "Ar hyd y nos" was dedicated to the memory of Angie Nemeth and Beatrice Sorensen.
The concert photos were taken for us by Shendra Hannay