Haddo society on song with recent successes

Cathy Guthrie, HHCOS Fund Raising Co-ordinator, receiving the award cheque from Pamela Calder, Community Liaison Officer, John Lewis Partnership Aberdeen Branch.
Cathy Guthrie, HHCOS Fund Raising Co-ordinator, receiving the award cheque from Pamela Calder, Community Liaison Officer, John Lewis Partnership Aberdeen Branch.

HADDO Choral and Operatic Society has more than one reason to celebrate this week, following the success for one of their sopranos in a local music festival and the awarding of a major grant to support future productions.

Udny soprano Louise McGregor, who sings regularly with the Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society, triumphed in the ‘Soprano Open’ contest at the recent Abereen and North East Scotland Music Festival. Delivering a sparkling rendition of ‘Je Me Vivre’ from Gounod’s opera ‘Romeo and Juliet’ together with an exquisite performance of a short song by Rachmaninov, ensured that she saw off the competition in the eight-strong field, which was judged by top soprano Patrician McMahon,

Louise’s victory entitled her to perform in the Vocal Challenge at the Gala concert at the Cowdray Hall on the closing night of the festival. Accompanied by her singing teacher Alice Dennis, she competed against 3 other winners for the Simpson cup, where she added ‘Silent Noon’ by Vaughan Williams to her other two songs.

The society was given further reason to celebrate with the news that it was to receive a grant of £2,000 from the John Lewis Partnership Music Matters fund. The money will be used to support the two main events in the Society’s forthcoming 2011-12 season: Haydn’s “Imperial” Nelson Mass and a concert performance of Purcell’s “Dido & Aeneas” on 1 October 2011; and a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, “Patience” on 14,15 and 16 April 2012.

The society’s Musical Director, Alice E Dennis, said “The John Lewis Partnership have been generous supporters over a number of years and we are thrilled that they recognise the contribution that the Society’s productions make to the musical life of North East Scotland. We welcome singers from all walks of life, all ages and abilities, and take pride in aiming for the highest possible standards whilst giving amateur singers the chance to perform with professional directors, soloists and production teams. Thanks in part to this grant, over 130 singers, soloists, and musicians will be bringing this music to a potential audience of 800 people.“

Pamela Calder, Community Liaison Co-ordinator, John Lewis Aberdeen said “I’m delighted that John Lewis have been able to provide further funding to the Haddo Choral & Operatic Society this year. It’s fantastic that music lovers in the North East will have the opportunity to experience such high quality musical performances, and I wish them every success.”

Full details of the Haddo Choral & Operatic Society’s 2011-12 programme can be found on the Society web site, www.haddochoral.org.uk