On the Road Again

Although the ‘K’ in KOS refers to Kirkcaldy – Orchestral Society, the strapline ‘Fife’s Community Orchestra’ is a far more descriptive title with members of the group coming from all parts of Fife (Edinburgh as well) and the players reflecting a wide range of experience and age. Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society has for many years now operated at a high level of expertise and performance while also embracing engagement in the community through specific projects. Up to seven events feature in the Orchestra’s annual calendar and taking its orchestral performance to different parts of Fife has become an accepted part of that calendar.  In the last six years, KOS has performed in Cupar and several times in Dunfermline, those concerts in addition to the regular performances given in the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy.

In March 2019, KOS breaks new ground with a concert in Anstruther and members are looking forward to performing in The (new) Waid Academy on Friday 22nd March at 7.30pm.

The concert will be repeated on Sunday 24th March in at 3pm Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk.


The Orchestra has been welcomed to The Waid Academy by the Rector and Community Use and the players will be excited to have a large audience to appreciate their efforts.


The full 2018/19 season has had a theme of Fact and Fiction with programme content based on music connected to theatre, stage, films and the written word. The March concerts programme includes the Overture to The Yeomen of the Guard, music from the radio – By the Sleepy Lagoon and Calling All Workers by Eric Coates as well as John Williams Olympic Spirit and Moross’s The Big Country film theme. Also featured will be a special violinist, Alison Miller from Lundin Links and a former Head Girl of The Waid Academy. With the orchestra, she will play the Saint-Saens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso  and some other short pieces.


A special mention must go to Isobel Grieve, an S6 pupil at Madras College whose composition for the orchestra ‘Paragon of Vice’ was as the result of invitation following her successful involvement last session in the KOS Schools Composition Project led by John Gourlay.


On Friday 22nd March the venue is The Waid Academy, Anstruther, 7.30pm.

On Sunday 24th March the venue is the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy, 3pm.


Tickets are available from members of the Orchestra, at the door and by phoning Maureen on 07770 332812. Ticket price includes a free programme.

The orchestra is making a special offer to school-age attenders on 22nd March – entry for £1.

Winter 2018

KIRKCALDY ORCHESTRAL SOCIETY presents Fact and Fiction 2 Winter, the second programme of its 2018/2019 season ‘Fact and Fiction’ on Sunday 16th December in Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk. There will be two performances, at 2pm and 4pm.

Under the themed title of ‘Fact and Fiction’, the season’s programmes of music are influenced by stage, screen, radio, theatre and general media. A highly successful first concert was given at the start of October in the Orchestra’s home, the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy.

The Winter programme continues the long established annual tradition of a narrated story with music, something which KOS started away back in 1985. This year, the featured story is The Tale of The Red Etin in a brand new version with music by John Gourlay. Joining the orchestra for the story are Narrator Sandra Taylor and the Langtoun Singers.

Christmas music will feature strongly in the programme too with a variety of approaches to the season. In addition to their role in The Red Etin, the Langtoun Singers will give their own performance and also lead the audience in a carol sing-along, another traditional feature of KOS December concerts.

KOS has been working very hard in preparation and is delighted to learn of audience anticipation given the high level of ticket sales to date. There are very few tickets left but availability can be confirmed through members, by contacting kirkcaldyorchestralsociety@gmail.com or by phoning 07770 332812.

Tickets should be secured in advance as there will be no on-the-day seating expansion over the capacity

Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society Schools Composition Project 2018-2019

KOS Comp Proj 18-19 2










The fifth composition project is now well under way with six young composers from Dunfermline High School and The Waid Academy, Anstruther. Annie, Beth, Chiara, Dan, Orla and Shannon are writing trios which will be performed by members of the orchestra at a special concert on Tuesday 26 March 2019 in Kirkcaldy Old Kirk.KOS Comp Proj 18-19 1

2018 Season Begins

KIRKCALDY ORCHESTRAL SOCIETY (Fife’s Community Orchestra) with members from across Fife and the Lothians opened its 2018/2019 concert season on 2nd October in the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy with FACT AND FICTION – 1, Autumn.

The Orchestra Leader is Vince Gray, and Musical Director and Conductor, Graeme Wilson.


Since its opening night in the middle of August, the Orchestra members have worked very hard to produce its first programme of music and the capacity audience showed its great appreciation of their efforts.

With a season of music based on stage, film, theatre and the written word, the unifying image of a typewriter features on the orchestra’s printed material. Appropriately, then, the season’s theme music is Leroy Anderson’s The Typewriter. The orchestra opened the programme with a light and bubbly performance.


In 2014, KOS featured Tunes from the Trenches as a commemoration of the outbreak of World War 1 and it was repeated at this year’s October concert to mark commemorations for the ending of the conflict. The music’s evocative and effective ending with the Last Post interweaved allowed the audience to reflect.

Banks of Green Willow by George Butterworth had similar connotations given his early death in the Somme in 1916.

The often traditional solo spot in the concert was filled by the KOS ensemble, six violins including guest Alison Miller, plus bass guitar and piano. The group performed four film themes in arrangements by Graeme Wilson including Schindler’s List and Toy Story.

Now fades the glimmering landscape by John Gourlay was given its first performance in the version for orchestra and was followed by the first movement of Borodin’s second symphony. The concert rounded off with the three dance scenes from The Bartered Bride energetically played by the 70-strong orchestra.

The programme presented KOS members with great challenge not the least of which was the constant playing required. The players gave a resounding assurance of their skills and power with piece after piece building on success.

KOS returns to the platform on Sunday 16th December when it joins with the Langtoun Singers for FACT AND FICTION – 2, Winter, a programme of seasonal music, including The Red Etin by John Gourlay, in the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy, performances at 2pm and 4pm.

Opening the New Season

‘FACT and FICTION’ is the title of and theme for the KIRKCALDY ORCHESTRAL SOCIETY, Fife’s Community Orchestra’s 2018/2019 busy season with the opening concert on Tuesday 2nd October. All of the music for the year has its roots on stage, screen, radio, theatre and in the written word, and with a link from all these to necessary scripts, the appropriate image of an old-fashioned typewriter is prominent on the visual publicity. Indeed, the Orchestra’s theme music for the year is Leroy Anderson’s well-known version of The Typewriter.


The concert will feature a tribute to the memory of all those involved in and affected by World War 1. Tunes from the Trenches was first performed by KOS in 2014 and the Orchestra is proud to repeat the composition. A further connected composition is that by WW1 soldier composer George Butterworth with a performance of his evocative Banks of Green Willow. The KOS Ensemble will treat the audience to four film themes and the programme includes the first movement of Borodin’s second symphony, completed by John Gourlay’s Now fades the glimmering landscape and the three dance scenes from Smetana’s The Bartered Bride.


On Tuesday 2nd October the orchestra will present this first concert of its season at 7.30pm in its permanent home of Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk.


Orchestra numbers have risen lately with the arrival of some new members and almost 70 will make up the performing strength. KOS resumed for the season in mid-August and with a short preparation period, the first performance is eagerly anticipated.


Tickets for the concert are available from Orchestra members, by emailing kirkcaldyorchestralsociety@gmail.com or by phoning 07770 332812. Or come along on the night and pay at the door. £8 adults, £4 children. Free programme.

FACT! The new season begins.

“FACT and FICTION” is Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society’s theme for its 2018/2019 season music and programmes.

The members will reassemble on Tuesday 14th August for the new season, rehearsing in its now established new home and regular venue of Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk, 6.45 – 9.15pm.

The selection of music for the orchestra’s work is as important for the players as it is for any potential audience and Musical Director and Conductor Graeme Wilson always has to balance these two factors in his choice of repertoire.

“FACT and FICTION” has as its basis music from the stage, screen, radio and written word with some film music, stories and theme tunes.

Plans for the year include concerts – on Tuesday 2nd October with more than a passing nod to remembrance of the end of World War 1, – on Sunday 16th December along with the Langtoun Singers and offering seasonal music and a new narrated story, – an appearance at Fife Festival of Music in February and two concerts in March. On 22nd March, KOS will perform at The Waid Academy, Anstruther and on Sunday 24th March at the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy. These two performances will feature solo violinist Alison Miller along with the orchestra in Saint-Saens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso and other pieces. The now well established ‘Extra’ concert, featuring a mix of classical and contemporary music, will take place on 30th April.

KOS, Fife’s Community Orchestra, currently draws its members from across Fife, Edinburgh and the Lothians and always welcomes new members. There is space in most departments of the orchestra for new players to participate.


Further information from kirkcaldyorchestralsociety@gmail.com

Open night

KIRKCALDY ORCHESTRAL SOCIETY, Fife’s Community Orchestra, opened its doors for a successful, one-off extra rehearsal evening on Tuesday 5h June at its base, Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk. Current members were joined by several new payers in the clarinet, percussion, viola, violin and double bass sections for the ‘Open Evening’ of music making.


Sight reading is the main skill in use at such an event and players were challenged with music as diverse as Borodin’s second symphony, Leroy Anderson’s Syncopated Clock and The Fife Festival Suite – this latter giving young players a real chance to participate (and all players a short passage of music to sing!). Contemporary mode was sampled too with ‘The Walker Round’ by John Gourlay.

Phil Randall delighted the orchestra with the slow movement of Vaughan Williams’ Tuba Concerto allowing the players the role of accompanying.


KOS’s work for the 2018/2019 season commences on Tuesday 14th August, 6.45pm, at the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy.


Fife’s Community Orchestra, Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society, welcomes new members and players, and as prelude to the new season (starting on 14th August) is holding an OPEN EVENING on Tuesday 5th June at its base, Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk in Kirk Wynd. KOS is open to all players without any audition and this event allows new players to try out some music and sample the atmosphere.


Of course the event is open to present KOS members providing a summer term opportunity for them to keep the dust off their instruments while inviting any players in the area to join in. Could be some who haven’t played for a long time, could be a new arrival in the area, could be young players setting out on the path of musical life, in fact, anyone at all with an orchestral instrument.


The PLACE: The Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1EH; the DATE: Tuesday 5th June 2018; the TIME: 6.45 pm (until 9 pm); the COST: £3.

Bring your instrument and a stand, music will be provided. There will be pieces to challenge and pieces to enjoy, some easy items for anyone unsure of their abilities. One or two of the pieces may feature in the Orchestra’s 2018/19 season so a sneak preview will be on offer. There will be something new and something old: there may even be a surprise!

Enquiries to kirkcaldyorchestralsociety@gmail.com

The Trumpets Sounded!

Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society, Fife’s Community Orchestra, gave two performances of its Spring Programme at the weekend, the first on Friday 16th March at Queen Anne High School, Dunfermline and the other in the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy on Sunday 18th March. Eager audiences were keen to hear the Orchestra’s work since Christmas with a full house at the Sunday performance.


The main work on the programme was the Trumpet Concerto by Bruce Fraser, one composition of three which KOS has featured this season and following Bruce’s sudden death a year ago. The Trumpet Concerto was originally written for John Wallace, Fife Youth Orchestra and Graeme Wilson, and conductor Wilson and soloists teamed up this time with KOS. Joining the solo line-up was Kate Cooper playing flugelhorn. Kate is a 4th year student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was delighted to join with former RCS Principal John Wallace in the concerto.


Other music featured in the programme presented by the 60 members of KOS included the Overture and Act 1Polka from The Bartered Bride, Cedric Thorpe Davie’s Diversions on a Tune by Dr Arne and music from the ballet Pineapple Poll which involves a potpourri of cleverly arranged music from Gilbert and Sullivan operas.


Work continues for KOS when on Tuesday 20th March, its Schools Composition Project concluded with an event at the Old Kirk (now home to KOS) and featuring pupils from Madras College and Woodmill High School, Dunfermline along with members of the Orchestra.

The Orchestra’s ‘Extra’ classical/contemporary concert takes place on 1st May, 7.30pm, in the Old Kirk and there is an Open Rehearsal on 5th June at 6.45pm in the Old Kirkcaldy, an evening for members, new players, orchestral musicians of all ages.

KOS resumes for the 2018/19 season on Tuesday 14th August.

March Concerts

The airwaves in Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy will be buzzing in the middle of March when Fife’s Community Orchestra, the KIRKCALDY ORCHESTRAL SOCIETY, gives forth its bright and lively programme.

With a season’s theme of … Variations on a Theme …, the Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society reaches Variation 4 and presents concerts at Queen Anne High School, Dunfermline on Friday 16th March, 7pm, and at the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy on Sunday 18th March, 3pm.


The main work in the programme is the Trumpet Concerto by Bruce Fraser whose sudden death a year ago shocked the musical world. In a tribute to Bruce, KOS Musical Director and Conductor Graeme Wilson has included one of Bruce’s works in each of the orchestra’s concerts this season.

The soloists will be John  Wallace, CBE, former Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, founder of The Wallace Collection etc, and Kate Cooper, a 4th year student at the RCS and a former pupil of Queen Anne High School. Conductor Graeme Wilson was Principal Teacher of Music at Queen Anne High School from 1977 until 1995.


The Trumpet Concerto was written for and first performed by John Wallace with Graeme Wilson and the Fife Youth Orchestra in 2002 giving four performances including at the Festivals of British Youth Orchestras in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Other works in the concerts  include the Overture and Polka from The Bartered Bride by Smetana and Pineapple Poll, Sir Arthur Sullivan’s music from G&S operas reformed into a ballet and scored by Charles Mackerras.


Tickets for the (Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline) concerts are £8 for adults and £4 for children (a free programme is included). These are available from Orchestra members or by phoning 07473 752369 (for Dunfermline tickets) or 07770 332812.

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