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

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.

Fife Council Instrumental Music Service

Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society is delighted to learn that Fife Council is not to make any cuts this year to its instrumental teaching provision.

The members of the Orchestra send good wishes to all those in the Service and look forward to maintaining a strong link for many years to come.

Graeme Wilson


Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society

Some Audience Feedback, December 17 Concert

The orchestra just gets better and better

 “Has the orchestra got bigger?

It is lovely to see and hear the church resounding
with Christmas carols from a full ‘congregation’!
It’s always a pleasure to listen to the concerts – I
especially enjoyed the Nutcracker pieces as they
were in my father’s LP record collection we played
often on the gramophone as children and so very

Old Kirk Trust Chair, Rosemary Potter.

Boy oh boy the concert today was a treat – a real touch of genius!! I hope you’ll pass on my congratulations and admiration to everyone involved on such an achievement. It was outstanding and, frankly, would be hard to better.

I’ve been telling so many people about the concert
on Sunday. I put a post on Facebook and ‘liked’ posts
by other people who’d been involved.
I thought the
orchestra made a wonderful job of ‘The Snow Queen’.
I’d forgotten how lovely it was. Sandra was just
fabulous. I heard every word too, and that’s not easy in
that acoustic. All in all a wonderful afternoon.”

Winter ’17 Press Release

Yet again, the Old Kirk was packed out twice on Sunday 17th December for Fife’s Community Orchestra, KIRKCALDYORCHESTRAL SOCIETY’s two performances – two needed to serve the audience clamour for tickets. Even the ‘House Full’ signs did not deter latecomers from seeking admission!

The 60 plus strong orchestra drawing members from across Fife and Edinburgh conducted by Graeme Wilson was joined for the occasion by The Langtoun Singers, conductor Ella Wilson, Narrator Sandra Taylor, with appropriate and colourful digital images from Anne McIntyre.

And so a warm and welcoming atmosphere set the scene for music making of the highest order. This was the second of KOS’s programmes in their current season. The music included movements from Tchaikowsky’s highly popular Nutcracker Ballet suite and The Dance of the Tumblers by Rimsky-Korsakov.
Carols were very much in evidence, first from the pen of composer John Gourlay, an intricate and charming set of French Carols used by Marc-Antoine Charpentier in his Midnight Mass. And more from John with his new arrangement of four carols for audience participation.
In keeping with tradition, KOS offered a story with music – this year, The Snow Queen.
KOS is performing three works throughout the season by recently deceased Fifer-based composer Bruce Fraser and his descriptive score for The Snow Queen with text by Jill Bennett after the Hans Christian Andersen tale appealed to the audience. The Narrator was Sandra Taylor.

The Langtoun Singers contributed strongly to the afternoon with three songs and introduced to the audiences a new carol composition by John Gourlay entitled This Child.

KOS and the Langtoun Singers can be heard again soon in Community Classes at the Fife festival of Music in the Adam Smith Theatre in the first week of February.
The orchestra’s next full performances will be ‘Variation 4, Spring’ on Friday 16th March in Queen Anne High School, Dunfermline and on Sunday 18th March in the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy, both concerts featuring the Trumpet Concerto by Bruce Fraser with soloists John Wallace and Kate Cooper.
Meanwhile, the Langtoun Singers present ‘Music in May’ on Friday 25th May in the Old Kirk.

December 17

KIRKCALDY ORCHESTRAL SOCIETY presents Variation 2 Winter, the second programme of its 2017/2018 season ‘Variations…on a Theme’ on Sunday 17th December in Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk. There will be two performances, at 2pm and 4pm.

Much of the music on offer relates directly to Christmas time with some pieces based on carols, others with wintery connections. A main feature will be the Story of The Snow Queen set to music by the late Bruce Fraser with KOS story teller and regular narrator Sandra Taylor. There will also be the first performance of John Gourlay’s Onze Noëls Après Charpentier, arrangements of traditional French carols which Marc-Antoine Charpentier used in his Messe de Minuit pour Noël.
The programme will also feature The Langtoun Singers both on their own and leading and supporting audience carol singing. The Singers will give the first performance of a new and beautiful carol, This Child, with words and music by John Gourlay.
Other seasonal music includes two movements from The Nutcracker by Tchaikowsky and The Dance of The Tumblers from Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden.
Audience participation will be encouraged and welcomed in a set of four carols for massed singing.

Tickets are available from members, by contacting or by phoning 07770 332812.
The Orchestra’s first concert in October was a sell-out and full houses are anticipated on 17th December. Tickets should be secured in advance as there will be no on-the-day seating expansion over the capacity.

1st Concert of the New Season

VARIATIONS are the order of the day for KIRKCALDY ORCHESTRAL SOCIETY, Fife’s Community Orchestra.

Its first concert takes place on Tuesday 3rd October at 7.30pm in Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk.


A new way of life has encompassed KOS with its recent transfer to the Old Kirk. For many years its main performing venue, Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk has become the Orchestra’s home and rehearsal base.


For its 2017/18 season, Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society has a Theme of ….. Variations!! With a subtle play on words, the Orchestra has a programme plan for the year which offers variety of music, of style, of speed, with choir, solos and ensembles.

Highlighting some of the BBC’s third Ten Pieces project, in its first performance the players will perform the slow movement from Dvorak’s New World Symphony, the Hoe-Down from Rodeo (Copland) and the Theme and three variations of Elgar’s Enigma set as well as the March from Thunderbirds. The Orchestra will be joined by Eilidh Randall to play Bruch’s Romanze for viola.

After a burst of seven weeks’ rehearsal, the Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society goes public on 3rd October.


Last year’s challenge set for the orchestra by Musical Director and Conductor Graeme Wilson to bring to the concert a new audience member resulted in a full house – and the hope is for a repeat of that on 3rd October. The music is particularly interesting for young people and they are especially welcome.


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

Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society, Fife’s Community Orchestra – Spreading Across Fife

Despite the Kirkcaldy title, KOS draws members from across the whole of Fife with some players crossing the Forth from Edinburgh and the Lothians.

The Orchestra is gearing up for the start of its new season of rehearsals and concerts. The opening night is Tuesday 15th August and there is a new location. No longer rehearsing at Balwearie High School, KOS is now based at Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk in Kirk Wynd.

For many years, Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society has performed most of its concert at the Old Kirk – and already feels at home where it will now be for all its functions.

Rehearsals begin at 6.45pm on Tuesday 15th August and there will be a warm welcome for all members and an invitation to new members to attend. There is space in most departments of the orchestra for new players to participate.

Plans for the year include concerts – on Tuesday 3rd October with a selection of short popular pieces as well as Eilidh Randall playing Bruch’s Romanze for viola and orchestra – on Sunday 17th December along with the Langtoun Singers and offering seasonal music including ballet music from Nutcracker, – an appearance at Fife Festival of Music in February and two concerts in March. On 16th March, KOS will perform at Queen Anne High School, Dunfermline and on Sunday 18th March at the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy. These two performances will include the trumpet Concerto by Bruce Fraser with soloists John Wallace and Kate Cooper.

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