Fife’s Community Orchestra, Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society, has a new home.
From the start of the 2017/18 season, the orchestra will be based in the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy and all rehearsals will take place there.
KOS already gives most of its season’s seven performances in the Old Kirk although it does appear on the Adam Smith Theatre stage during the Fife Festival of Music and then later in a non-Kirkcaldy venue – last three years at Dunfermline High School.
Rehearsals will commence on Tuesday 15th August 2017 at 6.45pm in the Old Kirk when new players will be welcome.
The first KOS concert of the season will be on Tuesday 3rd October when a programme of popular music will be presented.
Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society, Fife’s Community Orchestra, continues its 2016/2017 season forty Favourites, The Best Bits and Hits, with THE EXTRA BITS on Tuesday 2nd May at 7.30pm in Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk.
The KOS Classical Orchestra will work alongside the KOS Contemporary Ensemble with Graeme Wilson and John Gourlay jointly promoting and leading the concert.
The Classical Orchestra will present Mozart’s overture to The Marriage of Figaro and the first movement of Schubert’s 5th Symphony.
In contrast, the Contemporary Ensemble will present Peter Maxwell Davies’s Renaissance Scottish Dances, three duets by John Gourlay and the two groups will combine for a performance of Les Moutons de Panurge by Frederic Rzewski.
Also featuring will be music by two of the young composers who took part in this session’s KOS Composition Project, Danielle Park of Beath High School, Cowdenbeath and Joseph Chalmers of St Columba’s RC High School, Dunfermline.
Admission is at the door, £8 – adults, £4 – children.
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Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society member and composer John Gourlay has been working with six young composers from St Columba’s RC and Beath High Schools since September guiding them through music composition and as part of their Advanced Higher Music folio.
On 21st March at an evening event held at Beath High School, the composers heard their works performed by members of Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society. Family and friends were present for these world premieres.
Picture shows all six composers together with KOS players and John Gourlay.
Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society, Fife’s Community Orchestra, gave two performances of its Spring Programme at the weekend, the first on Friday 17th March at Dunfermline High School and the other in the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy on Sunday 19th March. Both performances attracted large audiences eager to hear the Orchestra’s work since Christmas.
The Dunfermline performance highlighted ongoing work by the Music Therapy Charity Nordoff Robbins seeking to establish a base in Dunfermline.
As part of its season ‘Forty Favourites, The Best Bits and Hits’, The Main Bits offered a wide ranging programme which featured George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with pianist Gregor Blamey. His account of the music including his improvised insertions of Gershwin classics was outstanding and greatly admired and appreciated by the audience.
The 60 plus strong KOS drawing members from across Fife and Edinburgh, was on top form as it took the audience through Bernstein’s fast and furious Candide Overture, Malcolm Arnold’s English Dances and more from Bernstein in his riotous Divertimento.
A feature of the second half was Peter Maxwell’s Davies’s An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise which concluded with the morning sun on Highland Bagpipes played by Pipe Major Tom Brown.
The concert ended with John Gourlay’s Fanfare and Fugato especially written for Graeme Wilson in 2011 and which uses as its basis some Burns melodies, a reminder for him of his youthful Ayrshire.
The concerts marked the 40th Season for Conductor Graeme Wilson and a special presentation was made at the end of the Sunday event. Orchestra Leader Vince Gray spoke warmly of Wilson’s involvement with KOS since 1977 and on behalf of the Orchestra, the youngest current player, Lucy Clunie, presented him with a special baton case containing suitable inscription.
Work continues for KOS when on Tuesday 21st March, its Schools Composition Project concludes with an event at Beath High School and featuring pupils from there and St Columba’s RC HS, Dunfermline along with members of the Orchestra. Other forthcoming events include KOS at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh on 27 April when John Gourlay’s Five Joan Eardley Pictures will be performed, the Orchestra’s Extra Bits classical/contemporary concert on 2nd May in the Old Kirk an finally and Open Rehearsal on 6th June at Balwearie High school.
KOS resumes for the 2017/18 season on Tuesday 15th August.
The Old Kirk in Kirkcaldy was packed to the doors – twice, on the afternoon of Sunday 18th December for the ‘Winter Bits’ concerts given by Fife’s Community Orchestra, Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society.
This was the Orchestra’s second programme of their current season entitled ‘Forty Favourites, The Best Bits and Hits’.
The 60 plus strong KOS, Fife’s Community Orchestra drawing members from across Fife and Edinburgh, was joined for the occasion by the Langtoun Singers, conductor Ella Wilson, Narrator Sandra Taylor, with appropriate and colourful digital images from Anne McIntyre.
The two capacity audiences were entertained and enthralled by performances of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel Overture, JS Bach’s Pastoral Symphony and Chorale from the Christmas Oratorio and several seasonal arrangements of Christmas music by AW Benoy and Eoin Hamilton.
The traditional winter concert story with music narrated by Sandra Taylor was the catchy and poignant tale of Tom Sawyer’s Saturday by John Dankworth. In it, Tom’s Aunt Polly sets him to work whitewashing the garden fence. The crafty entrepreneur manages to persuade several of his pals to take on the work in his place meanwhile acquiring a raft of gifts and goods for the privilege.
The Langtoun Singers gave their now expected polished performance concluding with Christ-Child in the Manger, an up-beat swing number, supported by backing rhythm section – and audience handclaps!
Audience participation was extended to singing when the Orchestra accompanied them in two carols.
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 ‘The Main Bits’ on Friday 17th March in Dunfermline High School and on Sunday 19th March in the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy, while the Langtoun Singers present ‘Music in May’ on Friday 26th May in the Old Kirk.
Now in its third year, Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society is continuing its project aimed at developing musical composition with Fife school pupils. The aim is to provide additional support for pupils composing for SQA folios at Advanced Higher level and to arrange for rehearsal and live performance of the resulting pieces.
Ten members of the orchestra have volunteered to be the players for this music and six young composers from Beath High School, Cowdenbeath, and St. Columba’s RC High School, Dunfermline, have selected a combination of these instruments for their work. Danielle Park, Luke Munro, Callum Paterson, Becky McManus, Claire Miller and Joe Chalmers are now completing the first drafts of their compositions.
All are working under the guidance of composer and orchestra member John Gourlay and with the support of the schools’ staff Carol Madden, Sarah Crossthwaite at Beath and Ann Anderson at St. Columba’s. The culmination of the project will be a live performance and recording of all seven pieces by members of the Orchestra on 21st March.
Scottish National Portrait Gallery Performance
KOS players will be involved in a public performance at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in the spring. As part of the events connected with the Joan Eardley exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Stuart Smith, Andreas Morrison and Katie O’Neil will give a second performance of orchestra member John Gourlay’s Five Joan Eardley Pictures. This was premièred by them in April 2016; this performance will be from 6.00-6.30pm on Thursday 27 April 2017. Other new and original art-themed music will make up the remainder of the programme.
KIRKCALDY ORCHESTRAL SOCIETY (Fife’s Community Orchestra) with members from across Fife and the Lothians opened its 2016/2017 concert season on 4th October with ‘Some Greatest Hits’, a collection of well loved compositions. The Orchestra Leader is Vince Gray, and Musical Director and Conductor, Graeme Wilson.
Starting with the season’s theme music – part of Mozart’s 40th Symphony – the programme moved through Beethoven’s 5th and his Overture to Egmont, JS Bach’s universally known Toccata and Fugue, In the Hall of the Mountain King from Peer Gynt, two short numbers from Bizet’s Carmen Suite and the Overture to Orpheus in the Underworld by Offenbach.
The programme presented KOS members with great challenge not the least of which was the constant playing required. The players gave resounding assurance of their skills and power with piece after piece building on success.
Five of the items were linked through their inclusion in the BBC Ten Pieces Project, a series of now twenty compositions aimed at primary and secondary schools’ use. Diljeet Bachau, a PhD music student currently working as an intern on the project with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra presented much of the concert while inviting the audience and orchestra to give their reactions to and experience of the Ten Pieces project.
KOS returns to the platform on Sunday 18th December when it joins with the Langtoun Singers for its ‘Winter Bits’ a programme of seasonal music in the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy, performances at 2pm and 4pm.
The Orchestra are now well into this season’s rehearsals in preparation for our concert on Tuesday the 4th of October in the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy at 7:30pm. Everyone is most welcome to come along, It’s Graeme’s 40th year conducting the orchestra and we’ll be playing some of his all time favourites including, Mussorgsky’s Night on a Bare Mountain, In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg and J.S. Bach’s amazing Toccata and Fugue in D minor to name a few.
With the orchestra gaining new members this year and growing in size, we can’t wait to perform our first concert this season.
In March 2016, Dunfermline High School joined Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society and Dunfermline Rotary Club to put on a fundraising concert for Cancer Research UK and local Rotary supported charities. Pictured are some of the senior pupils who took part and Glen Driver of the orchestra presenting Allan Mutter from the Rotary with the cheque for £1000. Photograph courtesy of Jim Payne, photographer, Dunfermline Press.