Latest News


  • Recovering Connections 3, Spring 2022
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  •  Date Posted: Sun, 27 Mar 2022
    With Spring in the air, a sunny day, an Old Kirk filled to capacity and a 60-strong orchestra on form, Leader Vincent Gray, Conductor Graeme Wilson, Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society, Fife’s Community Orchestra, presented its third programme of the 2021/2022 season on Sunday 20th March – and did so efficiently and to the great acclaim of the audience.
    The music performed had been in preparation for March 2020 but with a late cancellation then due to the first Covid-related lockdown, the chosen compositions were not aired publicly. It was a relieved KOS which presented its work on Sunday, that despite several player call-offs due to recurring Covid and other ailments.
    The music was all family orientated reflecting the Family Connections theme from season 2019/2020 and carried forward to this season, ….Recovering Connections.
    The theme music featuring Auld Lang Syne immediately put players and listeners at ease as the programme unfolded. The string family offered some music from Henry V by William Walton after which a wind/military band line-up performed the Duke of Cambridge March by Malcom Arnold.
    The soloist in two movements from Mozart’s 3rd Horn Concerto was Sam Duzinkewycz playing tenor horn. His mellifluous tone and nimble finger work was greatly appreciated by the audience. There were two main featured works: the first performance of Concerto for Orchestra (Old Kirk Concerto No. 2) by John Gourlay, a challenging piece for the players and explained and introduced by the composer and performed with panache, while that word could easily be attached to the performance of the other main work, Danzon No. 2 by Arturo Marquez. A joyful, rhythmic and exciting composition, the orchestra clearly shared its enjoyment with the audience.
    Other parts of the programme included Five Courtly Dances from Gloriana by Benjamin Britten, the Funeral March of a Marionette by Gounod and the well-known Wedding March by Mendelssohn. The concert concluded with Fanfare and Fugato by John Gourlay, a composition for and gifted to Graeme Wilson by John Gourlay in 2011 and featuring melodies associated with Robert Burns and Ayrshire, Wilson’s family birthplace.
    A retiring collection in support of Ukraine via the Disasters Emergency Committee raised £320 for which KOS thanks all those who contributed.
    KOS next convenes on Tuesday 7th June at 6.45pm in the Old Kirk for an open Evening, one designed to extend the season, to bring players together again and to allow interested new members to take part. Visitors are welcome to view KOS in development mode.
    The orchestra recommences for the 2022/2023 season on Tuesday 16th August 2022.
  • Spring concert 20 March 2022
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  •  Date Posted: Tue, 1 Mar 2022
    Spring concert 20 March 2022
    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.

    The orchestra is now preparing for its Spring 2022 concerts - Sunday 20th March at 3pm in the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy.

    The current season has challenged the orchestra with distancing rules and regs, with venue ventilation and generally keeping up-to-date with all official advice. Despite that, KOS has operated successfully since August 2021 performing in October and at Christmas. The concert on Sunday 20th March has as its focus music which was being prepared for March 2020 but which concert was cancelled as lockdown came into being.

    The programme includes Arturo Marquez's Danzon no. 2  - perhaps unfamiliar by name but known to many by its lively and happy sounds, Dances from Benjamin Britten's Gloriana, string music by Walton from Henry V, a windband performance of The Duke of Cambridge's March by Malcolm Arnold and two movements of Mozart's 3rd horn concerto to be played on tenor horn by Sam Duzinkewycz. Sam is a young musician with solo and band successes to his credit and is currently studying law at Edinburgh University.

    Significantly, there will also be the first performance of Concerto for Orchestra by John Gourlay written for the orchestra and highlighting the various family elements within an orchestra.

    Tickets are priced £9 Adults and £4 Child/Student and are available from members of the Orchestra or via the website kirkcaldyorchestralsociety.org Ticket price includes a free programme. All tickets should be pre-paid and will not be on sale at the door.

     
  • REHEARSAL ON for Tuesday 25th Jan 2022
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 19 Jan 2022

    Good new we are to get back  to reherasing at the usual 6.45 - 7pm time at Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy.
    Email with details has been sent to all currently registered members. 

    Maureen
    Chair KOS
  • Recovering Connections 2, 12 December 2021
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  •  Date Posted: Tue, 28 Dec 2021
    The Old Kirk in Kirkcaldy was full to Covid-safe capacity on Sunday 12th December for the performance by Fife's Community Orchestra, KIRKCALDY ORCHESTRAL SOCIETY, all tickets sold 10 days in advance of the concert!

    With more than 50 players in the orchestra - drawing members from across Fife, Edinburgh and Glasgow and conducted by Graeme Wilson, the performance sought to give some Winter cheer to the audience.

    Unusually for this time of year, KOS performed alone and gave one concert having taken the decision to restrict its numbers, so no Langtoun Singers, no story, no audience carol singing and the usual pattern of concert presentation reduced from two to one.

    With a current theme of ….Recovering Connections linking back into the community, the Orchestra's Season theme music of Auld Lang Syne set the scene for the afternoon presentation creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere through music making of the highest order. This was followed by a short Fanfare for Christmas by the late Bruce Fraser.  Sunday’s concert was the second of KOS's programmes in their current season.

    Despite all the care and caution, the orchestra warmed immediately to its task of lifting the spirits of all present. Audience reaction indicated that the programme of Winter and Christmas music appealed. The first main work was by Philip Lane, An Overture on French Carols featuring some lovely solo playing. A flurry of sleigh rides provided fun, reflection and excitement, those from Mozart, Albert Matt, Delius and Leroy Anderson. Anderson’s Christmas Festival, always a winner, with its mix of carols and winter tunes had the audience cheering and showing its delight. In December 2019 at its previous Winter performance, KOS featured the first movement of Victor Hely-Hutchinson's Carol Symphony with a powerful rendition of Adeste Fidelis portrayed through a brass chorale. Repeated on Sunday, the orchestra added the second movement, Scherzo, based on God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. John Gourlay’s new composition We Wish You A Merry Fugue (We Wish You A Merry Christmas differently) was greatly appreciated by players and audience alike, sufficiently so for it be encored at the end of the concert.

    The Orchestra's next performance will be …Recovering Connections 3, Spring on Sunday 20th March 2022 in the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy at 3pm, featuring Arturo Marquez's Danzon No.2, a new work, Concerto for Orchestra by John Gourlay, and some family favourites.
     
  • Recovery operation in progress......
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  •  Date Posted: Fri, 26 Nov 2021
    Recovery operation in progress......
    KIRKCALDY ORCHESTRAL SOCIETY, Fife's Community Orchestra, is pleased to continue its recovery following the recommencement of rehearsals in August 2021.

    With one season 2021/22 concert already in the bag (October 2021), the orchestra is busy preparing its December presentation.

    Keeping current restrictions in mind and with a weather eye on safety, the orchestra has stepped back from its usual December busy and multi-performance event and will be the sole performers where they are usually joined by the Langtoun Singers and Sandra Taylor, Narrator.

    An exciting Winter/Christmas concert is nevertheless in preparation and will be given on Sunday 12th December at 3pm in the orchestra’s home, Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk.

    Recovering Connections, 2-Winter will feature a veritable winter wonderland of Sleigh Rides from Leroy Anderson, Frederic Delius, Albert Matt and even Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
    Other music includes the Overture on French Carols by Philip Lane, two movements from Victor Hely-Hutchinson's Carol Symphony, Leroy Anderson’s Christmas Festival and a new work for the orchestra by composer member John Gourlay, a fugue based on We Wish You a Merry Christmas.  

    There are only a few tickets left.  If you would like to attend please click the book tickets link in the events tab on our website.
     
  • Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society meets Private Robert Dunsire VC
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  •  Date Posted: Sun, 7 Nov 2021
    Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society meets Private Robert Dunsire VC
    Just as a dog is not only for Christmas, Remembrance should not be confined to one day in November, writes Graeme Wilson, Musical Director and Conductor of Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society.
    The whole point of Remembrance is to honour and retain the memory of countless military and other associated people who have given their lives for the safety and security of others. Modern services and acts of remembrance tend to be about those who have died within the lifetime of those of us remembering rather than about recalling conflicts of long ago. WW1 still features strongly in our minds and hearts. Remembrance time highlights the selflessness and bravery of very many unknown and named soldiers such as Private Robert Dunsire VC, who was born in Buckhaven but was a son of Fife.
    Bert Hannah’s research over 8 years has taken him from Dunsire’s birthplace to France and back and has help raise the awareness of the young Fife soldier, his bravery and his early death within WW1. 
    Dunsire was only 24 when he was killed in France in 1916, only a short time after he was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in the face of enemy action. As a young man, he was an accomplished musician. In his local area he played violin in local groups as The Dysart Gospel Temperance Orchestra and the Buckhaven PSA (Pleasant Sunday Afternoon) Orchestra and played cornet, along with his brother John, in the Dunnikier Colliery Band.
    In early 1916 a song, ‘Private Dunsire VC’, was written and composed about Dunsire, words by Felix Slevin and music by Gordon Mackenzie. “….He was only a humble miner, But he heard his country’s call”.
    Bert Hannah brought the song to the attention of Graeme Wilson, Musical Director and Conductor of Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society (Fife’s Community Orchestra). As Bert prepared his research and work for the website dedicated to Dunsire’s memory, he looked to have music included.
    Robert Dunsire had taken a violin with him when he enlisted and went off to training in the south of England. He would play to his fellow trainees in rest periods as they prepared for trench warfare. Unfortunately, that instrument went missing in transit home. During his short furlough at home before he received his medal at Buckingham Palace, Robert was presented with a replacement violin, one made by Kirkcaldy joiner and woodworker Peter Berry. A few years ago, that very violin turned up in a Dundee sale-room and when its provenance came to light, it quickly landed up at the door of David Rattray in Kirkcaldy, a stringed instrument maker and expert of international repute. David restored the violin to playing condition and it was first heard under the guise of its newfound connections at an event at Kirkcaldy Galleries in 2019 when KOS Leader, Vince Gray, played it.
    Graeme Wilson used the Dunsire violin to record an instrumental version of the song to give greater exposure to the violin. The music has now been orchestrated by Dunfermline composer and KOS musician John Gourlay and works very well as a march. The first performance in that format was given by Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society on October 5th 2021 at the opening concert of KOS’s 2020/21 season in Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk. At the concert, Bert Hannah gave a short talk about the hero Dunsire and the musical connections, placing context the music performed.
    Later in the year, the orchestra will record the instrumental version for the website. There is also a plan for the Langtoun Singers to record the music in its proper format of a song. It is hoped that these musical contributions will provide fitting musical tribute to Private Dunsire VC and to the work of Bert Hannah.
    As a footnote of local educational interest, the recordings will be made by a senior student from Auchmuty High School along with the Principal Teacher of Creative Industries there, Craig Cuthbertson. For a couple of years, KOS has provided a live source of recording opportunities for Auchmuty HS students undertaking their SQA Advanced Higher Sound Engineering practical tests.   
    The attached photograph shows 
    Dunsire’s living family relatives with Vince Gray, Bert Hannah and composer/arranger John Gourlay. R to L – John Gibb (Dunsire’s great nephew), John Gourlay, Vince Gray, Bert Hannah, Margaret Gibb.

     
  • Recovering Connections 1 Autumn
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  •  Date Posted: Sat, 9 Oct 2021
    Recovering Connections 1 Autumn
    Our first concert of the season took place on Tuesday 5th October 2021 in the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy.  The audience, restricted to 100 friends and family, showed its great appreciation of the musicians’ efforts. There were many comments expressing the joy of seeing and hearing live music once again.

    The varied programme was designed to appeal to players and audience and included music by Schubert (Rosamunde Ballet and part of the 5th Symphony), two movements from Haydn’s Symphony 101, Trevor Duncan’s Little Suite, March (the well-known theme music for television’s Dr Finlay’s Casebook), a Muppet Medley and three movements from Benjamin Britten’s Matinees Musicales.

    The concert also featured music connected to the story of Buckhaven’s Private Robert Dunsire VC, a song about him written in the 1920s, orchestrated for KOS by John Gourlay and given its first performance. The orchestra leader, Vince Gray, used Private Dunsire’s violin.   A short talk on Private Dunsire was given by Bert Hannah who has researched and published a great deal of information on the topic. 
     

    At the end of the concert, prior to a reprise of the Private Dunsire music, Vince Gray played a Slow Air Coilsfield House by Nathaniel Gow, dedicating it to the memories of Dunsire and of Phil Randall, KOS’s tuba player who died a year ago and a year after giving the first performance with KOS of the wonderful Concerto di Famiglia written by John Gourlay for the Randalls, Phil along with wife April and daughters Eilidh, Chloe and Rosie.


     
  • Back in business
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 11 Aug 2021
    Back in business
    Back in business and delighted to be so KOS resumes full rehearsals on Tuesday 17th
    August (6.45pm).  The wind and brass section enjoyed their first night back at one of the smaller returning events to allow members to familiarise themselves with safety procedures in their home venue, Kirkcaldys Old Kirk.

    In common with all other leisure-time music making groups, meetings, rehearsals and planned performances were abandoned in March 2020 and a return to full operating situations will take time.
    However, there is a lot of enthusiasm for this to happen and KOS members are bursting with energy to make music together.

    Meanwhile, the orchestra management is considering its plans for performances throughout the 2021/22 season.
     
  • Return to rehearsals
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 29 Jul 2021
    Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society will return to rehearsals on 17 August.  We will be running some test rehearsals before then to ensure that all necessary safeguards have been implimented for a safe return.
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