Falkirk’s Caledonia Choir hits 90 in top form

Caledonia Choir rehearses for its 90th anniversary concert
Caledonia Choir rehearses for its 90th anniversary concert

Falkirk Caledonia Choir celebrated its 90th anniversary concert in the company of Provost Pat Reid, a crowded town hall and a number of invited guests.

It began with what has become the choir’s unofficial theme song – ‘Why We Sing” (Gilpin), then the popular ‘Your Raise Me Up’ (arr. Emerson), a moving ‘Ave Verum’ (Karl Jenkins) and a spirited ‘Look at the World’ (Rutter).

The second section heard the soulful sounds of ‘Homeward Bound’ (Keen), the moving, unaccompanied ‘The Bluebird’ (Stanford) featuring soloist Joanne Cleland, then ‘Adiemus’ by Karl Jenkins.

In a modern, upbeat section ‘Unchained Melody (arr. Brymer) was well received as was ‘Thank You for the Music’ (arr. Ades). Audience participation was enthusiastic in a rendition of Coldplay’s ‘Viva la Vida’ (arr. Hussey).

The fourth part had the familiar ‘Vicar of Dibley’ theme – Goodall’s ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’, followed by the traditional spiritual ‘Deep River’. The ‘Cantique de Jean Racine’ (Faure) was greatly appreciated and the section ended with a rousing rendition of Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’ which received thunderous applause.

In between, guest artist Jamie MacDougall entertained with numbers including tributes to Mario Lanza, Pavarotti and the late Bob Hoskins with a rendition of ‘Mona Lisa’. He also sang Irish and Scottish songs and an amusing ditty, ‘Lydia the Tattooed Lady’!

The finale heard the choir inspire with ‘Highland Cathedral’ (Roever/Kerb) and the Robert Burns song ‘Ay Waukin’ O!’ (arr. Roberton).

Finally the choir and Jamie MacDougall sang ‘Land of Light’ (Jackson), then had the audience singing a medley of Harry Lauder tunes, ending with a rousing chorus of ‘Keep Right on to the End of the Road’ – an encore to a fabulous evening.