Ensemble Choir’s 1930s programme was a Sunday sell-out

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Photographs by Mark Davey

A singing event two years in the making brought a touch of 1930s depression era glamour to Campbeltown Town Hall.

Last Saturday’s show, titled A Musical Affair, the first of two, featured three choirs, A’Choired, the Low Tones, Upbeats and One Voice which make-up the Kintyre Ensemble, conducted by Paula McLean.

In her introductory speech Elizabeth MacBrayne, who shared compèring duties with Richard McCallum said: ‘Can you imagine a world without song?  Without music? Without dance?

‘It would be impossibly dull I am sure you agree!

‘Music and song fill our world each and every day in one form or another.

‘It is a shared love of singing that brings these ladies together each week to practice.

‘Music surrounds us, whether we are at work or play, whether the occasion is sombre one or a celebration, music invariably plays a large part.

‘Tonight we invite you to step back in time to the 1930’s, a time when next to jazz, blues, gospel and folk music, swing jazz was becoming immensely popular.’

While Saturday’s concert was very popular, Sunday afternoon’s  matinée was a complete sell-out in the last two days of ticket sales.

The massed choirs entered the room singing Sing, Sing, Sing before the Upbeats and One Voice performed two songs, I Only Have Eyes For You and  More I See You, written by Harry Warner.

One voice concluded this set with Lullaby on Broadway.

Mr McCallum introduced A’Choired to sing Misty and Dream a Little Dream and said: ‘Both are fine examples of how great songs stand the test of time.

‘Dream a Little Dream was written in 1931 and hit the Top 20 in the 1960s when the Mamas and Papas version the most recent cover was by Robbie Williams in 2012.’

Mrs MacBrayne added: ‘In each of the choirs there are three singing groups: Sopranos, Seconds and altos.

‘In the main, the melody is sung by the sopranos, but this Cheek to Cheek gives the ladies in the seconds and alto sections a chance to show us their  talents.

The first half of the programme finished with Somewhere over the Rainbow. This was followed by more Prosecco and the raffle with a number of hampers up for grabs.

The Upbeats opened the second half of the show singing New York. It was made famous by Frank Sinatra and, although not from the 1930s, Ms McLean felt it embodied the heart and soul of that era.

The show concluded with a piece arranged by Ms McLean.  It comprised of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and As Time Goes By.

Finally there was a slightly different version of the wonderful song Blue Moon.

Mrs MacBrayne added: ‘Paula has put her own spin on this by deconstructing the version with which we are all familiar.

‘Once again it is another great example of a piece of music that has stood the test of time, having been covered by a diverse range of performers, from Elvis Presley to Eric Clapton.’

Archie MacBrayne, Rolline McKerral and Phil Connor served Prosecco to all guests on arrival. 25_c07ensemble16

Part of the band, Alec Johnston on double bass and drummer Ryan McGlynn. 25_c07ensemble05

A duet of It’s Only a Paper Moon by Lea Watson and Sheila-Anne McCallum. 25_c07ensemble09

Compères Elizabeth MacBrayne and Richard McCallum. 25_c07ensemble15

The final chorus of New York, New York. 25_c07ensemble17

Dancing Cheek to Cheek was sung ‘in the round.’ 25_c07ensemble11

Tarbert’s A’Choired sung Misty and Dream a Little Dream. 25_c07ensemble04

The song Sing, Sing, Sing opened and closed the shows here a part of the Ensemble sings out. 25_c07ensemble02

The Upbeats and One Voice sung Somewhere Over The Rainbow under a projection of Judy Garland. 25_c07ensemble10

Rapid movement while singing in the round. 25_c07ensemble13