Abbey Consort choir breaks new ground in Kelso church

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Borders premier chamber choir Abbey Consort make a welcome return to Kelso on Sunday, May 24 at 7pm.

Following their rapturously received performance of Handel’s Messiah last December, a completely contrasting programme awaits concert goers when they play at the town’s St Andrew’s Church later this month.

Under the baton of their recently appointed musical director, James Letham, who took up the reins in December 2014 following the departure of Colin Fox, the choir will give an entertainment entitled ‘Psalms, Songs and Forest Fairies’, with music ranging from the Renaissance glory of Monteverdi to modern settings of songs by Scotland’s greatest poet Robert Burns.

Also featured will be a selection of spirituals as well as psalm settings by Schubert and by Letham himself. A feature of the concert will also be ‘In Windsor Forest’, a cantata for mixed voices from the opera ‘Sir John in Love’ by Vaughan Williams.

Letham said: “This form of concert is breaking new ground for Abbey Consort, who up to now have concentrated on major works from the Baroque and Classical era.

“The works chosen for Sunday’s concert are full of life, beauty and humour.”

Admission to the concert is free, but donations are invited. Food and drink will be available at the interval.

Proceeds will go to funding St Andrew’s Church’s recent expansion of its hospitality and disabled access facilities.

Formed in 2002, Abbey Consort is a Kelso-based choir of around 24 members who all live in the Borders.