Call out for Borders singers to join royal wedding concert

Chris Achenbach, Director of Music at Holy Trinity church, and Kate Blackledge, one of the church choristers, put in some practice for the music festival, which starts on Saturday, May 17.
Chris Achenbach, Director of Music at Holy Trinity church, and Kate Blackledge, one of the church choristers, put in some practice for the music festival, which starts on Saturday, May 17.

Singers from across the Borders are being invited to take part in a unique performance of Music for a Royal Wedding.

Following a hugely successful inaugural festival last year, the Holy Trinity Music Festival, Melrose is returning in May with another three-day celebration of music from all ages.

The first concert is on the same day as the royal wedding, Saturday, May 19, and features a retrospective of music from royal weddings of the past, reliving some of the glorious memories people have of these romantic occasions.

Holy Trinity’s choir will form the core of the performance, but they want as many people as possible to join them. Prospective singers simply have to email holytrinitymelrose.sec@gmail.com and the music will be sent to them to practice at home, with everyone coming together on the day to unite their voices in the concert.

Rev Philip Blackledge, Rector at Holy Trinity, said: “We are calling on all singers in the Borders to get involved. Through the power of email, we can send music to those who are interested, and we are hoping it is going to go a bit viral, so anyone who feels able to sing the music can join in. It’s a bit of a stab in the dark, in that we don’t know who will turn up, but it will be a splendid way of celebrating the royal wedding, and we hope that some of the music we sing will be that chosen by Harry and Meghan. The music of past royal weddings has been inspirational and has actually shaped the way many of us get married today, so it’s great to celebrate such beautiful music from a joyful occasion.”

The other two days’ events feature music of a very different sort. The second concert on May 20 is from the famous Scottish-based Squair Mile Consort of Viols, whose speciality is music for viols, the predecessor of the violin family of instruments. Their concert is entitled Restoring the pattern: Music and Meditations for Viols and Voices and features the longstanding relationship music has had with soothing the soul.

On May 21, Max Fane, the international vocalist, who visited Melrose last year with a group of musicians from The New Generation Festival, returns with “An Evening of Operatic Aria, Duets and Songs” featuring anything from Rossini and Mozart to Rodgers and Hammerstein.

The concerts all start at 7.30pm, at Holy Trinity Church, Melrose. Tickets £10 on the door.