Wide-ranging concert covers music from the Americas

Abbey Consort cross the Atlantic with their spring concert entitled 'Music of the Americas'.
Abbey Consort cross the Atlantic with their spring concert entitled 'Music of the Americas'.

Abbey Consort cross the Atlantic with their spring concert entitled “Music of the Americas”.

Formed in 2002, the small Kelso-based choir has around 24 members, who all live in the Scottish Borders, and is directed by Jim Letham.

Their exciting programme covers a wide range of music with the first half featuring music from South America, including the beautiful folk-mass, Misa Criolla, by the Argentine composer Ariel Ramirez. In this delightful piece the choir will be joined by Ross Milligan on guitar, plus a small instrumental ensemble. Ross will also play two evocative solos: Evocacion and Joropo from Suite del Recuerdo by the Argentinian José Luis Merlin.

The second half of the concert takes the audience to north America with two marches by the effervescent American composer John P. Sousa, performed on the organ by Morley Whitehead.

With 2018 marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of the American composer, Leonard Bernstein, Abbey Consort will sing his Chichester Psalms, a dramatic and joyful piece accompanied by organ, harp (Zuzanna Olbryś) and percussion (Finlay McDermid).

A spectacular harp solo – Baroque Flamenco – will be followed by Randall Thompson’s rarely heard, but hauntingly beautiful Alleluia before the popular Make Our Garden Grow from Bernstein’s Candide brings the concert to a stunning close.

The concert is full of top-notch talent on all levels and, with such different and unusual instrumentation, will be a concert not to be missed.

Jim Letham said, “Although some composers might be unfamiliar, the programme has a rich variety of vibrant, rhythmic music which is a joy to the ear. Why not come and join us on our musical journey from Machu Pichu to Massachusetts!”

Concert tickets [£10] are available at the door, or in advance from Deans and Simpson, Oliver Place, Hawick and Holmes of Melrose.

Music of the Americas can be heard in Teviot Church, Hawick on Saturday, May 26 and in Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Melrose on Sunday, May 27 - both concerts starting at 7.30pm.