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28th June 2007
CASTLE VENUE FOR GAELIC CHOIR’S “IMPRESSIVE CELEBRATION”
John Swinney (MSP North Tayside) has hailed the Aberfeldy & District Gaelic Choir’s 40th Anniversary Ball in Castle Menzies last weekend (23/6) as “an impressive celebration” and he threw his support behind the only Gaelic Choir in Perthshire. “It is so important that the great oral tradition of the Gaelic language is fostered,” he said “and I am so proud that this Aberfeldy Choir is making that contribution here in Perthshire!”
Members and former members of the Choir, as well as fellow choristers from the Dingwall Gaelic Choir, and invited guests and dignitaries, enjoyed an evening of sumptuous food, provided by local caterer Morag Tulloch, followed by dancing to the strains of the well-known Fife band, Conundrum. The fabulous castle surroundings provided the space and the atmosphere for the much-heralded local event, and the celebrations were punctuated by various speeches.
Guest speaker was Jean Graham, introduced warmly by the Choir’s Musical Director and Conductor Frances McCallum as “a highly respected and dearly loved music adjudicator”. Jean regaled the guests with anecdotes about Mods and other international competitions and festivals at which she had adjudicated. One hilarious story was of a Russian choir who sang their ‘own choice’ song then walked off the stage….and when asked by Jean if they weren’t going to sing the ‘set’ song as well, they replied “Oh no, we haven’t learned that one….it was far too difficult!”
Recently appointed Provost of Perth John Hulbert, accompanied by his vivacious wife Sara, said he thoroughly enjoyed the evening – his first duty in Highland Perthshire, and in Aberfeldy. He emphasised how important Mods and Gaelic Choirs are to the survival and regeneration of the Gaelic language, and how personally dedicated he felt to that effort.
President of the Choir Lou Oppenheim also acknowledged the importance of the Choir’s Gaelic affiliations, but pointed out that being a member of this particular choir was more than just promoting the Gaelic language and culture.
“What has made this choir so special to
each member over the past 40 years is the people” said Lou. “It’s
like a strong extended family…we help each other through crises,
through bereavements, through illness – and we celebrate each others’
joys – engagements, marriages, new babies, being a granny for the
first time, or getting the “all clear” after a health scare.”
Lou added that the fabulous evening had been partly funded by the Choir
itself, but also through fundraising enabled by the support of local businesses.
“So many local people and businesses have been hugely generous,”
she said “it’s wonderful that the Choir is cherished and supported
locally in this way, and we are very grateful!”
The Aberfeldy & District Gaelic Choir would
like to thank all the local businesses and individuals who so kindly sponsored
the 40th Anniversary Celebrations held at Castle Menzies on Saturday June
23rd. Their generosity is much appreciated. Also our thanks to John Jack,
Custodian of Castle Menzies, for providing such a magnificent venue.