Belhaven Hill School's Centenary Concert
The Centenary Concert with the Belhaven Centenary Choir
The Centenary Concert of Belhaven Hill School took place on Saturday 25th February 2023, in the stunning setting of Haddington Parish Church, which is the largest Parish Church in Scotland.
The evening was also to see the launch of our Centenary Choir - a group of around 50 adults consisting of parents, staff, former pupils and members of the Dunbar Choral. Coupled with the wonderful organ and our friends from St David's Brass in Gorebridge and our own Choristers, we hoped to create quite a sound!
The stage was set, and a capacity audience of around 175 filled the Nave. The combined massed choir sang Jerusalem, and there where special four part settings of Highland Cathedral and You'll Never Walk Alone ... both with orchestrations, organ and fanfare brass. The Hallelujah Chorus from the 'Messiah' was also performed with great enthusiasm, and some nerves from the adults and staff!
There were two notable solos on piano and pipes from Alexander and Beetle, both playing advanced pieces really superbly. The Boys' and Girls' Choirs joined together to sing a specially arranged medley of songs which were composed in 1923, the year of the school’s foundation. The boys and girls sang beautifully, and the audience loved the old songs.
The Pipe Band played several well-known favourites with great confidence. The Band sounded double its size in such stunning acoustics. Our superb Corps of Drums then played our Belhaven Drum Salute. This piece has always wowed the audiences, but in such a setting - with so many drummers - it was really first class.
Our very talented Choristers sang descants to all the massed choir pieces and also sang six other pieces in a full and varied repertoire, in a mixture of styles. New pieces performed included a moving setting of ‘Tears in Heaven’ in 3 parts with soloists reaching top B, and an amazing setting of a new composition called ‘Illuminosa’ which saw the Choristers singing in 5 part close harmony, ending on a top C.
The concert closed with a rousing rendition of our school hymn 'God be with you till we meet again'. With a huge organ, fanfare brass band, a choir of over 100, and a packed audience, the performance of this hymn will live long in the memory. It was perhaps one of the loudest performances of the hymn in the last 100 years!
It proved to be an absolutely fantastic evening of music, in a beautiful church, worthy of such an auspicious occasion. Very well done to all who performed.
Thank you to all who came and for any donations – we have been able to send support to Firefly International as they rebuild their schools following the recent earthquake in Turkey.