Old and young unite in perfect harmony at Kirkcaldy church

Bel Canto Voices
Bel Canto Voices

A world premiere is set to open in Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk next month - and its about Kirkcaldy Old Kirk!

Renowned Fife composer Bruce Fraser was commissioned by Kirkcaldy Old Kirk Trust to write a piece based on the Old Kirk’s history, and all will be revealed when Bruce conducts talented local youth choir Bel Canto Voices in the first performance of ‘From Sea to Sky’ on March 22.

Bruce Fraser composer

Bruce Fraser composer

Performing with the choir will be Christopher Nairne (baritone); Andrew Lees (violin) and Sophie Askew (Harp/Clarsach).

Bruce Fraser has established an international reputation as a composer with a huge number of published titles throughout the world, including Lomond Music’s range of titles for young brass and wind bands.

He has composed many commissions for a variety of groups, including a concerto for trumpet and orchestra for John Wallace and the Fife Youth Orchestra. He is a former head teacher of music at Buckhaven High School.

Bruce said he was delighted to compose ‘From Sea to Sky’ for the Old Kirk Trust and had enjoyed researching the significant historical events associated with the church, many taken from the Kirkcaldy Old Kirk session records, including the trial of the “witch” Alison Dick who was held in the tower with her husband; Adam Smith being christened in the Old Kirk; and Scottish and Polish folk songs reflecting the trade between Kirkcaldy and abroad.

“It was quite fascinating reading some of the tales and then deciding how to incorporate them into the piece,” he said.

“We had the first rehearsal with Bel Canto Voices this week which went well, and I am really looking forward to it being performed in the Old Kirk.”

The title for the piece ‘From Sea to Sky’ came from his thinking of the Old Kirk’s 15th century tower “rising from the seaside to the sky, rising from Kirkcaldy’s origins as a harbour and seafaring place to the spiritual focus of the church reaching towards heaven.

‘‘Also thinking about the march of time and stream of history from Kirkcaldy’s beginnings as a safe haven for fishers, through trade, to the thinkers like Adam Smith and the limitless aspirations of soaring thought - and the view from the top of the tower from sea to sky and the land which is just a strip in between!”

Bel Canto Voices, a choir of talented youngsters aged 8-18 years, launched in 2001. It is based in the Adam Smith Theatre and is directed by Rosemary Nairne.

Fife Council has given its financial support. Tickets costing £12 for adults, £10 concessions and £5 for school children, from (01592) 596904, the Old Kirk Trust on (01592) 265499 or through the Arts Hub in the Postings.