The best bits (and more) at Kirkcaldy Old Kirk recital

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Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society (KOS), Fife’s community orchestra, returns to town for the next concert in its season of ‘Forty Favourites, The Best Bits and Hits’.

The group play at the Old Kirk on Sunday at 3pm – and it promises to be a special occasion in more ways than one.

Conductor Graeme Wilson is celebrating his 40th anniversary with KOS, having first picked up his baton in 1977.

He said he had noticed a lot of changes over the past four decades.

“Before I joined it had a series of conductors,” he said.

“I sort of fell into the job, and I remember it was quite old-fashioned at the time, though I think that was just what it was like in the 70s.

“I like to think we’ve moved forward since then. We’ve certainly had lots of different soloists over the years.”

Under the heading of The Main Bits, the programme consists of Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to Candide and his Divertimento written in 1980 for the centenary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin with soloist Gregor Blamey originally from Lochgelly, Malcolm Arnold’s English Dances (Set 2) and Dunfermline composer John Gourlay’s Fanfare and Fugato.

This was written by John in 2011 for Graeme Wilson, with a basis of Burns’ melodies reflecting his Ayrshire roots.

Also in the programme is Peter Maxwell Davies’s Orkney Wedding with Sunrise – that piece bringing in the bagpipes, with Pipe Major Tom Brown.

The performances of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue will be a return to the past for both soloist and conductor.

In 2006, pianist Gregor Blamey and Graeme gave four performances of the work along with Fife Youth Orchestra. Two of these were in Fife, while the other two were as part of the British Festival of Youth Orchestras in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Graeme said: “It’s always enjoyable to play the Old Kirk and we’re pushing the boat out for Sunday.”

Tickets for the event, which is in support of Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, are £8 for adults and £4 for children and a free programme is included.

They are available from orchestra members or by phoning 07473 752369 or 07770 332812.