Dysart Kirk organist retires

Dysart Kirk
Dysart Kirk

DYSART Kirk’s organist, Abigail McKenzie has retired.

Having originally been asked in November 1983 by the late Reverend Tom Geddes to step in for three weeks following the sudden death of the organist John Morrison, Miss McKenzie stood down from the position on Sunday, May 27.

The congregation presented her with a gift at morning worship to express their thanks for her generous dedication over the years and for the way her music has enhanced worship and brought so much pleasure to them.

When she left school Abigail was awarded the Sir James Caird scholarship grant to continue her studies as a pianist.

Following a successful audition for the BBC in Scotland she was a solo pianist broadcasting regularly from 1947 for 25 years and in concert halls she accompanied many well known singers including Kenneth McKellar and Dame Janet Baker.

In 1960 she went to Canada on an exchange scheme, at the same time attending the Toronto Conservatoire playing in master classes under the supervision of the concert pianist Pierre Souvairan who became her mentor.

Having attended Moray House to gain a teaching qualification, Abigail taught music firstly at Dunfermline High School and then at Kirkcaldy High School where she was appointed Principal of Music in 1967.

Her choirs had many successes in competitions and also performed in St Giles Cathedral.

In 1965 her senior choir of 280 performed a Hadyn Mass in a broadcast accompanied by Sir James Loughran.

Abigail is also well known in Fife for her role as official accompanist over many years for Cupar Choral, Kirkcaldy Choral, Fife Opera and Fife Music Festival.