Musician’s Old Kirk performance marks return of stalwart members from Australia

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Top-class musicians are set to perform in Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk.

The concerts begin with John Kitchen, organist, harpsichordist, pianist, choral director, and recording artist.

He is also director of music at Old Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Edinburgh with performing and curatorial duties at the Usher Hall, but will be on stage at the Lang Toun church on Friday, August 25, at midday when people will have the chance to hear him play the fine Gern organ.

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John's recital is timed to coincide with the first return visit of Ella and Douglas Ritchie to Kirkcaldy from their Australian home in Melbourne, where they retired to join their daughters, Alison and Helen, and their families in 2016.

Performing at the Old Kirk are Sophie Rocks and John Kitchen (Pics; Submitted)Performing at the Old Kirk are Sophie Rocks and John Kitchen (Pics; Submitted)
Performing at the Old Kirk are Sophie Rocks and John Kitchen (Pics; Submitted)

Both were stalwart members of the Old Kirk congregation, serving as elders for over 30 years, before the church was amalgamated with St Brycedale. They continued their association with the Old Kirk, with Ella becoming one of the first trustees when the Old Kirk Trust was formed, and they both say that the church has played “a huge part” in their lives over the years.

A few weeks before they left for Australia, John gave an organ recital in the Old Kirk featuring William Harris's Processional March, the music to which Ella had entered the Old Kirk as a bride for the couple's wedding 50 years before - to the hour!

John will play this piece, special to the Ritchies, again at Friday's concert, along with some Bach, Mendelssohn, Paul Halley, Saint-Saens and more! Entry to the recital is by donation, with a suggested minimum of £12. It is to be followed by a light buffet lunch with the chance to chat with John Kitchen and the Ritchies. All welcome.

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The very popular Tea and Tunes, in conjunction with Live Music Now, return to the Old Kirk on Wednesday, August 30 at 2.30pm with Sophie Rocks, a classical harpist. Entry is free but donations are welcome.