It was my pleasure to attend the CAMS in Concert performance held in Cupar’s Corn Exchange and one could easily imagine, having attended CAMS in Concert for at least four years, finding some elements of repetition in the programme.
Not a bit of it! Musical director Kate Doig’s inventiveness is second to none. Of course a programme can be as good as you make it, but it fails unless you have the quality of performers to realise it – and CAMS demonstrated once again that it can do just that.
Thirty-four musical numbers split over three sections – Transport and Travel, Friend or Foe and Showstoppers – covered the timeline from the 1940s to the present day, beginning with Oklahoma and coming bang up-to-date with Aladdin. It was encouraging to see a cast of 26, all of whom sang either solos or concerted numbers. This, together with thoughtful staging by director Ruth Anderson, offered a host of attractive stage pictures and even some lively movement, as in The Farmer and the Cowman from Oklahoma, where line dancing merged with Scottish country dancing for a rousing round off to Act One.
In a concert of this type I normally avoid mentioning any one individual, however, this year I must break with tradition and congratulate stage technician Ross Stockton, who made his performing debut in The Pushbike Song, demonstrating his talents in a faultlessly executed cycle routine at an appropriate point in the number.
Simple but effective costuming all added to an excellent concert and the sound in the hall was just what was required – a fine balance between singers and the band, comprising Kate Doig on keyboards and Bobby McCabe on percussion. Interludes this year were given by local folk quartet Forgaitherin providing a pleasant contrast with the main programme.
I also had the honour of presenting long service awards to five worthy individuals – Hilary Simpson (10 years), Neil and Fiona Jarrett (20), Ruth Anderson (30) and Sandy Green (40).