Paisley Abbey

Eternal Light  –  The Concert                                                                      

On 15 May this year, in Paisley Abbey, Bearsden Choir will be joined by Chorus Niagara to perform two wonderful choral works.  The first is a traditional mass, composed as a celebration for the life of a loved one and the second, a requiem, written, not for the dead, but for those who are left to grieve.

bearsdenchoirfThe concert, Eternal Light, will benefit Poppyscotland and the Royal Canadian Legion. Please, read on and discover how various, disparate elements have combined to make this a very special event.

Beethoven wrote his Mass in C major in 1807, as a commission for Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy ll, to celebrate the birth date of his wife Princess Maria.  It is one of the least often performed of Beethoven’s larger works yet it has been described as, “a long-underrated masterpiece.”

Howard Goodall – Eternal Light: A Requiem. Many composers have written a requiem, a mass for the dead, in which they offer prayers of deliverance for the souls of the departed. Eternal Light looks at death from a different perspective. It reflects upon the agony and the emptiness which accompany the loss of a loved one and the desolation and despair that must be endured by those who are left to mourn. Premiered on Armistice Day 2008, Goodall has skilfully woven the words of the Latin Mass with poems in English to create, “a breathtakingly beautiful piece of music. “

One of these poems,” In Flanders Fields,” was written by a Canadian military doctor, John McCrae, who was born in Guelph, Ontario, only 60 miles from St Catharines – the home of Chorus Niagara.

 

Tickets from – enquiries@bearsdenchoir.co.uk or Ticket Scotland 0147 204 5151

Eternal Light – Remembrance

Canada and Scotland have enjoyed a close – knit and staunch association for centuries.
Culture, education, business are but a few of the links which bind us together. Sadly, however, over the years, history has seen fit to forge and temper one particularly sombre yet wholly inspiring alliance, military service in time of war. Generations of men and women, Canadian and Scot, have served, fought and died side by side. South Africa, two World Wars, Korea and countless other actions have exacted their toll. Even now the harrowing spectre of Afghanistan continues to haunt both nations.

Paisley AbbeyThe Spanish author, C R Zafon wrote, “As long as we are being remembered we remain alive.”  Remembrance is a ceremony more commonly observed on a cold, crisp Sunday morning in November. This concert will, we hope, be performed on a warm spring evening in May and I am sure that you will agree that Remembrance should not be consigned to the bleak mid winter but that it should be ever present and eternal.

On 15 May, while poppies bloom in Flanders, choirs from Canada and Scotland will join together to sing and to remember ever mindful of the significance of the Poppy. There will be a collection in aid of Poppyscotland and The Royal Canadian Legion.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to welcoming you to our concert

Eternal Light  –  Why the Poppy ?

The winter of 1914/15, the first of the Great War, had been bitterly cold, the French countryside lay lifeless, ravaged by fierce and bloody fighting – it seemed as if the very soul of the soil had been laid bare. Yet, as if to make amends for this bitter winter of war, the spring of 1915 was the harbinger of cloudless skies and glorious sunshine. Indeed, it is said that, early in the morning, it was possible to hear birdsong in the stillness ‘twixt salvo and shell-burst.

Europe was in the grip of war yet, the warm spring weather together with the broken earth would  help create a magnum opus of the 20th Century – the Poppy, the image  that was to become the single most eloquent, most enduring indeed, eternal, symbol of Remembrance. Though its colour is redolent of blood and suffering, the Poppy’s dogged determination to flower was seen as a symbol of hope and regeneration.

Poppy seeds will lie dormant in the ground for years, germinating only when the soil is disturbed. Farmyard, field and forest, scarred and devastated by the folly of man, afforded just such “disturbance.” The madness of war would encourage the propagation of this tiny flower.  The pitiless pock-marked wasteland of the Western Front, the cemeteries, the countless solitary graves, together, would provide a fertile birthplace. Sun, soil and, paradoxically, war, would help awaken the slumbering seeds. Poppies would bloom, be blown and, perhaps, offer a flicker of hope to soldiers, cast adrift in an ungodly, desolate landscape.

The sight of these delicate, vibrant red flowers growing on the shattered war torn ground caught the attention of one particular soldier – Major John McCrae, MD Canadian Army. The grandson of Scottish immigrants, he was one of the most highly respected Canadian physicians of his generation and he was also a poet.

On May 3, 1915, McCrae presided over the funeral of fellow Canadian soldier, 22 year old, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer who was from Ottawa. Helmer, a friend and a former student of McCrae, had been killed by shellfire the previous day.  During the burial service McCrae noticed how Poppies appeared to flourish in the broken soils of the battlefield and how like tiny crimson sentinels, they stood watch over the graves of the fallen. The death of his friend and the image of the Poppy moved McCrae to compose some of the most memorable lines of war poetry ever written – “In Flanders Fields”

This short, poignant poem would enshrine the Poppy as the unique symbol of Remembrance. The delicate, blood red flame would never be extinguished. John McRae had pressed the petals between the pages of history and entrusted the Poppy to Eternal Light.

John Wilson
Bearsden Choir
SC001117  
www.bearsdenchoir.co.uk

Virgin Altantic 747

Virgin Atlantic reveals jumbo October schedule from Glasgow Airport

Virgin Atlantic has announced additional capacity on its popular Florida flights from Glasgow Airport this October.

Almost 2,000 extra seats will be made available as a result of the airline’s decision to deploy a Boeing 747 aircraft on its Orlando route during the month.

This will allow Virgin Atlantic to meet the high demand associated with the school holiday week, which is traditionally one of Glasgow Airport’s busiest periods of the year.

The 455 seat jumbo jet will replace a 314 seat Airbus A330 for seven return flights in October, with Scots keen to visit the Sunshine State benefitting from a total of 1,974 additional seats.

Virgin Altantic 747

The Boeing aircraft also features the airline’s award winning Upper Class in addition to the Premium Economy and Economy products available on the Airbus, which is normally deployed by Virgin Atlantic on the Florida route outwith the peak months of June and July.

Edmond Rose, Virgin Atlantic’s director of commercial and revenue planning, commented: “October is proving to be an exceptionally busy month for Scottish holidaymakers travelling out to Florida. To meet this increased demand Virgin Atlantic has taken the decision to bring one of its Boeing 747 aircraft onto the route, adding a significant number of seats.

“We are working really closely with Glasgow Airport and hope to continue to increase capacity out of Glasgow.”

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “Since launching in 2007 the Florida flights have been a huge success, carrying nearly 40,000 passengers in 2012, and we are very proud to have such a strong brand as Virgin Atlantic here at Glasgow Airport.

“Florida is a popular destination among Scottish holidaymakers and the decision to increase capacity on this route through the use of a larger aircraft is a clear demonstration of Virgin Atlantic’s commitment to the Glasgow market. We will be working closely with the airline to ensure capacity continues to rise.”

Find out more here www.glasgowairport.com and www.virgin-atlantic.com

GlasgowAirport_RSNO4

Glasgow Airport reports passenger growth for March 2013

 

Passenger growth at Glasgow Airport has continued with over 510,000 people travelling through the airport in March 2013, representing an increase of 0.6% compared to the same period last year.

The launch of Wizz Air’s flights to Warsaw and Gdansk contributed to a rise in demand for international travel, as did the decision by Icelandair to introduce a fourth weekly service to Reykjavik. The airport was also boosted by Celtic’s Champions League fixture against Juventus which resulted in additional international traffic.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport said: “The addition of new routes, such as Wizz Air’s services to Poland, has been key to our recent success in growing passenger numbers and we will continue to work towards providing customers with greater choice.

“We enjoyed a busy Easter get-away and the launch of Lufthansa Regional’s direct flight to Dusseldorf, which also marked the return of the Star Alliance network to Glasgow, was particularly pleasing. Plans for our £17 million investment programme which will see key parts of the terminal building undergo a major makeover, are well underway and we are now looking forward to a busy summer season.”

www.glasgowairport.com/

GlasgowAirport_RSNO4

Lufthansa’s Glasgow to Düsseldorf service takes off with trade mission 

Lufthansa Regional’s inaugural Glasgow to Düsseldorf service took to the skies today (Monday 8 April) with representatives from the local business community who aim to promote greater ties between the two cities.

A cross section of businesses joined the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Scottish Development International (SDI) and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) on the Lufthansa Regional flight and will attend a series of engagements in Düsseldorf, which is located in the heart of the prosperous Rhine-Ruhr region.

Germany represents the largest international market for Glasgow with more than 71,000 trips made each year by German visitors who generate more than £19 million for the local economy. The new service will provide the perfect opportunity to strengthen links between Glasgow and Düsseldorf, both of which are economic powerhouses in their own right.

Lufthansa Regional will initially operate six flights per week, increasing to a daily service in June and it is the first time Glasgow Airport will have served Düsseldorf in 20 years. The launch of the route also marks the return of the extensive Lufthansa network to Glasgow.

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “Düsseldorf is at the centre of the Ruhr Valley, where so much of Germany’s engineering industry is based, and Germany is an important market for Glasgow. We’re pleased to be taking a delegation of business people from the city there to explore trading opportunities. This Lufthansa service is the latest new route won by the Glasgow Airport management team, and we should all recognise their remarkable success, especially in these tough times.”

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Lufthansa’s new route between Düsseldorf and Glasgow is a major boost for the city and the wider West of Scotland economy. It provides a direct, daily flight to one of Europe’s wealthiest regions and there will undoubtedly be strong demand for this service from within the business community. However, it also has huge potential to deliver significant in-bound leisure tourism from Germany, which is our largest international market.

“Additionally, increased access is a key driver in attracting more delegates to the conferences that meet in Glasgow and this vastly improves the city’s global competiveness by providing passengers with greater worldwide connectivity through the Lufthansa network.

“Landing this new service has been the result of strong partnership working between Glasgow International Airport, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, the German Consulate in Glasgow, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and VisitScotland. Even in these tough times, Glasgow is constantly striving to improve its air links and we are looking forward to working with Lufthansa to ensure the success of this route.”

Derek Mackay MSP for Renfrewshire North and West, said: “The introduction of Lufthansa Regional’s Düsseldorf service is fantastic news for Glasgow Airport and for everyone in the West of Scotland. With Glasgow Airport managing to add this service to their route network it will hopefully attract other companies to investigate the possibility of bringing their business to Renfrewshire.

“Glasgow Airport has recently proven its ambition to provide the best flights and services for its passengers, with the announcement last year of its second daily route to Dubai and also the more recent announcement of the £10 million investment to refurbish the airport in time for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“With Düsseldorf being a massive economic player amongst the rest of the major cities around the world, this is great news for the business community within Renfrewshire North and West.  Furthermore, if you add the fact that Scotland was recently voted as the top tourist destination this year in a CNN poll and the addition of this service it will no doubt increase tourism from Germany to Renfrewshire and around Scotland.”

Lufthansa is a founding member of the Star Alliance network which was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers more than 21,900 daily flights to 1,329 airports in 194 countries.

 

Lufthansa Regional’s direct flights to Düsseldorf are on sale at www.lufthansa.com.

Bringing It All Home for Gerry and the songmakers

Bringing It All Home for Gerry and the songmakers

Paisley is gearing up to honour one of its favourite sons with a series of songwriting events in the town this May.

Bring It All Home (2 – 4 May) is a celebration of song inspired by the legacy of Gerry Rafferty.  The Paisley-born singer-songwriter, who died in 2011, is known for his iconic hits ‘Baker Street’, ‘Right Down the Line’, and ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’.

Bring It All Home will feature performances from internationally-renowned artists such as Love and Money’s James Grant as well as a celebration of Paisley songwriters.

James Grant will open the event in Paisley Abbey on 2 May, where he will welcome friends Chris Thompson(Friends Again and The Bathers), Graham Skinner (Hipsway), Monica Queen (Belle and Sebastian collaboratrix), Fraser Spiers and bandmate and producer Paul McGeehan.

Home-grown songwriting talent will feature with Carol Laula and Yvonne Lyon performing in the Wynd Centre on 3 May and Michael Cassidy, local artist and winner of a council-sponsored songwriting prize in 2012, opening the Abbey concert.

In this first year of a new annual event, budding songwriters can join a free ‘masterclass’ in the town in a special session in Paisley Museum with James Grant.

Paisley’s Songwriting Guild will also perform free in The Bungalow Bar on Thursday 2 May and in Hamishes Hoose (just after the masterclass in the Museum) on Saturday 4 May.

Martha Rafferty, Gerry’s daughter, said: “Gerry’s talent is recognised as much today as it ever was and he would have hoped to inspire people from Paisley to pick up a guitar and try writing a tune or two themselves, I’m sure.”

“He was passionate about his music and he was passionate about his hometown – any combination of the two is a great way to remember him.”

Renfrewshire Council is backing the event with Council Leader Mark Macmillan describing it as “another step in promoting Paisley as an exciting cultural venue”.

Councillor Macmillan said: “The Paisley music scene has always been incredibly vibrant and we’re doing all we can at Renfrewshire Council to encourage musicians and music fans to the town.

“We’ve been blessed to have talents like Gerry Rafferty over the years and it’s great to have this opportunity to celebrate what he and his music brought to Paisley.

“This is a huge year for music in the town.  In October, Paisley will take centre-stage as the showcase for traditional and contemporary Scottish culture when we see the return of The Spree festival and we play host to the Royal National Mòd.

“All of these events attract people into the town and that’s what we need as we work to regenerate Paisley after some tough years.”

Tickets for the shows on 2-3 May can be bought from www.tickets-scotland.com on 08444 155 221 or from the food counter of Marks & Spencer, High Street, Paisley.

More information about the festival is available online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/bringitallhome

Pupils’ tourism careers get off the ground thanks to Glasgow Airport

Scotland’s next generation is learning about career opportunities in one of the country’s largest and most important industry sectors thanks to Glasgow Airport.

A project which introduces young people to the opportunities available in the hospitality and tourism sectors is being paid for with £40,000 from the Glasgow Airport FlightPath Fund.

The airport is also playing an active role in the delivery of the project and recently hosted an interactive session with pupils from Drumchapel High School, to demonstrate the wide range of jobs and career progression opportunities available at the airport.

The aim of the Skills for Sustainable Tourism project, which was devised by the charity Scottish Business in the Community (SBC), is to encourage these young people to move into education, training or employment in the tourism and hospitality sectors when they leave school.

With Glasgow Airport employing only around a tenth of the 4,500 workforce based on the airport campus, business partners World Duty Free also took part to give the pupils a retail perspective.

glasgow airport

Craig Martin, Glasgow Airport’s head of human resources, took part in the recent session with the children. He said: “This programme recognises the importance of tourism and hospitality in Scotland, and comes at exactly the right time with the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Homecoming all taking place in 2014.

“These interactive sessions are a great way to inform these young people about the huge range of jobs and career progression opportunities that exist at Glasgow Airport and a range of other organisations. Hopefully some of the visitors will return to take up employment here in the future!”

As the goal is to enable the Drumchapel youngsters to learn about every aspect of the tourism and hospitality industries, and increase their awareness and opportunities, the airport visit is just one of several facilitated by SBC including Glasgow 2014, Holiday Inn, Intercontinental Hotels and Rabbie’s Tours.

Bob Christie, SBC’s regional manager for Glasgow, said: “It is great news that a prominent business like Glasgow Airport, which supports thousands of jobs in tourism and hospitality both directly and indirectly, has chosen to fund this project in its entirety.

“During an economic downturn there is a greater risk that young people will leave school without employment, education or training, however we believe there are a significant number of opportunities available in tourism and hospitality which provide a route to both work and skills development.

“By funding and participating in this programme, Glasgow Airport has shown it is willing to invest in the future of the young people in its community and the future of Scotland’s tourism industry.”

Find out more here http://www.glasgowairport.com/

caroline watson

Exhibition of drawing and mixed media on paper

Caroline Watson, a Paisley artist, presents an exhibition of drawing and mixed media on paper. Exhibited last year at the beautiful Paisley Abbey, this series of work is based on floral images and the tradition of giving flowers as gifts to convey love, sorrow, congratulations, thanks… and our need to share at some level in the experience of another. Preview night is Thursday 21st March from 6-8 p.m. so please come along and meet the artist.  


Caroline will also lead a one-day workshop on mixed media Saturday 13th April. To attend the preview or for information about the workshop, please contact www.houseforanartlover.co.uk or call 0141 353 4770.  (To contact the artist: www.carolinewatsonart.com

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