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
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www.bearsdenchoir.co.uk

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

gerry rafferty

Legacy of Gerry Rafferty

Bring It All Home (2 – 4 May) is a celebration of songwriting inspired by the legacy of Gerry Rafferty.

The Paisley-born singer-songwriter, who passed away in 2011, is best known for iconic hits like ‘Baker Street’, ‘Right Down the Line’, and ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ which was recorded with band Stealer’s Wheel.

Bring It All Home will feature performances from internationally-renowned artists and some of the best local songwriting talent in the area.

gerry rafferty

On Thursday 2 May, Paisley Abbey will play host to a concert from James Grant and Friends which promises to be one not to miss!

On Friday 3 May, the action moves over to the Wynd Centre for A Night at the Wynd featuring Carol Laula and some special guests in what promises to be another must-see event.

Free songwriting events in the town, including one very special James Grant Masterclass in Paisley Museum & Art Galleries on Saturday 4 May, will look to inspire a new generation of singer-songwriters.Watch this space for more details!

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

For more information about Bring It All Home, e-mail us at towncentres@renfrewshire.gov.uk and follow us on Facebook or on Twitter@BIAHFestival

easter eggs

Easter activities for all the family at Renfrewshire Arts & Museums.

With the Easter Weekend and the school Spring Holidays fast approaching, what better way to keep the kids entertained than by paying a visit to Paisley Museum or catching a performance at Paisley Arts Centre.

Starting on Good Friday and running throughout Easter Weekend, Paisley Museum will embark upon its annual Easter Egg Hunt around the galleries and Observatory with help from Museum mascot ‘Easter Buddy’. Plus, visitors can create their very own masterpiece by decorating an egg to be added to our growing Easter Tree or submit an entry for our new Buddy the Lion drawing competition. All Easter activities at Paisley Museum are FREE. The Museum will be open 11am – 4pm on Good Friday, 30 March and Easter Monday. Open 2pm – 5pm Easter Sunday.

Beyond Easter Weekend, our arts programme at Paisley Arts Centre is jam-packed with eggsellent, boredom-busting performances guaranteed to entertain spring chicks. Easter marks the start of the Puppet Animation Festival, the country’s largest performing arts event especially for children. Paisley Arts Centre will be hosting two events in conjunction with this festival; glow-in-the-dark puppet adventure ‘Oscar and the Deep Sea Pearl’ on April 10, plus a matinee showing of the hand-crafted, animated film ‘A Cat in Paris’ on April 13. Then, for ages 8+, we have the swash-buckling superhero adventure ‘The Mark of Zorro’ swooping on to the stage on April 4.

The Mark of Zorro is on 4 April at 1.30pm. Suitable for ages 8 +, tickets cost £5. Oscar and the Deep Sea Pearl is on 10 April at 2pm. Suitable for ages 4+, tickets cost £4. A Cat in Paris (PG) will be screened 13 Apr at 2pm. Tickets cost £4 (£2 concession). Tickets can be booked online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/onlinebooking or by calling the Box Office on 0300 300 1210.

For further information on our Easter events, future events, exhibitions or shows log on to www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events or follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/renfrewshirearts.

 

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

Read more

Press release for planning application

Paisley Abbey Fourth Cloister project

 

8th March 2013

Paisley Abbey is looking to the future. A planning application has now been submitted for a £2 million refurbishment of the Place of Paisley and construction of new visitor facilities and community space on the site of the former fourth cloister, which was demolished in the 1870s as part of a road widening scheme.

Founded as a Cluniac Monastery in 1163 and currently celebrating its 850th anniversary, Paisley Abbey is of major national and international interest. Together with the adjoining medieval Place (Palace) of Paisley, the Abbey complex has a unique place in Scottish history as the birthplace of the Royal House of Stewart and in the development of Paisley throughout the ages.

The Abbey is keen to play its part in the regeneration of Paisley town centre by providing new facilities and offering more for both visitors and residents of Paisley. It will also secure the Abbey’s long term financial sustainability, and therefore the future of this important historic building.

Award-winning Scottish architects Simpson and Brown have produced proposals for an excellent new addition to the Abbey. Renfrewshire Council have supported the Abbey to get to this stage.

The plans include rebuilding the 4th cloister to create a new welcoming entrance to the Abbey and restore the cloister to its original footprint, incorporating medieval stones in its construction. The 4th cloister will provide purpose built space for a larger café/restaurant, shop, heritage interpretation and hall for receptions, exhibitions and conferences. The Place of Paisley will be refurbished with better visitor facilities and more community space.

Drawings of the proposals will be on display in the Abbey’s north transept for the next few weeks.

Reverend Alan Birss, Minister at Paisley Abbey, said: “The 4th cloister project is an exciting initiative which exemplifies the forward-looking vision of the Abbey as we celebrate our 850th anniversary. Along with the offering of worship to God, the welcoming of visitors and being a place that local people look on as ‘their own’, have from medieval times, been at the heart of what Paisley Abbey is about.  I have no doubt that the 4th cloister project will be a great success if we have the support of the whole community of Paisley with us. I commend it warmly to everyone in Paisley”

Douglas Alexander MP, member for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, said “Paisley Abbey has been at the heart of our town for Centuries. I am hugely excited by the 4th Cloister project as it offers the potential to advance both the work and witness of the Abbey and congregation, and the regeneration of Paisley Town Centre. It could be a new landmark for the Town, and a key milestone in the redevelopment of Paisley.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Paisley Abbey looms large in the history and landscape of the town. It’s encouraging that a major project to strengthen its future has reached an important milestone in being submitted for planning permission. Now there will be further consideration and consultation as part of the  planning
process with a view to reaching a decision over the coming months.”

Jenny Humphreys, Simpson and Brown Architect, said “We are delighted to be involved in such an important project.  We have worked closely with the Abbey to develop these proposals, to ensure that it meets all the varying needs placed on such a building. The submission of the Planning Application is a key stage, and we look forward to the next stage and seeing it come to fruition”

 

SongsOfPraise

Songs of Praise recording at Paisley Abbey on Monday 1st April 2013

Churches, schools, choirs and keen singers from Paisley & surrounding areas are invited to sing hymns in a ‘combined choir’ for a Songs of Praise recording on Monday 1st April 1-5pm at Paisley Abbey. You are also invited to join the congregation for Holy Communion on Easter Day, Sunday 31st March at 10am. This service which we will broadcast live on BBC One.

Paisley-Poster-1-FINAL

To apply for tickets for the Easter Monday Songs of Praise recording follow the instructions below. The 10am service on Sunday 31st March is not ticketed but please arrive early and be seated by 9.30am.

  • Via email: songsofpraise@bbc.co.uk
  • Or via post: Songs of Praise (Paisley Tickets), 1st Floor, Dock House, MediaCityUK, Salford M50 2LH

Paisley-Poster-2 FINALPlease be sure to include the following:

  • Full name
  • Postal address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address (if applicable)
  • Number of tickets you would like to apply for
  • Whether you would like Congregation or Choir tickets (N.B. for Choir – please also remember to state how many Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass tickets your require)
  • Any access requirements

Deadline for ticket applications is Wednesday 6th March

Please note that our recordings are often very popular and therefore we ask that you only apply for tickets that you will be able to use. We do try to accommodate everyone, but in the event that we are oversubscribed we will allocate on a pro rata basis.

Download the Application Form to take part in Paisley

For more information please visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006ttc5/features/tickets

paisley0abbey-850

COME AND SING HANDEL’S “MESSIAH”
with orchestra

Directed by GEORGE MCPHEE

PAISLEY ABBEY – SUNDAY 27 JANUARY 2013

Rehearsal: 230pm Performance: 6.30pm
(entry from 2.00pm)

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Singers Audience
Adult £10 £8 at the door
Students/school pupils £5

Singer places will be allocated on a first come basis to enable the conductor to achieve as
balanced a choir as possible

NB Scores will not be provided on this occasion.
There will be no formal dress code

Information for singers on how to apply and pay etc. can be had at 0141 848 1392

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If you cannot sing, do come along and join the audience at the performance at 6.30pm

~0O0~

 

www.paisleyabbey.org.uk

 

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THE ORCHESTRA OF SCOTTISH OPERA

PAISLEY ABBEY

SATURDAY 19 JANUARY AT 7.30PM

~paisley0abbey-850

MENDELSSOHN Overture: The Hebrides
Op.26 (“Fingal’s Cave”)

RESPIGHI Trittico Botticelliano

FRANCK Symphony in D minor

Conductor Francesco Corti

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Tickets: £13/£10 (concession)

from the Abbey Shop (Mon-Sat 10am-3.30pm). Booking fee £1 per ticket.
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Royal Scottish Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD) Box Office
100 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, G2 3D or phone: 0141 332 5057
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Book online:scottishopera.org.uk

whats-on-ren-banner

New Partners: What’s on Renfrewshire

We are always looking at ways to improve our service to our visitors and to do that, aim to partner up with other organisations. We can then provide added value to areas where, as volunteers, we can’t put in the resources and time needed to make those sections as informative as we would like.

whats-on-ren-bannerWe have an excellent events section, however it’s extremely hard to provide up to date events information as it takes time to do the research. What’s on Renfrewshire do an excellent job in finding local events not only in Paisley but in the whole of Renfrewshire and sometimes beyond.

We are happy to announce that our websites will now be working together to update everyone with all the latest events. You can still send your events in to us at paisley.org.uk or alternatively send them direct to What’s on Renfrewshire, who will display the events. Our team of volunteers can turn up to the event, take some photos, write a review and promote it on our social networks, giving double exposure to your event.

We welcome What’s on Renfrewshire to our partnership of sites promoting Paisley and Renfrewshire to the wider public.

What’s on Renfrewshire:

Our single aim at What’s On Renfrewshire is to make sure local events are promoted throughout the community for free! We understand that not every event being held has a budget for marketing, we also know that there are thousands of Renfrewshire residents who want to know what’s going on locally to them and that’s where we come in.

Part of our strategy is to build strong ties with other community groups and organisations allowing us to reach an even wider audience with our event listings, which is why partnering with Paisley.org.uk was a no brainer!

Paisley.org.uk has such a strong presence not just in Paisley but throughout the West of Scotland and beyond and we’re proud to be working alongside Brian and the team to make sure local events get the best coverage they can!

Keep up to date by following and visiting What’s on Renfrewshire via the website www.whatsonrenfrewshire.co.uk or via Facebook www.facebook.com/WhatsOnRenfrewshire