SE­RIES On Wings Of Song by Joyce Begg

It looks like the Kil­dar­tie Singers will be busy in the next few months.

The People's Friend - - Contents -

HAZEL BOYD had been ap­pointed choir li­brar­ian when the Kil­dar­tie Singers were first set up, on the strength of be­ing a pro­fes­sional li­brar­ian.

Hazel loved her job. She had an old-fash­ioned at­ti­tude to books, and had never lost her love for the feel and smell of new books. She would have felt deeply dis­loyal read­ing a novel elec­tron­i­cally.

That said, she had to be very com­pe­tent on the com­puter as part of her job. All sorts of in­for­ma­tion and ad­verts came through the in­ter­net, and it was time-con­sum­ing to sort out the im­por­tant stuff from the dross.

She al­most missed a mes­sage to tell her and oth­ers in the vil­lage about the Kil­dar­tie Gala Day, which took place each May.

Posters would be sent nearer the time, but in the mean­time the e-mail in­cluded a list of the usual events in the gala, from the welly-toss­ing chal­lenge at 11 a.m. to the barn dance in the evening.

The e-mail sug­gested that in­ter­ested peo­ple might like to pro­pose new events, pos­si­bly of a mu­si­cal na­ture, to be sub­mit­ted to the com­mit­tee in time for some­thing to be done about it be­fore the sched­ule was set in stone.

Per­haps the re­cip­i­ents might like to pin up the e-mail some­where ob­vi­ous, and draw it to the at­ten­tion of the pub­lic?

Hazel’s fin­ger hov­ered on the delete but­ton, till she thought bet­ter of it and moved to print.

Later that morn­ing, in her lunch break, Lizzie Martin popped in.

“Hi, Hazel. Just bring­ing back my book be­fore it’s over­due.” She smiled brightly. “What’s new?”

Hazel pointed to the print-out from the gala com­mit­tee.

“Good­ness, it can’t be that time al­ready, can it? Oh, I see. They’re look­ing for new ideas.”

“In ad­di­tion to the welly-throw­ing and wet­sponge chal­lenge.”

“They haven’t got, and have never had, any­thing mu­si­cal apart from the barn dance. Not a folk band, or a jazz band, or . . .” She grinned mis­chie­vously. “A choir!”

Rod­ney Tay­lor sat at his desk in Mu­sic Room One, read­ing a let­ter that had come about the Sil­low­burn Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, which took place in June.

Sil­low­burn was 25 miles away, but Kil­dar­tie High School had reg­u­larly sent in­stru­men­tal­ists and singers to their an­nual com­pe­ti­tions, and the chil­dren had of­ten done very well.

This year the com­mit­tee was propos­ing to widen their re­mit and in­clude adult classes in their sched­ule.

We pro­pose to have singing com­pe­ti­tions for so­prano, con­tralto, tenor and bass, and pos­si­bly for duets and trios. We also in­tend to run a com­pe­ti­tion for adult choirs. The in­clu­sion of these new events would de­pend on the re­sponse we re­ceive from the pub­lic in gen­eral.

We hope that you, with your wide knowl­edge of mu­sic in your area, might bring this in­for­ma­tion to the at­ten­tion of the many mu­si­cal adults of your ac­quain­tance, and that our fes­ti­val would be en­hanced by their par­tic­i­pa­tion.

“Blimey,” Rod­ney said aloud, and then looked around to make sure no-one had heard him. This would take some thought. It wasn’t some­thing he could just throw at the Kil­dar­tie Singers.

But then again, why not?

Lizzie had thought she might phone Rod­ney and ask him to look at the ad­ver­tise­ment in the li­brary, then thought bet­ter of it.

It was not her place to sug­gest that the choir might sing at the Gala Day. They might not want to do that.

Rod­ney might not be able to fit it in. He had enough on his plate, with all the end-of-term mu­si­cal ac­tiv­i­ties. There was the per­for­mance of “The Pi­rates Of Pen­zance”, for a start, in which Han­nah had a lead­ing role.

No. She would for­get it.

Rod­ney thought a bit more about the Sil­low­burn Fes­ti­val, and won­dered if it might just be pos­si­ble to get the choir to en­ter.

As the next class started queu­ing up out­side his door, ready for en­light­ened in­struc­tion, Rod­ney checked his e-mails.

There was one new mes­sage, on the sub­ject of Kil­dar­tie Gala Day.

“Blimey!” he said again. “Some­thing mu­si­cal. Do they mean the choir? How can we fit all that in?”

But he didn’t say no.

More next week.

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