Celebrating 30 years of song

Eastwood Choral Singers (back) performing with the East Renfrewshire Schools Symphony Orchestra last year.

Eastwood Choral Singers (back) performing with the East Renfrewshire Schools Symphony Orchestra last year.

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Eastwood Choral Singers is celebrating 30 years of uplifting music this month with an anniversary concert.

The 50-strong group — made up of southside and East Renfrewshire residents — began as a collaboration between several Eastwood churches, meeting in Park Church after establishing then-minister Mike Gibson as president.

Since then, the choir has performed The Messiah and Carmina Burana at the Royal Concert Hall, joined forces with the East Renfrewshire Schools Symphony Orchestra and even travelled to Jena (then in East Germany) to sing with a choir there.

Gillian Bain (65) joined 16 years ago — and loves every minute of being an ECS member.

She told The Extra: “I joined because I enjoy singing and meeting people — and I loved the feeling of belonging to a group.

“The music can be challenging at times but it keeps me on my toes and I find it exhilarating.”

The mother-of-two will be one of 50 members performing at Park Church next Sunday (April 27) — and family and friends will be along to watch, including her two eldest grandchildren out of six.

Gillian added: “Our soloist, Caroline Dickov, and percussionist, Steven Bain, are both former Woodfarm pupils and the singers are all southsiders, so it’s very much a community effort.

“The programme comprises Songs of a Rainbow Nation (African music sung mainly in Zulu) and choral classics chosen for their popularity with audiences.

“They will be familiar to lots of people, as they’re the pearls of our repertoire.”

Next up for Eastwood Choral is a Christmas concert with the title Peace on Earth, to commemorate the First World War — and it’s the ideal time for anyone who wants to join in, as there will be an open all day rehearsal on September 6 (details to follow on the group’s website and Facebook).

For now, the 30th anniversary performance starts at 7.30pm at the Ravenscliffe Drive church.

Tickets are £8 (including refreshments) and under 12s are allowed in for free.