The story began in March 1865 when Cupar Amateur Musical Society was formed and when one considers that the American Civil War ended in the same month, some idea of the longevity of the "Choral" is placed in perspective.
The stated purpose of this Association was to invite all the vocalists in the town into one Association whose object was "the cultivation of glees, quartets and classical music". The inclusion of the latter gave a new dimension to choral repertoire, beyond the singing of occasional anthems.

Rehearsals were held in the upper room of the Corn Exchange before the building of the first storey, as it is today.

The conditions of membership are an interesting facet of how interest in the new Association might be stimulated. Ordinary members subscription was set at ten shillings and sixpence: those who could afford it were invited to become Associate members paying one guinea which would enable them to attend all the meetings and entitle them to the usual associate privileges. In addition there was a reduction in the fee for any member of an associate's family who wished to join. The editor of the Fifeshire Journal stated that, "there are many in Cupar, a score at least, who, if they cannot sing themselves can pay to keep others singing and go out and hear them," - an early form of sponsorship. Membership, however, was not confined only to enthusiasm and the ability to pay, e.g. any new members had to certified as eligible by at least three ordinary members. Musical qualifications were even more stringent. What was demanded was, "a complete knowledge of music, correctness in time and intonation, and some degree of practice in singing both solo and concerted music". Such a tall order as this leads one to speculate on the standard of resident and visiting teachers of music and of precentors in church choirs - unaided at this time by organs in churches. Without and tradition in choral singing apart from glees and madrigals, and psalmody in the churches generally criticised as undisciplined - although improving - the strict requirements for membership seem to be very much in the tradition of Victorian aspiration.
Extracted from Choral Singing in Cupar and District by Robert Smith

Print Email

1964-66                  Peter Murray
1967-68                  James Greenshields
1969-74                  Geoffrey Walker
1974                       Douglas Clark
1974-78                  Ronald Binnie
1978-2000              Richard Galloway
2000-05                  Robin Bell
2005-08                  Claire Luxford

2008-2017             Bruce Fraser

Print Email

December 2016 Handel's Messiah

April 2015 Mendelssohn's Elijah

March 2014  Dvorak's Mass in D, Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms
December 2013  Bruce Fraser The Queen's Wake Premiere performance (joined by St Columba's Primary School Choir), Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Vivaldi's Gloria
July 2013  Ste Menehould, France, Faure Requiem, I Landed with Seven Men (arrangement of Scottish songs)
April 2013 Haydn's Nelson Mass, Mozart's Requiem
December 2012
March 2012  Faure Requiem, Fraser Magnificat
December 2011 Holst Christmas Day, Chilcott And Peace on Earth (joined by St Columba's Primary School Choir), Christmas Carols 
March 2011  Poulenc Gloria and Carmina Burana (jointly with Helensburgh Oratorio Choir) 
December 2010  Concert cancelled due to bad weather
March 2010 Brahm's Requiem
December 2009  Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, Lauridsen's O magnum misterium, Vivaldi's Gloria (selection of carols performed by St Columba's Primary School Choir)
March 2009 Schubert's Deutsche Messe, Rutter's Te Deum, Handel's Coronation Anthems
December 2008 Haydn's The Creation
April 2008 (jointly with Helensburgh Oratorio Choir) Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius
December 2007 Haydn's Nicholas Mass
Schutz's Psalm 100
Carols by Rutter and Chilcott
Organ and string pieces
Carols for audience
April 2007 Bach's St. John Passion
Christmas 2006 Finzi's In terra pax
Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols
Carols and motets
April 2006 Selection of music with a 'Spring' theme performed purely by choir members
March 2006 (jointly with Helensburgh Oratorio) Verdi's Requiem
Christmas 2005 Handel's Messiah
Spring 2005 Bizet's Carmen
Christmas 2004 Mozart's Solemn Vespers, carols
Spring 2004 Haydn's Te Deum for the Empress Marie Therese
Hummel's Mass in B flat
Rutter's Feel the Spirit
Christmas 2003 Poulenc's Quatre Motets pour le temps de Noel
Pergolesi's Magnificat
Spring 2003 Mendelssohn's St. Paul
Christmas 2002 Vivaldi's Gloria, carols
Spring 2002 Howells's Hymnus paradisi
Olsson 's Te Deum
Christmas 2001 Monteverdi's Christmas Vespers
Carols and quartet
Spring 2001 Macmillan's Magnificat & Nunc
Mozart's Coronation Mass
Christmas 2000 Scheidt 's In dulci jubilo
Crotch's Lo! Star-led chieftains
Praetorius Quem pastores laudavere
Bach's Lobet den herrn
Charpentier's Messe de Minuit

Print Email