Since its foundation in 1858, the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union has established itself as one of Edinburgh’s most versatile and engaging choral societies, playing a significant part in the musical life of Scotland.
The Edinburgh Royal Choral Union has commissioned a work from American composer, Thomas LaVoy, to be performed for the first time at Greyfriars Kirk in its 400th anniversary year. This will be the centrepiece of an American themed programme, exploring the parallel history of the Kirk opening its doors, which was home of the signing of the National Covenant in 1638, and the landing of American pilgrims on the Mayflower at Plymouth Bay, Massachusetts in December 1620.
The composition, for choir, soloist and organ, will develop the theme of religious freedom. This theme will be discussed by Thomas LaVoy and other special guests during a pre-concert talk, setting the scene for an exciting, celebratory evening at Greyfriars Kirk.
Thomas LaVoy writes: “I am thrilled to receive this commission from Edinburgh Royal Choral Union that will honour the 400th anniversary of two important historical and spiritual events: the completion of Greyfriars Kirk and the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers. Though separated by over 3,000 miles, the people at the centre of events were united in a common dream – to obtain a physical space in which they could congregate, think for themselves and worship as they saw fit. The endeavours of these individuals have resonated through the intervening centuries, contributing to the founding documents of the United States and, most recently, finding new life as religious freedom again comes under siege today. The new work will incorporate this central theme in tandem with the inevitable darkness that arose from the events, providing a balanced view of their legacies and a timely message for our troubled world.”
We look forward to announcing when tickets become available: