University music to welcome King Charles III to Scotland

University music to welcome King Charles III to Scotland

University of Aberdeen music will be showcased as Scotland marks the official welcome of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla at a special ceremony on Wednesday 5 July.

The King will be presented with the Honours of Scotland at a National Service of Thanksgiving at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh.

A host of University musical talents will feature across the ceremony, beginning with a performance of ‘Caledonia’ by honorary graduate Dr Robert Lovie as part of the pre-service music. Dr Lovie, a popular Northeast singer and entertainer who sung at the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and is well known for his appearances at the Braemar Gathering, will be accompanied by The Honours of Scotland Ensemble.

Dr John Frederick Hudson, a recent PhD graduate in composition, has arranged the music for ‘Caledonia’ as well as for ‘All in the April Evening’, to be sung by internationally renowned mezzo-soprano, Karen Cargill.

Bachelor of Music graduate Joanna Gill has composed a new song to showcase north-east Doric, which will also be performed by Cargill.

Gill is an award-winning Scottish composer, published by Universal Editions. Her music has been performed by a variety of prestigious ensembles including the BBC Singer's, London Symphony Chorus/Orchestra, and in multiple venues including: The Royal Albert Hall, Barbican, Hampton Court Palace and Canterbury Cathedral. Joanna's first album of contemporary choral music, 'Love Illuminates', has also just been released this month with Regent Records and is available on all streaming platforms.

Her work 'A Song of Thanksgiving and Dedication' was composed as a tribute to Her Majesty the Queen, who is Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, and it will be the first time that Doric has been sung at an Honours of Scotland Service.

She said: “It is a huge honour and privilege to be asked to write the music for this special Scottish folk song and a real thrill to be inspired by my home country for such a wonderful occasion."

Three new works from the University’s internationally renowned composer, Professor Paul Mealor, will also feature in the service.

The first, ‘Balmoral Flourishes’ has been composed to mark the arrival of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen at St Giles Cathedral and will be performed by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry.

Professor Mealor also becomes the first composer to set the Gaelic language in an Honours of Scotland Service with Còmhnaicheam An Àros Dhè (And I shall dwell in God’s House) which will see popular Gaelic TV and radio broadcaster Joy Dunlop sing Psalm 23.

Mealor’s recessional march – ‘The Call of Lochnagar’ - will sound as Their Majesties leave the cathedral. It features the Honours of Scotland Ensemble and the brass fanfare group of HM’s Royal Air Force. Mealor’s new march is a reflection of Their Majesty’s love of Balmoral, Dark Lochnagar and surrounding countryside.

He said: “It is wonderful to see such an array of University of Aberdeen music feature in this very special service.

“As our Chancellor for the last decade, Her Majesty Queen Camilla has been a staunch supporter of Aberdeen music and this is a wonderful platform to showcase the talent that exists within our community.

“It is always an honour to hear your work performed in such a beautiful setting and at such an important historical occasion.”

Professor Chris Collins,Chair in Music and Head of Schoolof Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture at the University of Aberdeen, added: “We are delighted to see not only the strong representation of University music but the celebration of Doric and Gaelic at Scotland’s service of dedication and thanksgiving.

“We are proud of the success of our graduates and it will be wonderful to hear their work performed by some of the nation’s most talented musicians at St Giles Cathedral.”

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