Media Release: ‘Concerts in the Kirk’ series to feature Mr McFalls Chamber

Sunday 20th May, 8pm Dalmeny Kirk by South Queensferry – Concerts in the Kirk series – Mr McFalls Chamber

Featuring premiere of award-winning composer Joel Rust’s ‘From Elm-Tops’

Tickets £25 concert at 8 pm, £40 concert preceded by dinner at 7 pm in the Church Hall.

Call 0131 331 5912 or visit

‘Concerts in the Kirk’ is a series of intimate concerts by candlelight, from top class performers in one of Scotland’s oldest churches, the fine Norman Dalmeny Kirk by South Queensferry.

Produced by Sir Jack Stewart-Clark of the Dundas Foundation and the Rev Tom Cuthell, with Rev David Cameron, Minister of Dalmeny and Queensferry churches, the next concert in the series takes place on Sunday 20th May at 8pm.

In an attempt to share inspiration and encouragement as well as to celebrate the historic importance of this tiny place of worship, the concert series has been running since March 2011, to full audiences.

Those attending have the opportunity either to dine by candlelight in the nearby church hall before the concert, or just to buy a concert ticket for the evening.

The concert on 20th May features Mr McFall’s Chamber – an ensemble of string quartet, with guest vocalists, Susan Hamilton (soprano) and Nicholas Mulroy (tenor). Mr McFalls Chamber is Brian Schiele (viola), Robert McFall (viola/violin), Su-a Lee (cello), Rick Standley (double bass).

Mr McFalls Chamber plays widely different styles of music – from progressive rock, tango, cartoon classics, folk, jazz and early music to contemporary classical.

The group was formed to create new audiences, new music and new directions in music.

It has just released four new albums including a programme of Martyn Bennett and Fraser Fifield, ‘Birds and the Beasts’, a recording of Gavin Bryars Eight Irish Madrigals and The Okavango Macbeth, a new opera written and composed by Alexander McCall Smith and Tom Cunningham.

The concert on 20th May will also premiere a new work by the exciting young composer Joel Rust entitled ‘From Elm-Tops’.

Joel (23) is a former winner of BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composer of the Year awards who is currently studying at Harvard University in the USA.

Now the group is bringing this wonderful work to Dalmeny Kirk as part of the Concert in the Kirk series, alongside poems by Edward Thomas to be read by Sir Jack Stewart-Clark and by Rev Tom Cuthell as part of the performance. Joel Rust will be present.

Says Rev David Cameron: ”For over 880 years Dalmeny Kirk has been a spiritual home for the community of Dalmeny.

“The history of the Kirk is fascinating as it stretches back through the centuries to the days of the early Celtic Saints and has reflected the many political, social and religious changes that Scotland has been party to.

“The architecture of the building is quite outstanding for what you see is perhaps the most complete example of a Norman Parish church in Scotland.”

Sir Jack Stewart-Clark of the Dundas Foundation said: “I am delighted at the interest and support this ‘Concerts in the Kirk’ series has attracted from the local community in Dalmeny, South Queensferry and further afield across Edinburgh – we have enjoyed performances from a diverse range of highly talented musicians such as Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain, Jean Johnson and Steven Osborne, John Butt and Camerata Scotland.”

Dalmeny is just 20 minutes drive from the centre of Edinburgh so, with dinner included, this makes for an ideal Sunday evening out.

tel 0131 331 5912


This information from Carol Anderson, The Business tel 0131 718 6022

Mobile 078365 546 256

Editors notes:


Joel Rust (born 1989) lives in London and studied composition with Jeffery Wilson at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Junior Department before going on to read music at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He came first in the senior category of the BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composer Competition in 2007 with his woodwind and brass sextet ‘paraprosdokia’. This was recorded and broadcast on Radio 3. His work has also been performed by the Britten Sinfonia. His chamber opera, Nauset, was produced in Emmanuel College Chapel last year to critical acclaim. Joel is currently studying at Harvard University as a post-graduate.

Gavin Bryars was born in Yorkshire in 1943. He worked as a jazz bassist in the early sixties with improvisers Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley [Joel Rust also happens to be a jazz bassist]. He abandoned improvisation in 1966 and worked for a time in the United States with John Cage. He taught for some years in departments of Fine Art in Portsmouth and in Leicester, and was instrumental in founding the legendary Portsmouth Sinfonia. He founded the music department at Leicester Polytechnic and was professor of music there from 1986 to 1994.

His first major works as a composer were The Sinking of the Titanic (1969), originally released on Brian Eno’s Obscure label in 1975, and Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet (1971). He was closely associated with many of the founders of the Minimalist school of composition, but has gone on to develop his own style of composition, influenced not only by minimalist and other contemporary styles, but also by music of the distant past, such as 16th century madrigal.

Susan Hamilton (soprano) is in demand as a soloist working with many conductors including Philippe Herreweghe, John Butt, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos, Jos van Immerseel, Robert King, Paul McCreesh, Masaaki Suzuki and Ton Koopman. She has performed with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, A Sei Voci, La Caccia, Cantus Cölln, Collegium Vocale Ghent, Florilegium, Flanders Recorder Quartet, Gabrieli Consort, The Monteverdi Choir, The New London Consort and The Rare Fruits Council. She also performs regularly with, Il Gardellino, Plus Ultra, Mr McFall’s Chamber, the Ricercar Consort and the Dunedin Consort, which she co-founded and is one of the artistic directors and has appeared at major International Festivals in Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA including the Edinburgh International Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, Les Folles Journées in Nantes and Lisbon, Melbourne, St Magnus, Salzburg and Utrecht. Susan broadcasts regularly on both television and radio and has recorded for Astree-Auvidis, Delphian, Flora, Harmonia Mundi, Hyperion, Linn, Ricercar and Virgin Classics.

Nicholas Mulroy (tenor) was born in Liverpool, Nicholas read Modern Languages at Clare College Cambridge and then studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Recent appearances include Septimius in Handel Theodora with Trevor Pinnock, Evangelist in Bach Weihnachts-Oratorium in London with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Premiere Parque in Rameau Hippolyte et Aricie with Emmanuelle Haïm at the Theatre du Capitole in Toulouse, le Récitant in Berlioz L’Enfance du Christ with Sir Colin Davis, as well as several appearances at the BBC Proms (Monteverdi Vespers 1610, Campra Requiem and Bach Johannes-Passion), with the Staatskapelle Dresden (Bach B Minor Mass and Haydn Harmonie-Messe), Matthäus-Passion (Evangelist and arias) with Laurence Cummings at the London Handel Festival. On stage, Nicholas made his Glyndebourne debut under Jurowski in Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery, has sung Mozart’s Ferrando, Don Ottavio, Belmonte and Belfiore in La Finta Giardiniera, and Tenor Actor in Judith Weir’s Night at the Chinese Opera. A committed recitalist, highlights include Janáček’s Diary of one who Vanished with the Prince Consort in the Oxford Lieder Festival, Vaughan Williams On Wenlock Edge in Edinburgh and with the Badke Quartet, Gavin Bryars Eight Irish Madrigals with Mr McFall’s Chamber (also a forthcoming CD), and, with regular collaborator John Reid, Die Schöne Müllerin, Schumann Op 24 and Op 39, and Tippett’s The Heart’s Assurance.

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