Choir of Scots' Church
Founded in 1838, The Scots' Church, Melbourne is Victoria's oldest Presbyterian congregation, many distinguished Melbourne musicians have been part of the choir, including Dame Nellie Melba.
Founded in 1838, The Scots' Church, Melbourne is Victoria's oldest Presbyterian congregation. The present building, designed by Joseph Reed, was dedicated in 1874. The church's first organ was installed as the same time, it was altered several times and ultimately replaced by the current organ in 1999.
Many distinguished musicians have been members of the Scots' Choir. Perhaps the best known of these is Dame Nellie Melba who was in the choir for three years. The present choir consists of four principals, eight choral scholars and other singers whose love of church music brings them along to sing every Sunday.
The present Director of Music, Mr Douglas Lawrence arrived at Scots' in 1984. He had just started the Choir of Ormond College two years before, and began to bring the Scots' choir up to his high standards. In 1987 the choir bought out its first cassette, Joy my heart outpoured, and it began to sing concerts of sacred music at Christmas and on Good Friday, with the choir principals acting as soloists.
The people who sing in the choir form a diverse group.
At the time of recording in late 1994, early 1995 the Choir contained the following people:
Principal soprano Deborah Kayser, who came to Scots' after a long stint in the Ormond choir. Tenor Vaughan McAlley started at the Ormond choir after five years at Scots.
The basses Edward Morgan and Christopher Johnston also sang in the Ormond Choir. Mr Lawrence's wife, Elizabeth Anderson became principal alto in 1989 replacing Margaret Phillips, whose husband Douglas (now deceased) was also an excellent bass principal. Zoe Cameron and her sister Eleanor both began at Scots at a very young age and had sang at Scots' for over five years. William Ness began as Principal tenor in 1991. Jenny Young joined the choir in 1981 and her daughter Felicity joined at a later stage. Bass Hector McClean was an Associate Professor in Ophthalmology. He joined the choir in 1973. Mary Whiteside has a long history of choir and solo work. She also sang with the Melbourne Chorale. During the recording Alison Lockett was completing a law degree at Melbourne University. She also sang with the Tudor Choristers. The choir's Principal bass, Thomas Drent was studying music at Melbourne University. Richard Bolitho is an accountant. He sang for several years with the Vocal Consort. Mirella Castle was completing Year 11 at high school. Leslie Salvestrin was completing a Bachelor of Music. Nola Rodgers made the trek from Geelong each Sunday to sing alto. Betty Alan sang soprano, as did the visiting Korean student Yong Shin.
Choir of Scots' Church is featured on the following titles
The Choir of Scots' Church presents music from Palestrina in the sixteenth century to twenty-first century music by a contemporary Australian composer, Andrew Batterham. It also includes a rare performance of the Widor Mass for choir, baritone choir and two organs.
Some of the finest sacred music ranging from 16th century through Baroque, Romantic to Afro-American spirituals performed by one of Melbourne's finest choirs.