Choir and friends hit high notes in aid of Kerr unit

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LAST Friday night’s town hall audience was entertained by Hawick PSA Male Voice Choir and friends to an almost three-hour extravaganza of non-stop music, which raised vital cash for the Margaret Kerr Unit at Borders General Hospital.

A year after their previous show at the same venue this concert was the brainchild of the choir’s treasurer Donald Craig who ironically couldn’t be in the concert as he himself had spent most of the week in the Borders General Hospital. Donald would have enjoyed what was on offer and certainly the reaction of the Friday night audience confirmed that the producers had the mix right.

Those who paid their money at the door went home happy and singing and will be PSA fans now even if they weren’t before.

The show started with the choir, conducted by Ann Witherington, singing ‘Cool Water’ and they were then joined on stage by Joyce Tinlin and Debbie Lyons, whose voices blended well with the men to give a rousing chorus of the Abba hit ‘Money, Money, Money’.

Joyce and Debbie performed solos throughout the programme as did Steve Brown, Billy Jardine, George Storie, Geoff Ross and Drew Johnstone. Debbie and Steve combined well in ‘People Will Say We’re In Love’ from ‘Oklahoma’ and in the second half of the programme George Storey showed his voice to good advantage in ‘If you Were The Only Girl In The World’ while Geoff Ross’s ‘Bring Him Home’ from ‘Les Miserables’ was another showstopper.

Newcomers to the Hawick stage were the ladies and gentlemen of the Selkirk Amateur Operatic Society who have helped out the PSA Choir at other venues in the Borders. They were a hit with the audience with their ‘songs from the shows’ which ended with a selection from their next production ‘Oliver’ which is in February 2013 at Selkirk.

Old favourites of a very young age are the members of the Hawick Youth Band under the baton of Rob Hume and they delighted once again with a rumbustious and tuneful performance just after the interval. But the biggest cheers and almost a standing ovation went to the members of that other home-grown group, the Lesley MacFarlane Dancers.

Both the juniors and the seniors were there and they delighted with their very modern and extremely mobile dances. We had everything from jazz to ‘Riverdance’ and then the traditional Scottish Highland dancing was thrown in for good measure before a wonderful and noisy finale which had every pair of feet in total unison with the rest of the troupe.

Behind the scenes Christine Lyon was in charge of the fast-moving production which went like clockwork even without a compere and in charge of the sound was Iain Scott who kept the soloists especially in balance with the paino.

PSA Male Voice Choir president Billy Jardine said: “We are indebted to the many folk who helped to make this concert such a great success. We hope to be able to announce the amount soon which is being handed over to the Margaret Kerr project. That will, of course, be after all the expenses such as hall hire and printing have been paid. We will hand over the cheque to Claire Oliver [fund-raising manager for the Margaret Kerr Unit Appeal] in the next few weeks.”