Coweta choir performing in Scotland
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Members of Coweta’s Centre Masterworks Ensemble Choir are traveling to Scotland today, where they will perform two concerts in Ayr and Kilmarnock, Scotland.
Also going on the trip are Newnan Mayor Keith Brady, Mayor Pro-Tem Cynthia Jenkins, and members of the Newnan Cultural Arts Commission.
On Saturday, the choir, made up of youth and adults, will be performing at St. Andrew’s Church in Ayr, in conjunction with the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra and the South Ayrshire Percussion Ensemble. The choir includes members of the Centre Masterworks Youth Chorale, Centre Masterworks Senior Youth Chorale and the Centre Masterworks Women’s Ensemble. The choir is directed by Millie Lanier Turek.
The choir will perform Saturday at St. Joseph’s Academy in Kilmarnock, in a concert also featuring the Cumnock Brass Quintet, the East Ayrshire Primary Strings, and the East Ayrshire Primary Vocal Group.
During their performances, choir members will wear “Georgia tartans,” woven by local artist Ann Lynn Whiteside.
Newnan and Ayr are “sister cities.” The relationship between the two cities began in 1994 with a chance meeting of education and business leaders from Scotland and Coweta, at an educational conference. In 1998, a “sister city/sister county” pact was finalized among Newnan and Ayr, and Coweta County and Ayrshire. The Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra has traveled to Coweta to perform three times, and there have been several trips led by teachers and school administrators, taking students to visit their partner schools.
This is the first trip of a local music group to perform in Ayr.
“Our road to Scotland began over a year ago with the invitation from the Newnan Cultural Arts Commission for the Centre Masterworks Youth Chorale to represent our city … in this cultural exchange,” said Director Millie Turek. The three choral groups “have joined forces to bring the finest in American musical genres to our neighbors in Ayr.”
The choir will be singing a “wide variety of American choral music – classical, folk, spirituals, hymns, Broadway, jazz and swing,” Turek said. “The journey has also given us the opportunity to explore the folk music of Scotland and the texts of its greatest poet, Robert Burns.”
Some members of the delegation will be hosted by the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra families, while others will stay in a hotel. The group arrives today and will leave early Sunday. Several sightseeing tours are planned, as well as some free time.
“I thank the AFO host families who have helped make this event a reality,” said Brady. “I hope everyone will take the opportunity to soak in the beautiful surroundings of this lovely country. It is a great honor to share Newnan’s musical talents far from home, yet with the same comforting feel of home."