Event Information

“Around the house stand ancient trees,
And on the wind hang melodies
Of days gone by when folk sang all the time.”
From A Song for Haddo by Moira Morrison

On first visiting Haddo House, many people are struck by the abundance and power of the trees. If trees could talk, what might they tell us -about those who have cared for them and walked amongst them over the centuries? What have they heard, what have they seen?

Join our cast of over 100 primary school singers, accompanied by an orchestra of high school instrumentalists playing side-by-side with professional musicians from the McOpera Ensemble. Ideas for this new work for Haddo were generated by the children during workshops with the composers, Moira Morrison and Peter Kemp.

“My son was one of the lucky children to take part and from when he began to practise his songs at home, I knew it was going to be special…” Parent (A Song for Haddo 2018)

Biography Information

Moira Morrison is a composer, a conductor and a passionate vocal animateur who works tirelessly composing for, creating and delivering music participation projects designed to engage and enthuse. She composes songs for children in many styles as well as leading song writing projects with children themselves.

An active member of the staff of the National Youth Choir of Scotland for many years, Moira is the founder and director of youth choir Dunbar Voices, Scotland’s first juggling choir Circus Voices(which also writes for), and the Edinburgh based a capellagroup Voces Inaudate.

Moira composed and conducted  A Song for Flightfor Milngavie Music Club (2019) conducted the community opera 20 Seaward Streetfor conFAB and McOpera, was Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor for the Lammermuir Festival / Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland production of Noye’s Fludde (2016) and An Cadal Trom (2018), and she was the composer and vocal animateur for A Song for Haddo (Haddo Arts Festival 2017).

Peter Kemp (MMus Composition, MSc Music Therapy)is a performing musician, composer and orchestrator, workshop leader, teacher, conductor and music therapist.

Formally a member of the viola section of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Peter left to become the Community Music Lecturer on the University of Strathclyde’s BA(Hons) in Applied Music and Community Arts, and studied composition with John Maxwell Geddes at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. His music has since been performed on Radio 3 and on CD.

Peter was awarded an MSc in Music Therapy from Queen Margaret University in June 2019. He also teaches and conducts the Glasgow Schools String Training Orchestra and freelances as a composer and viola player.

He has written 13 children’s operas and musicals, incorporating dance, drama, storytelling and the visual arts.

For McOpera, Peter composed The Milngavie Tales for East Dunbartonshire Children’s Chorus and Youth Choir and McOpera Outreach, as part of Milngavie Music Club’s 75thAnniversary season in 2017, orchestrated the songs by Benjamin Britten and Errollyn Wallen for A Song for Haddoin 2017 and 2018, and composes the string interludes for this year’s song-cycle.

Sue Baxendale (Project Manager and horn player) studied Music and English at the University of Birmingham, and has a varied portfolio of activity producing opera, project managing and community outreach for Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland (McOpera) and the Lammermuir Festival, and as a performer (as Section Principal Horn with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera) and teacher (at RCS and the Music School of Douglas Academy).

Sue devises and designs all activity for McOpera Outreach, including bespoke packages for schools and commissioned projects linked to main scale concert programmes, including The Tales Project for community heritage organisations, children’s chorus and professional ensemble, mentored portfolio musician projects for high school musicians and Let’s Make an Operafor primary schools.

Other recent activity includes Fleishmann/ Shostakovich’s Rothschild’s Violin and the premiere of Erik Chisholm’s Simoonas part of the Cottier Chamber Project, Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale (2017) for Milngavie Music Club, Britten’s Noye’s Fludde(2016) andMatthew Rooke’sAn Cadal Trom (2018)for the Lammermuir Festival, and A Song for Haddofor the Haddo Arts Festival (2017 – 2019).

Katie Hull, Leader (McOpera Ensemble)grew up in Dorset, then studied violin in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with David Takeno. She was appointed Principal 1st Violin with the Northern Sinfonia at the age of 21, and eight years later moved to Glasgow to work with the Scottish Ensemble and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. She was appointed Assistant Leader of the Orchestra of Scottish Opera in 1996. She works regularly with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and has tutored violin at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for nearly 20 years. She was awarded an MBA at the University of Glasgow in 2018.

Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland (McOpera) was formed in the spring of 2012 by musicians from The Orchestra of Scottish Opera to provide and generate a range of artistically exciting and diverse work in Scotland. Since that time, it has developed a wide portfolio of activity ranging from operatic productions, bespoke recording projects, orchestral performances and community outreach projects across a wide social and cultural demographic.

Recent activity includes critically acclaimed 5 star productions of large scale community operas for the Lammermuir Festival, with Britten’s Noye’s Fludde in 2016 and the premiere performance of Matthew Rooke’s community opera, An Cadal Trom in September 2018 (both produced by McOpera Outreach project manager Sue Baxendale).

Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland have performed the Scottish premiere of Fleishmann’s Rothschild’s Violinand the world premiere of Scottish composer Erik Chisholm’s opera Simoon (for Cottier Chamber Project 2014 and 2015, the latter released as a live performance on Delphian label in November 2016); an animated film production of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale with commissioned piece for children’s chorus and ensemble by Peter Kemp (Milngavie Tales), a Young Musicians’ Portfolio Musicians Project and A Song for Flightby Moira Morrison for Milngavie Music Club; and A Song for Haddo (for primary school voices and high school strings) for the Haddo Arts Festival in 2017 and 2018.


Event Details

Thursday 10th October 2019 7:30 pm - 8:15 pm

No interval

Concession - under 26 years old£5

Venue: Haddo House Hall