Ballater concert in aid of flood recovery

The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay enjoy the concert. Picture: PA
The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay enjoy the concert. Picture: PA

The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay were special guests at a concert in Ballater on Thursday night to raise funds for local flood victims.

It was held in Glenmuick Church and featured world-renowned composer Professor Paul Mealor and Aberdeen University Chamber Choir.

The university is releasing an album giving a fresh musical lease of life to poetry by Robert Burns.

Proceeds from sales of The Immortal Memory will benefit projects established by the Royal couple following last winter’s devastating floods.

Addressing the audience, the Prince said it was a very special occasion and he thanked compere Robert Lovie, Professor Mealor and the choir for their performance.

The Royal guest of honour added that he could not get over how “remarkably resilient and courageous” the local community had been in the face of the “terrible challenges” after Storm Frank.

Charles said the CD would make a huge difference to the Ballater Flood Appeal.

Prior to the concert, Professor Mealor said the decision to donate all revenue from sales of the album to the Duke’s appeal came from strong ties forged with the Deeside community.

He added: “The Chamber Choir has performed regularly at events in Royal Deeside, including at celebrations at Balmoral, in Braemar and in Crathie Kirk.

“We have got to know the people of this area through our concerts and they have been a tremendous support to the choir over the years.

“We thought it would be appropriate to give something back in recognition of that support.”

The concept for the album was developed by Professor Mealor - who has received global acclaim for his work which has been performed at a number of high-profile royal events - when he discovered that few choral arrangements for Robert Burns exist.

He said: “Burns is admired the world over for his poetry and songs but despite his enduring popularity, this does not seem to extend into the choral tradition.

“The richness and depth of Burns’ verse lends itself well to choral performance and with the creation of the university’s record label, Vox Regis, it seemed a wonderful opportunity for a new interpretation of his much-loved work.”

The Immortal Memory follows a traditional Burns Supper and includes many of his favourite works including Auld Lang Syne, Ae Fond Kiss, A Man’s a Man and Afton Water.