ON a glorious evening and with the sun streaming into the beautiful village church, a capacity audience was treated to a musical feast in Eddleston’s annual “Music for a Summer Evening”, featuring Eddleston Voices and the Church’s Junior Choir. The Junior Choir, resplendent in their smart purple sweat shirts, set the scene with word-perfect offerings including songs from the shows, an enchanting Swedish folk song and the wonderful “Showdown Hoe-down” which had the audience enthusiastically clapping along and joining in.

There was a most impressive clarity in the youngsters’ performance throughout, with excellent diction and, commendably, not a music score to be seen. The choir’s part-singing of the African American Spiritual “Chatter with the Angels” thrilled the audience.

Eddleston Voices, a community choir founded and directed by Eddleston’s organist Lorraine Mulholland, presented three sets in which both diction and precision were most impressive. The breadth of the Voices’ repertoire was demonstrated in the eclectic mix of the pieces chosen for the evening.

First time round there were beautiful arrangements of “A Croon” and “Loch Lomond” and then the pace was increased, slowly to begin with, in “This Little Light of Mine” and a novel setting of the spiritual “Down by the Riverside. In the relatively few years since its formation Eddleston Voices has moved from tentative two-part singing to confident four-part harmony.

Special guests for the evening were Eddleston’s own Kathy Stewart and Ken Kennedy and Friends. In two spots on the programme their selection of bluegrass, spiritual and blues pieces, including a couple of Kathy’s own compositions had the audience thrilled and, at times, highly amused. The deft instrumental work and sweet harmonies were captivating. At various times members of the audience were rocking and clapping along and “Mama Blues”, a very entertaining musical conversation, had everyone laughing.

Eddleston Voices’ second set delighted all present with an unashamedly nostalgic selection. The choir’s performance of “Moon River” was beautifully atmospheric, while the singers’ enthusiasm for Teach Me the Blues” was very evident as it was also for “42nd Street” which raised the roof of the old kirk.

Following a second appearance of Kathy, Ken and friends the variety continued into the Voices’ final set which opened with the Louis Armstrong hit “What a Wonderful World”. Again the performance was sensitive and accomplished. Then there was the superb “Complete History of Western Music”, Audrey Snyder’s tongue-in-cheek whistle-stop tour through musical history, combining melodies of Strauss, Mozart and Beethoven and a host of others, together with entertaining lyrics that tell the story. All in all it was great fun for performers and audience alike. Finally, and fittingly, Eddleston Voices brought the performance part of the evening to a close with a powerful offering of Anne Lewis’s arrangement of “Auld Lang Syne”.

All the performers are to be congratulated on a fine evening’s entertainment. Ably supported by accompanists Caroline Adam and Kirsty Peebles, Lorraine Mulholland who directs both choirs once more brought the best out of all the singers. The audience went home with music ringing in the ears.