On Saturday 27th May at 7.30pm in the historic Norman church of Leuchars St Athernase, a group of top musicians will take to the stage in a concert of varied and familiar chamber works. The concert will be to raise funds for the restoration of the church, which is sadly in need of attention, and will be given by local musicians St Andrews String Trio, and viola and piano duo Jess Wyatt and Douglas Holligan.
The first half of the concert, performed by the St Andrews String Trio, will pair familiar pieces with some lesser known works. The trio, which is made up of Melanie O’Brien (violin), Jess Wyatt (viola) and Graham Leicester (cello), was founded in 2012 and has performed at the Younger Hall, St Andrews Botanic Gardens and for Dundee Chamber Music Society. Its members enjoy busy musical (and non musical!) careers and are well known local performers and teachers. The trio will play J S Bach’s famous Wachet Auf (Sleeper’s Wake) and part of his Art of the Fugue arranged for string trio, as well as some Scottish pieces such as My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose. A more upbeat feel will be provided by Brahms’ Hungarian Dance and a lively Piazzolla Tango.
The second half of the concert will feature viola and piano duo Jess Wyatt and Douglas Holligan, in a programme of Bach balanced by Russian composers. The duo, who are both alumni of St Andrews University, perform together regularly and have played at the Byre Theatre and at Edinburgh Society of Musicians, most recently in a performance of Shostakovich’s Viola Sonata Op. 147 last October. Jess Wyatt studied with Jane Atkins (principal viola of the SCO) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, graduating with distinction before pursuing a freelance career as a performer, as well as being in demand as a teacher. Douglas Holligan studies with Philip Fowke and has taken part in masterclasses with Artur Pizarro, Susan Tomes and Martin Roscoe; he has also performed on Radio 3. The duo will perform Bach’s Viola da Gamba Sonata in D BWV 1028 and Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, paired with Rachmaninov’s soaring Vocalise and Glazunov’s melancholic Elegie.