We are a small enthusiastic group, united by our love of singing, who lead the praise on a Sunday morning. From September to June anthems are prepared and sung . Practices take place on a Sunday morning at 1015 to prepare the praise list and anthem for that day and forthcoming anthems.
We are always delighted to welcome new members- no experience is required!
Looking forward to seeing you,
St Cuthbert’s has a strong music tradition and charity and fundraising concerts have taken place over the years under the leadership of previous organist and local music teacher Joan Gordon who directed the choir from 1979 until her retirment in 2014.
Additional members for these concerts are recruited from local churches.
Retiral Presentation for long serving organist.
On the last Sunday in June 2015, Suzy and Barbara, two of Joan Gordon’s daughters were presented with a cheque contributed to by the congregation in recognition of their mum’s 35 year tenure as organist in St. Cuthbert’s church.
Ann Turner, church treasurer, recalled how Joan, over and above her regular playing to lead Sunday morning worship, used her musical skills to make every occasion in which she was involved a special experience for those requiring her services. Over many years her charity concerts raised considerable funds for good causes and many within and out with the congregation had benefited from her encouragement.
In accepting the cheque from Evelyn Slater, Session Clerk, Barbara thanked the congregation on behalf of their mother who was unable to be present. She spoke of how St. Cuthbert’s had been a huge part of Joan’s life and of her pleasure in working with the congregation and the choir over many years.
The family have decided to gift the funds collected to the Harbour Centre in Parkhouse Road to help them continue their work in supporting Alzheimer patients and their families.
Spring 2015 Announcement of Retiral of Joan Gordon
The end of an era has been reached with the retiral of our much-loved organist and choir mistress – Joan Gordon.
At the organ for over thirty-five years – one third of the life of this beautiful place of worship – Joan was already involved in the music of St. Cuthbert’s as a much-valued member of the alto section of our choir. Her remarkable prowess at the organ became apparent in 1969 when she accompanied the then current organist, Lex Dunlop, while he conducted the congregation during a number of Songs of Praise recordings. Some of the senior members may recall her playing in Landsborough Trinity Church prior to taking up her position here.
She was appointed in 1979 near the end of the ministry of Rev. George Balls and continued to serve in her role for Rev. John Johnston, Rev. Brian Oxburgh and Rev. Arthur Sherratt.
Until this recent period of ill health, Joan rarely has been absent from her seat at the organ, and days off and holidays were few and far between.
During her reign, the tradition of musical excellence associated with St. Cuthbert’s Church has been maintained and sustained and, with the continued support of the choir, she has presented the regular Sunday anthems and occasional introits.
One of her lasting legacies will be the memorable Annual Charity Concerts produced in association with the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Rotary Club. With her numerous musical contacts in the Three Towns area, Joan was able to recruit additional singers to augment our choir for these large and popular events. A considerable number of her former students, many of whom have made professional careers at home and abroad, have returned to perform to support Joan’s efforts and express their gratitude for her instruction and guidance in their early years. Four years ago many of these individuals and choristers reassembled to present a “surprise” concert to celebrate her 80th birthday. Rotary recognised and honoured her contribution towards their charity fund-raising by making her a Paul Harris Fellow.
Over the years, choir members have, with Joan’s encouragement, taken part in musical occasions in Glasgow Cathedral, St. Giles, Paisley Abbey and Ayr organised by the Royal School of Church Music, as well as smaller, less formal presentations in South Beach House and in the locality.
During her teaching career she has introduced many young people to singing, piano and organ-playing and we in St. Cuthbert’s have been privileged to benefit from the fruits of her labour with performances at concerts or little afternoon recitals.
Joan became an accomplished organist at an early age and has often recalled cycling for many years from Skelmorlie to play at morning service in Fairlie Church. Can’t imagine many youngsters finding that too appealing nowadays! This would suggest that she has been organ-playing for well in excess of sixty years.
Her infectious passion for music has been spread far and wide and, on occasions during morning service, the congregation has experienced her in full teacher mode exhorting them to “give it laldy” while encouraging the Sunday School to sing it again – “I’m sure you can sing much louder than that!”
Although the organist is partially hidden, gathering on Sunday mornings, members immediately knew who was playing as few can quite make the rafters ring like Joan can with the sound from that marvellous instrument.
There cannot be many more loyal and devoted servants to our church, and Joan will be a hugely difficult and near-impossible act to follow.
We send her our thanks, our prayers, and our love and best wishes in her retirement.