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Choir Makes Wish Come True

 Monday December 19

A Largs pensioner's wish come true this morning when a carol she had written was performed for the first time at Paisley Abbey.

Catherine Murray, 82, and her daughter Fiona White were at the historic Abbey to hear her new carol performed by the Paisley Abbey Choristers in front of hundreds of people at a Christmas carol service for the ACCORD Hospice.

The surprise performance came after Mrs Murray wrote to the Church of Scotland with a Christmas wish. Tucked inside the envelope, along with her letter, were the words and music for ‘Christmas Morning’, a new carol she had written herself.

Mrs Murray wrote: "I thought perhaps the children might like to hear a carol meant especially for them...I will be 83 soon and would love to hear this Carol being sung by a wee group of children."

The minister at Paisley Abbey, Rev Alan Birss, agreed to help make Catherine's wish come true.

Mrs Murray said she could not have asked for a more perfect place or occasion to hear here carol sung for the first time.

“I honestly feel like I’m in a dream. This is almost unreal,” she said. “I can’t put into words what it means to me to hear my carol sung in Paisley Abbey by such a wonderful group of singers.

“I love children and I love music so this couldn’t have been more perfect. The children’s voices were amazing,”

After the service Mr Birss said: “We were delighted to be able to make it possible for Mrs Murray to hear her carol sung by the choristers in the Abbey.

“It is a very lovely tune, very easy to listen to and it fitted beautifully into the carol service.”

Mrs Murray ran a bed and breakfast in Crieff with her husband James for 10 years after his retirement from  Glasgow police. Mr Murray died in 2002 and Mrs Murray then moved to Largs, where she attends St Johns Church. She enjoys writing poems and creating music on her keyboard but this was the first time one of her songs has been performed in public.

The Abbey's Musical Director, Professor George McPhee, who put together the arrangement of ‘Christmas Morning’ sung today, said the choir would be happy to perform Mrs Murray’s carol again.

“The choristers immediately took to it and they found it very singable and very appealing,” he said. “Obviously Mrs Murray has an intuitive gift for writing melodies and I hope that others will take it up.”

 


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