St Augustine’s, Coatbridge has a long and outstanding musical heritage, dating back to the foundation of the Parish, and has always had a choir supporting the liturgy.
From the legendary Hugh Anglum and Josie Rooney, through Brendan McBride (who went on to have a successful career as a professional tenor), the baton was picked up by John Pitcathley towards the end of the 1980s, whilst John was Principal teacher of Music at St. Ambrose High School.
John gave the choir a renewed impetus, and soon passed the leadership to Elaine Bogie, who took over the mantel in 1989, and the choir has since gone from strength to strength. Elaine adds to what the choir does every Sunday to support the liturgy by pushing the choir to ever greater choral achievements, including some very famous (and very difficult) anthems and works, which have helped to enhance the liturgy throughout the Church year.
As well as supporting the music at Mass each week, the choir performs seasonal concerts during Advent and Lent, and has also performed many of the great choral works, mostly on Remembrance Sunday: highlights in recent years have included the Rutter Requiem, the Faure Requiem, the Mozart Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, and Gounod’s Messe Solennelle de Sainte Cecile.
The choir takes pride in reaching out to the surrounding community and beyond. It has taken part in many competitions (winning many plaudits and prizes along the way), and has regularly performed at, and raised funds for, St. Andrew’s Hospice, a cause close to the hearts of everyone in Coatbridge and surrounding districts, as well as performing in ecumenical and social events in local Parishes of all denominations.
Another highlight of recent times has been the cross-community efforts in which the choir participated in the counties of Tyrone and Donegal, Ireland, where the choir has performed with the Derg Valley Singers, a cross-community project in Castlederg, Co. Tyrone, and the Donegal Singers from Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, which was for 50 years, home to Sister Mary Patrick Dolan, herself a native of St. Augustine’s Parish, Coatbridge.
The choir is open to all who love singing; it rehearses on a Monday night at 7.30pm, and is always happy to welcome new members. If you are interested in joining, please see Elaine at the end of Mass on any Sunday, or speak to a member of the clergy. Alternatively, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org