THE GLASGOW PHOENIX CHOIR is delighted to return for its annual Christmas concert in the Freemasons' Hall, Edinburgh. The Glasgow Phoenix Choir rose out of the ashes of the world-famous Glasgow Orpheus Choir and this year celebrates 117 years of choral excellence 67 years as the Glasgow Phoenix Choir and 50 years as the Glasgow Orpheus Choir. The choir flourishes under the guidance of our conductor Marilyn J Smith MBE and Cameron Murdoch, accompanist and depute conductor. The choir performs over 20 concerts per year and each involves a range of music from choral standards to new music and, in addition, we feature many delightful solo performances by choir members.
In this special concert we will be joined by some of our friends from the Co-op Funeralcare Band, who added so much to last year's concert.
Legion Scotland helps ex-services men and women of all ages across Scotland to adapt to civilian life by providing community, friendship and practical advice, whether they left military service yesterday or 50 plus years ago. The work of Legion Scotland includes making a daily difference to the lives of veterans and their families by providing comradeship, raising awareness of the issues faced and by offering advice and practical support on welfare and pensions. In addition, they support families to visit the graves of loved ones buried overseas by providing grants and local befrienders. A major focus for the organisation is remembrance, which is supported by fund-raising and a year-round calendar of events, as well as by their work with schools and young people across Scotland.
Poppyscotland is a separate but closely-linked charity with approximately a third of its Scottish Poppy Appeal volunteers coming from Legion Scotland branches. The poppy became the symbol of Remembrance for those who gave their lives in war and was inspired by the famous poem, In Flanders Fields, written during the First World War by Lt Colonel John McCrae. Since its inception in 1921, the Poppy Appeal has always had a dual purpose to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and to raise money for those who have been left disadvantaged by their time in the services. Over five million poppies are distributed across Scotland to raise funds for the Armed Forces community. Poppyscotland helps all members of the Armed Forces community, which includes those who have served, those still serving and their families. Poppyscotland uses money raised to provide support to the Armed Forces community in seven key areas: tailored support and funding, advice, employment, mobility, respite, housing and mental health.
RECORDINGS Glasgow Phoenix Choir recordings receive regular play on local and national radio stations. Our latest recording is a special postcard CD of Scottish songs, recorded in St Andrew's RC Metropolitan Cathedral, Glasgow. Proceeds from this CD benefit the St Andrew's Hospice, Lanarkshire, which this year celebrates 30 years of service to the community and which is currently in need of refurbishment and restoration, to support patients and their families and St Andrew's Metropolitan Cathedral, Glasgow.
Sponsorship by CO-OP FUNERALCARE allows the Choir to take on more fund-raising concerts for many worthy causes such as this and to travel further afield. Our most recent tour allowed us to take part in concerts to raise funds for several local charities in the Argyll area and for the Carers' Trust and our latest CD was also made possible because of our sponsorship. The choir has itself raised over £1.5M for many charities in the 67 years of its existence which resulted in the award of the Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International.