08 December 2019December News
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December News
Sunday 08 December 2019



Welcome to the December newsletter, the last letter of the year.  This month our lecturer is Sandy Burnett and the lecture is about the celebration of Christmas through the eyes of Johann Sebastian Bach and his Glorious Christmas Oratorio

 Sandy Burnett’s close relationship with Bach’s music stretches back for decades; between 1997 and 2010 he directed a complete cycle of Bach’s sacred cantatas in West London. In this illustrated talk he explores how Bach brings the Christmas story alive in his Weihnachtsoratorium or Christmas Oratorio, written for Lutheran congregations in 1730s Leipzig.

An overview of Bach’s life and achievement precedes a close look at this magnificent work which draws on various forms ranging from recitative, arioso, aria, chorale, and instrumental sinfonia through to full-blown choruses which are infused with the joyous spirit of the dance.

 Sandy is one of the UK’s most versatile music commentators, enjoying a career that combines broadcasting, performing and lecturing. After studying at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and working as music director for the RSC, National Theatre and in London’s West End, he spent a decade as one of the core team of presenters on BBC Radio 3.

 Combining engaging scholarship with hands-on expertise, he devises and leads cultural holidays all over the world, is the author of the Idler Guide to Classical Music, is a highly sought after double bassist on the London jazz scene, and was appointed the Academy of Ancient Music’s Hogwood Fellow for the 2018-19 season.



 Over the summer period the new web site,, has been bought to life.  The site is now operational.  Thank you to the members who used the web site to assess the last lecture.  Please remember that the password has been changed to ‘Burns’.

 The raffle prize for this month is a book about Bach and a cd of the Oratorio.

 Pat is currently planning her spring Special Interest Day, a visit to Raehills on 1st April 2020. Meanwhile Douglas is planning a trip to the Boarders early in May 2020; date and details will be announced shortly. 

 Additional copies of 50 Treasures of Dumfries and Galloway remain available for sale at £4.00 to members.

 Finally, the committee would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.


Mike Wortley