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A Musical Journey

A black piano with a black background
Description automatically generatedAlderley Edge Methodist Church and our musical journey

First Movement:  Allegro

It is very nearly 20 years since we arranged the first of our Lunchtime Concerts: an organ recital by two young musicians from Chetham’s School of Music in October 2004.  It was clear from that very first concert that there was a demand for quality music in the local community, which did not involve travel to Manchester or venturing out in the evening.  A convivial lunch followed by an hour’s music had proved to be a winner!  

We were fortunate to have a remarkable source of musical talent on our doorstep at Chets and the rncm, not to mention a building with an outstanding acoustic, but we needed a piano to match the quality of performance that was available to us.

Was it luck or divine intervention?  Murray McLachlan, Head of Keyboard at Chets, a tutor at the rncm and a writer and pianist with a world-wide reputation, was the owner of a Yamaha baby grand which needed a home!  The instrument was delivered to us at the beginning of 2005 and so began the success story of our Lunchtime Concerts and an enduring working relationship with Murray McLachlan and his family – we have been privileged to watch as three of his children have developed from talented scholars to mature concert pianists in their own right.  

Second MovementAndante

It is well documented that musicians were especially hard-hit during the lockdowns of the Covid pandemic, when opportunities for live performance simply disappeared.  In some cases, too, their confidence was affected, and so in 2021 consummate educationalist Murray asked if we could introduce a further series of recitals to give his students the chance to perform to live audiences.  And so the Coffee Concerts were added to the mix and they take place on the first Saturday of the month alongside our regular busy Saturday Coffee Morning.

Third MovementPresto

I am not sure what the collective term is for McLachlans – (perhaps a clan since Murray hails originally from Aberdeen?) but over five weeks from mid-January to mid-February this year, we will have had recitals by no fewer than three members of the family:  Murray himself in January, and sons Callum and Matthew performing on 3rd and 21st February respectively!  They have each chosen a varied programme of wonderful music to suit all tastes.  

How blessed are we to have the opportunity to experience these uplifting recitals!