This year’s Lesmahagow Male Voice Choir annual concert wasn’t a men-only affair.
The choir were, as ever, well rehearsed for the event, held over two nights at the village’s old parish church, but they were then hit by a sudden vacancy in their ranks due to a member falling ill.
It was quickly decided to fill the gap from the choir’s own resources, so the group’s female conductor Oksana Mavrodii put down her baton and returned to singing duties on both evenings.
Although now a more familiar sight in front of the choir, Oksana is, in her own right, a respected soprano and impressed all with her performances.
She and the choir were accompanied by Liam Lees, and members welcomed on stage their special guests, a Lesmahagow High School musical group, ushering in a new generation of performers from the village.
There were good turnouts on both nights to see and hear the choir and guests perform.
There has been little time for the choir to bask in the success of their 2017 concert as they return to the stage this Friday, March 31, to take part in the Annual Lanarkshire Festival of Male Voice Choirs at Hamilton Town House at 7pm.
Joining the Lesmahagow singers on stage will be male voice choirs from Stonehouse, Hamilton Caledonian Bowling Club, Monklands, Stirling and Glasgow Philharmonic.
Plans are already being made for marking an important milestone in Lesmahagow Male Voice Choir’s history.
In 2020, they will celebrate the centenary of their founding in the wake of the end of the First World War, when many village men returning from the trenches found few jobs awaiting them back home.
The choir provided these young men with a worthwhile activity while awaiting better economic times.
Now the choir stand as one of the village’s longest-established institutions.