Dear blog reader, this is the seventh part of a series looking at the news in Shandon in particular weeks in history. In the week ending Thursday 26 February 1885 the main focus in Shandon was a lecture in the Church on the composer Handel to mark his bi-centenary followed by a performance of some of Handel’s work.
THURSDAY 26 FEBRUARY 1885
LECTURE ON HANDEL
The bi-centenary of Handel, the world’s composer, has during the past week or two, been celebrated all over the kingdom, and the event was recognised in our own district by a lecture on the life of the great musician by Mr Thos. Brash, on Friday evening.
William Walker, Esq., of Woodburn, occupied the chair, and the Church was well filled by a large and appreciative audience. The Chairman, in introducing Mr Brash, said that he knew nothing personal of that gentleman’s abilities, as a musician, but he spoke of his respected father, with whom he was associated some forty or fifty years ago, when he was leader of praise in the Congregational Church, and from what he had heard, he had no doubt Mr Brash was worthy of wearing the mantle of his father.
Mr Brash, on rising, met with hearty applause, and in speaking of Handel’s father, told an amusing incident regarding the son. When his father was going to attend a festival at some distance, young Handel, being refused his desire to accompany him, was not to be denied. He ran after the carriage for miles, and his father was at last compelled to take him in. This was his first start in his musical career, and, being a mere boy, the audience was greatly amused when he was allowed to try the organ. The lecturer fully treated his whole life, and showed that he must have given the subject thorough study.
The musical programme consisted of well-chosen Handelian selections, which were sustained by choir from Helensburgh, under the guidance of Mr Thos. Brash, with Mrs Christian Williams, Miss Helen Mainds, and Mr Lewis Brash as soloists. All the choral members were almost faultlessly sung, and the solo singing was par excellence. The arias with which Mrs Williams was entrusted were rendered in a most tasteful and finished manner, and Miss Mainds’ efforts were universally admired, while the tenor solos of Mr Lewis Brash were characterised by taste and refinement. After the usual votes of thanks, those who had taken part in the evening’s programme were entertained in the Manse.