Concert at Collin – September 1909
A most successful concert, organised by Messrs Robert and Fred Grierson of Rockhall, in aid of the Collin School Dinner Fund, was held in Collin Hall on Friday evening. Notwithstanding the unfavourable weather, the knowledge that the sons of the laird (whose deep interest in the welfare of the children on the Estate is well known) had secured such a talented company was sufficient to draw a large crowd.
A miniature stage, with appropriate scenery had been erected for the occasion, and added to the pleasing effect of the tableaux and songs in character. Among those present were Sir A.W. Grierson, Bart., and Lady Grierson of Rockhall and party; Mrs Johnstone-Douglas and the Misses Johnstone-Douglas, Comlongon Castle, and party; Miss Jardine, Dumfries, and Mrs Stanton; Mrs Millar Morrison; the Very Rev. Dr and Mrs Gillespie, Mouswald Manse; Mr Maitland Heriot and Miss Maitland Heriot; Mr Henderson, jun., Dumfries; and Mr and Mrs Proudfoot, Schoolhouse, etc.
The chair was taken at 8 p.m. by the Rev. J. M. Campbell, The Manse, and the programme was opened with an action song entitled “Would you know how does the farmer?” – prettily acted and sung in good tune by a number of the school children under the able leadership of Miss Hutchinson (teacher). The children showed evidence of painstaking and careful training, both in this and in the chorus, “The Hunting Song,” which opened the second part of the programme.
Mr M’Creath had a hearty reception, and rendered in his usual good style “King Henry’s Song,” and later “Island of Dreams.” Miss Mary Gillespie sang very sweetly ” A May Morning” and one of the hits of the evening was her appearance with Mr Fred Grierson in the pretty duet ” Boy and Girl. ” As a recall they gave the exceedingly droll “Two Little Chicks,” the antics of Mr Fred Grierson as the little bantam cock provoking roars of laughter.
Mr Walter Johnstone-Douglas contributed two pioanoforte solos during the evening, and his presentation of the chief character in the action tableau, “Willie’s gane to Melville Castle,” was a graceful piece of acting. Mr Hugh Millar has a voice of nice quality, and to his song “The Laird o’ Cockpen” he had to respond with “Sigh no more, ladies.” Later in the evening he sang “Greens grows the rashes.” The instrumental trio by the Misses Jean and May Gillespie and Mr Wilson was carefully executed and greatly appreciated. Mr Wilson also gave a violin solo, exhibiting great command over his instrument.
Miss Payne at once established herself as a favourite by her rendering of the song “Good-bye, Bluebell.” Her rich voice was also heard with fine effect in her other songs “Just one girl” and ” Loch Lomond,” to each of which she had to respond with an encore. The tableaux – “Willie’s gane to Melville Castles,” the Misses Drumond Forbes, Maitland Heriot, Hodgson, and Bryde Johnstone-Douglas and, Mr Walter Johnstone-Douglas; “Auld Robin Gray,‘ Misses Oliver Johnstone-Douglas and Drummond Forbes, with Messrs Robert and Fred Grierson and Mr Drummond Forbes; as also “Over the Garden Wall,” Miss Mary Gillespie, Very Rev. Dr Gillespie, and Mr Fred Grierson – were beautifully staged, and reflected great credit on the Misses Johnstone-Douglas. who were responsible for the tableaux. The posing was most artistic.
The songs accompanying the first two tableaux were sung with charming taste by Miss Gillon and the third by Miss Gillespie. Miss Gillespie also took part with Mr Robert Grierson in a quaint old ballard “Hunting-tower,” and both sustained their parts in a way that gave great delight to the audience. Mr Robert Grierson quite captivated his bearers by his rollicking and happy rendering in character of the song “Yo Ho, Little Girls! Yo Ho!” and responded to an insistent recall with “Jack’s the boy for work.” in which he was equally successful.
Mr Gull, in his song “Fiddle and I,” and the encore piece “Coming from Kildare,” had a gratifying reception, and another hit of the evening was his appearance with Mr Reid of Mouswald Place in the screaming farce “The Twins.” As an encore they gave “The Nightmare” in a most realistic style which “brought down the house.” The accompaniments, no small task, were tastefully played by Miss May Gillespie and Mr Walter Johnstone-Douglas.
A most enjoyable programe was brought to a close about 11.15 p.m. by the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” and “God Save the King.” On the call of Mr Proudfoot, schoolmaster, who has heartily co-operated in securing the success of the concert, a cordial vote of thanks was accorded the artistes. The amount realised was something over £10, a most gratifying result when it is remembered that the majority of the tickets were low priced.
Tags: Bart, Bluebell, Collin, Collin School, Collin School Dinner Fund, Comlongon Castle, Freddy Grierson, Good-bye, Greens grows the rashes, Island of Dreams, King Henry's Song, ladies, Lady Grierson of Rockhall, Miss Jardine, Misses Johnstone-Douglas, Mouswald Manse, Mr Maitland Heriot, Mr Walter Johnstone-Douglas, Mrs Johnstone-Douglas, Mrs Millar Morrison, Mrs Stanton, Robert Grierson, Rockhall, Sigh no more, Sir A.W. Grierson, The Hunting Song, The Laird o' Cockpen, Two Little Chicks, Very Rev. Dr and Mrs Gillespie, Willie's gane to Melville Castles, Would you know how does the farmer?