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The Cumnock Tryst Returns with Most Diverse Programme


The Cumnock Tryst returns with most diverse programme to date, bringing together Scottish traditional music with gospel, jazz, clasFsical and more in the heart of East Ayrshire

  • The Cumnock Tryst returns from Thursday 29 September – Sunday 02 October 2022
  • Line-up includes The King’s Singers, Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham, The Ruth Naomi Floyd Jazz Quartet, Arta Arnicane and The CentreStage Community Gospel Choir
  • Taking place at venues across Cumnock, this year’s festival boasts the most diverse selection of musical genres yet
  • The Cumnock Tryst also unites community groups through ‘A Musical Celebration of the Coalfields’ community project and Blue Sky Counterpoint, featuring pupils of Hillside School
The Cumnock Tryst Returns
Coalfields Alex Douglas

The Cumnock Tryst is delighted to announce its most diverse line-up to date of concerts, events and workshops in the programme for the 2022 edition of the festival. Excited to welcome audiences back to the tight knit community of Cumnock and East Ayrshire, The Cumnock Tryst can’t wait to engage in the communal experience of live music once again.

The festival kicks off in style on Thursday 29 September with national treasures Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham. Two of the most celebrated musicians on the Scottish Traditional scene, they will be bringing both their trademark witty banter as well as musical talent that is sure to enthral audiences. One of the world’s greatest singing groups, The King’s Singers bring their gold standard to the intimate setting of Trinity Church on Friday 30 September. The group have amassed a huge international following, performing on some of the world’s most iconic stages, including Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House and this concert will be British Sign Language interpreted.

The Cumnock Tryst Returns with Most Diverse Programme
Kings Singers 2021 Photo: Frances Marshall

Also performing this year will be the inimitable jazz vocalist and composer Ruth Naomi Floyd and her quartet, who will be sharing messages of hope, joy and love in a late-night session on Friday 30 September. Hailing from Philadelphia, Ruth’s mezzo-soprano voice blended with the group’s African-American spiritual influence are sure to make for a unique and moving experience.

Continuing The Cumnock Tryst’s long-term commitment to community engagement, A Musical Celebration of the Coalfields unites local music groups Strings N Things and the Cumnock Area Musical Production Society for a presentation of music they have created themselves with composers Ailie Robertson and Findlay Napier on Saturday 1 October. Pupils of Hillside School also get in on the action on Friday 30 September, joining a quartet of singers and composers James MacMillan and Matilda Brown, to perform a programme of music they have created in Blue Sky Counterpoint, a collaboration with Drake Music Scotland, Scotland’s leading organisation providing music-making opportunities for children and adults with disabilities.

A unique opportunity to experience spectacular sounds from the past, Ancient Voices features a trio of artists performing on a diverse range of multiple instruments, from trombones to Conch Shells, and cow horns to sackbuts (the medieval and Renaissance trombone). This is sure to be a fascinating glimpse into ancient musical sounds taking place on Saturday 1 October within the glorious setting of St John’s Church.

Also on Saturday, The Cumnock Tryst welcomes members of The CentreStage Community Gospel Choir performing a selection of classic songs, including Lean on Me and Something Inside So Strong alongside more contemporary modern gospel favourites. Hailing from Kilmarnock with members aged from 8 to 80+ years old, this is sure to be a joyous highlight. Arriving in Cumnock on Sunday 2 October, all the way from Latvia is Arta Arnicane, an accomplished pianist who has performed around the world. This evocative recital features works from Ayrshire composer Douglas Munn, one of the major mathematicians of the twentieth century turned composer whose pieces for the piano were first played by Arta when she was a student at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

The Cumnock Tryst Returns with  Diverse Programme
Gospel Choir Credit Martin Clark

Festival favourites return including the Festival Service, open to everyone and featuring this year’s American stars, the Ruth Naomi Floyd Jazz Quartet. Audiences can join us on Sunday 2 October for this special and vital spiritual reflection in one of the many beautiful churches in Cumnock, Trinity Church. The Cumnock Tryst Festival Chorus will sing together for the first time in two years in The Scott Riddex Memorial Concert, bringing Gavin Bryars’ classic work Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet together with performances from CAMPS and the Ayrshire Symphony Orchestra, to celebrate the life of Scott Riddex, a much-beloved member of the Tryst Chorus. The festival comes to a celebratory close with one of the UK’s finest professional Scottish ceilidh bands, It’s No Reel, a stalwart of ceilidh music for over 14 years both home and abroad, playing this year’s Festival Ceilidh. 

Sir James MacMillan, composer and founder of The Cumnock Tryst, said: “We can’t wait to celebrate fantastic music and musicians from across Scotland, the UK and even further afield at what will be the most pluralist version of The Cumnock Tryst to date. From late night jazz sessions, to glorious gospel, and everything else in between, this year’s festival is a celebration of diversity and the ability of music to bring people from different countries and all walks of life together. 

We would encourage people to come and spend the day with us, attend a couple of events, meet the locals and The Tryst team, and enjoy a small, Scottish town’s hospitality at it’s finest. Whether it’s a workshop, or a performance by someone you have never heard of, you might discover something new that becomes something special.”

Thursa Sanderson from DraThe Cumnock Tryst returns with most diverse programme ke Music Scotland said: “We can’t wait to take be back at The Cumnock Tryst once again, not least because we will be collaborating with pupils from Hillside School who will present and perform a programme of music that they have composed and created themselves. We love working with The Cumnock Tryst, Sir James and Matilda, who are such inspirational creative partners and we’re over the moon to be back, performing live, once again.”

For more information visit https://www.thecumnocktryst.com/

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Twitter: @TheCumnockTryst

Website: www.thecumnocktryst.com

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