Glasgow & West Scotland

Pensioner's song-writing dream realised by church choir

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Media captionCatherine Murray hears "Christmas Morning" performed for the first time

An 82-year-old woman had her Christmas wish come true after a song she had written was sung by a church choir.

Catherine Murray, from Largs, started writing music for her own pleasure after the death of her husband in 2002.

She wrote to the Church of Scotland with the words and music for "Christmas Morning" suggesting it could be sung by "a wee group of children".

Paisley Abbey Choristers then sang her song in front of hundreds of people at a carol service for the Accord Hospice.

Mrs Murray, who attended the service at Paisley Abbey with her daughter Fiona White, said she could not have asked for a more perfect place or occasion to hear her carol.

"I honestly feel like I'm in a dream," she said. "This is almost unreal.

"I can't put into words what it means to me to hear my carol sung in Paisley Abbey by such a wonderful group of singers.

"I love children and I love music so this couldn't have been more perfect. The children's voices were amazing."

'Intuitive gift'

The minister at Paisley Abbey agreed to help make Catherine's wish come true after reading her letter.

He said: "It is a very lovely tune, very easy to listen to and it fitted beautifully into the carol service."

Prof George McPhee, who has been musical director at Paisley Abbey for 53 years, said the choristers would be happy to perform Mrs Murray's carol again.

"The choristers immediately took to it and they found it very singable and very appealing," he said.

Image copyright John Young

"Obviously Mrs Murray has an intuitive gift for writing melodies and I hope that others will take it up."

Mrs Murray ran a bed and breakfast in Crieff with her husband James for 10 years after his retirement from the Glasgow police force. She moved to Largs after he died.

Her daughter Fiona said: "I'm so proud of my mum.

"She is always saying she is not musical and she is not as good as her sisters, but this proves she is.

"The choir sang beautifully and there will be no stopping her now. My mother is some kid."

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