Praise Group – a 25 year history

The Praise Group final concert in May 2019

Brightons Parish Church Praise Group began singing together in a pageant called “Daybreak” in 1994.

This project brought together a number of people who wanted to sing together – most of whom had never sung before. They all enjoyed getting to know each other and the music and didn’t want to stop, hence they evolved as the choir they became. At first, Liz Brewer played for them and she and Elaine Finlay led the group together. After she moved to England, Don Finlay became accompanist and this proved to be a perfect partnership. The group’s repertoire covered many different types of song, from show songs to spirituals, although the bulk was sacred. Someone once described the choice of songs as inspirational, which is a lovely thought. Numbers increased over the years (at full strength numbering 50). Fortunately, church guilds and other organisations invited them to sing and this became their way of life. The group sang in their own church too – in particular at the Christmas concert which was held on the Saturday before Christmas.

Over the years, they have made a number of CDs, the proceeds from which have been donated to various charities such as Strathcarron Hospice, CHAS, Vis de Copil and Amazon Hope. They also sent a considerable donation to South Africa to help with an educational project for children. They have raised well in excess of £36,000 from these discs.

They have been privileged to sing in some distant places such as Indiana, Durham Cathedral, Dumfries, Northern Ireland and Tain.

As they moved toward their 25th year in 2019, they took the difficult decision that the Praise Group should come to an end but were determined that they would go out on a high – so in May 2019 they held a final, special concert in the Albert Halls in Stirling where, along with the Gargunnock Songsters and Perthshire Brass, they raised over £5600 for Christian Aid.

They have hugely enjoyed the years together and, they hope, have brought some of that joy to many others.