"Ambassadors for Scotland and for beautiful music"
Agnes Hoey studied music at the Royal Scottish Academy and then in London. She wanted to sing in Opera but circumstances brought her back to Scotland where she studied at Edinburgh's Moray House as a teacher. She taught for many years in secondary education as Principal Teacher of music.
Miss Hoey has twice been awarded the Loving Cup by the Lord Provost of Glasgow for bringing honour to the city. Agnes was also named 'Scotswoman of the year' in 1977.
In 1986 she was honoured in the New Years Honours list and was presented with the M.B.E. by H.R.H. Prince Charles, at Buckingham Palace in April 1986.
Glasgow North and Bishopbriggs Rotary Club awarded Agnes Rotary International's highest award, the Paul Harris Fellowship in 1989.
Miss Hoey has worked tirelessly for the choir since it's beginnings in 1957. Her enthusiastic teaching, which she has passed on as mentor to Audrey, ensures the choir maintains the high standards Miss Hoey has set for it.
Agnes was awarded her honorary doctorate from Glasgow Caledonian University on the 11th July, 2002.
The following are excerpts from a speech by Professor John Huntly, Glasgow Caledonian University.
Agnes Hoey is a unique talent; a talent that has been publicly recognised many times in her long career, including in 1985 the award of an MBE.
Her unique contribution is a lifetime dedicated to the nurturing and education of the musical talent of the children of Glasgow, through her devotion to the Glasgow Youth Choir over several generations - in fact for 50 years.
Music has been the moving spirit of Agnes’s life from her earliest childhood. Her father, who played the violin in a local orchestra, frequently took her to concerts. Agnes even remembers, at the age of seven, the adjudicator at one of the music competitions. That man was none other than Sir Hugh Roberton, the founder of the world famous Glasgow Orpheus Choir. Little did either of them know that that young girl would contribute so much to the musical heritage of the City. Yet Agnes’s talent as a musical pedagogue was very nearly lost to the City of Glasgow. At the age of eighteen she auditioned for Covent Garden. Although successful, she was told she was too young and to come back a year later. It was our gain and Covent Garden’s loss that she never did go back.
But the crowning glory of Agnes Hoey’s many achievements is, of course, the Glasgow Youth Choir. The results are here for us all to see. They are also in concert halls and opera houses all over the world. They are teaching in Schools throughout Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. They are singing in choirs and choral groups throughout the country. Some of them developed their skills in Academies and Universities; but they all took their first steps on the musical road with Agnes. They all owe a debt of gratitude to her selfless dedication, her support and her enthusiasm.
What Agnes Hoey has achieved, above all, is the continuation of a long tradition - the tradition of Sir Hugh Roberton - a tradition of choral music close to the heart of every Glaswegian and every Scot. Where all around us this aspect of our cultural life is under threat, Agnes has been the beacon of light that has attracted our youngsters.
Here are some excerpts from Agnes's speech on the same day.
" I am delighted that my proposer is Professor John Huntly as I know he is extremely interested in the great West of Scotland tradition of choral singing and keen that it should be kept going in the years ahead.
I have been very proud to be part of this tradition and shall hope that Glasgow Youth Choir will continue, and if possible with one of my former members taking over when I ultimately retire.
I will remember the excitement of graduation time and the hopes and dreams that go with it. You have wonderful opportunities to do great things in the years ahead, and I know that with God's help you will do so. Best of luck to you all and may God bless you now and always."
Agnes F.Hoey MBE LRAM
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