Ronald Center 2013 Project Seeks Your Help

2013 is the centenary of the birth of the Huntly composer, Ronald Center. Plans to mark this important milestone are underway but the organisers need your help to make the commemoration as complete as possible. What is your memory of Ronald Center? Do you know anything about him?

Ronald Center - composer, musician, choirmaster - hailed from Aberdeen but spent the second thirty years of his life in Huntly. He married Evelyn Morrison - herself a noted soprano - in 1943 and they moved to Rothiemay Station where they started their married life in her mother's house. Ronald taught music at The Gordon Schools and travelled to Huntly by train, with the scholars, every day during term time. He is remembered as a dapper figure, a "city gent" When he got out of the train at Huntly he walked swiftly over the bridge and on up the hill to the school. Later he and Evelyn moved into Huntly and lived there in the Old Manse in Princes Street. He soon left The Gordon Schools to have more time for composing but continuing to teach music privately.

Ronald Center's music, although initially recognised as brilliant, had fallen into obscurity. Interest in it has been revived by the recent festival promoted by Deveron Arts. Following on from the festival it has become obvious that there are many people who have very clear recollections of him. Now is the time to make a record of these memories in preparation for the centenary of his birth in 2013. At present there is not a clear picture of Ronald Center as a man. Through collecting and collating all the memories of him the sparse biographical details can be fleshed out giving a greater understanding of the man and his music.

If you have any information, photograph or memory of Ronald and Evelyn Center please contact Deveron Arts: 01466 794494.

Don't worry if you think that what you know is not that important. It will be when put together with everyone else's information. Also, anything that sheds light on what Huntly was like from 1943 till 1973 is also very important.

If everyone contributes what they can, by 2013 Huntly will have written a genuine eye-witness account of thirty years of the life of Ronald Center. That would be a great achievement.

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