Jenny Laidlaw, former deputy headteacher Bellahouston Academy and President, RSNO Chorus.

Born: July 3, 1944;

Died: July10, 2019

JENNIFER Fulton Laidlaw was born and brought up in Troon, Ayrshire. After studying at the Scottish College of Commerce (later to become the University of Strathclyde) and then Jordanhill College her first teaching post was at North Kelvinside Secondary School and then she became Principal Business Studies teacher at the newly-opened Douglas Academy, Milngavie before being appointed Deputy Head Teacher at Bellahouston Academy in Glasgow. Her passion however was music and she sang with the Chorus of Scottish Opera, the RSNO Chorus and the Edinburgh Festival Chorus. She was the Administrator and Company Secretary of Cantilena Festival on Islay and also gave a lot of her time to the Glasgow Music Festival, but it was the RSNO Chorus that was her chief passion. She was a member for no less than 46 years, during which time she held the post of Secretary for two terms then as President for two terms. She had a natural aptitude for organisation and led the RSNO Chorus tirelessly through rough and smooth times, working hard to raise the profile of the Chorus through external engagements and international tours. She provided invaluable direction and mentoring to the young Christopher Bell when he was appointed Chorusmaster and was instrumental in helping him with his career success.

Music was never far away from Jenny – she shared her house with her longstanding friend Pamella Dow, former Principal Percussionist with the RSNO and there was a regular trail of musicians to the house after concerts where Jenny and Pam would entertain their guests with laughter and stories well into the wee small hours. In between working, playing, singing and socializing, Jenny and Pam also managed to do their bit for the world of dogs, breeding and showing Bassett Hounds who enjoyed the parties just as much. The late Adrian Shepherd knew what he was doing when he approached Jenny to become the administrator of Cantilena Festival on Islay. A modern variation of the chamber music group Adrian had set up in the early 1970’s, it takes classical music with a mixture of professional musicians and students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for a week’s playing and teaching on Islay, and Jenny as ever, ran the Festival like clockwork and always with a smile. Jenny’s special skill was treating everyone as a close friend and making them feel valued which gained her reputation as someone who could be trusted, which would pay off when she was seeking funding for the organisations she operated, and she was a natural networker, building a large base of contacts she could call on for support. After recovering successfully from two attacks of cancer, Jenny finally succumbed to the same disease on 10th July.

Her wide circle of friends and contacts know what she was capable of and how much of a loss her passing means. She worked tirelessly to support music and musicians and we are all enormously grateful for her hard work, her guidance and her friendship. Jenny is survived by her nieces Susie and Sheila and their families to whom she was very close.

Alistair Simpson