CLACKMANNANSHIRE's choral society has appointed a new accompanist following the retirement of their current one.

Lawrence Wright retired recently, a move which sent shockwaves through the choir and left the group wondering who would be able to fill his shoes.

After a considerable search, the decision was made to appoint Ben Eames as the new accompanist.

Ben is a classical pianist and attained a Master of Music in September 2015 in piano performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance studying under Douglas Finch.

He is also currently the organist at Menstrie Parish Church, and is currently focused primarily on 20th century and contemporary solo and ensemble repertoire.

The Alva man said: "I really wanted to extend my experience in choral music and Clacks Choral will provide me with just such an opportunity.

"I look forward to meeting all the choir members soon."

During his time at Trinity Laban, Ben also worked with the Wren Ensemble performing a chamber reduction of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 4 as well as other ensembles.

In July 2014, Ben graduated from the Ian Tomlin School of Music in Edinburgh Napier University with a first-class Bachelor of Music with Honours studying under Simon Coverdale.

During his time at Napier, Ben worked extensively with various ensembles performing both classical music ranging from romanticism to 20th century and contemporary popular music.

He also frequently worked in collaboration with fellow student composers as part of various concerts and workshops.

In November 2013, Ben performed Mozart's Concerto in C Major No.21, K.467 with the Edinburgh Napier Chamber Orchestra.

Whilst at Napier Ben won multiple prizes at the Edinburgh Competitions Festival and performed extensively throughout the Edinburgh and Central Region area of Scotland in venues such as The Queens Hall, Edinburgh; Albert Halls, Stirling; Stockbridge Parish Church, Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Society of Musicians.

Clacks Choral president Viv Fairchild said: "Our search for a new accompanist brought responses from many musically talented people in the central region and it was a difficult decision.

"We are delighted that Ben has agreed to join us in time for our new 2019-20 season."

Director Mike Nolan added: "I'm pleased that Ben has agreed to join us as his enthusiasm for music is infectious.

"This will provide a real boost to the choir as we begin rehearsals for our Christmas concert soon and we've chosen some exciting new pieces as well as traditional favourites to work on."

The choir begins rehearsals on Monday September 2, 2019 at 7pm and thereafter every Monday night in St Mungo's Parish Church, Bedford Place, Alloa.

New members are always welcome with no scary audition required.