Simply put without Miss Hoey there would be no Glasgow Youth Choir. She founded the choir in 1958 and this is considered one of her greatest achievements.
She dedicated much of her life, passion and enthusiasm to growing and nurturing a love of music in generation after generation of children and young people who joined its ranks.
Miss Hoey enjoyed a long career in music after studying 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.
Throughout her career she was awarded many accolades, including the Loving Cup by the Lord Provost of Glasgow for bringing honour to the city, Scotswoman of the year in 1977 and in 1986 she was honoured in the New Year’s Honours list and was presented with the M.B.E. by H.R.H. Prince Charles, at Buckingham Palace in April 1986. She also received an honorary doctorate from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2002.
Sadly Miss Hoey passed away on July 10th 2010, she is forever fondly remembered by those whom she led in song:
“Agnes was a lady with an awesome personality, who was a total inspiration forging the talents of young people throughout Glasgow and beyond. It was a great privilege knowing her as a true friend!”
“Miss Hoey was very special. We were all her family and she loved us like her own but told us off when we needed it too. She was very funny too and knew how to hold our attention. Loved ‘the swan’ and singing back ‘recitatives’. She really enjoyed choir trip initiation ceremonies and was full of mischief. She taught us all so many life lessons as well as how to sing, stickability being one of them. One of the biggest influences on my life – still miss her very much!”
“I don’t really know where to start … Agnes Hoey was a character, who had high standards, both musically and morally. She was an inspirational teacher and mentor, who went above and beyond to bring out the best in every young person in her charge. She was a hard taskmaster who got results – earning her the respect and acclamation that she so rightly deserved. She taught the youngsters and parents too, many life lessons and a fair few songs too that will never be forgotten. She was unique. I personally miss Agnes as a dear friend to myself and family. We loved the big concerts in the City Halls … holding our breath for the big reveal – Agnes’s dress! So many happy memories. We are better people for knowing her, and may her legacy live on.”
“I remember the impromptu performance at Glasgow Airport early one morning, before our trip to London for a singing competition. She certainly had high standards and wanted loyalty above all else, but the mischief and silliness she brought to rehearsals stays with me.”
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