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It’s exciting starting a choir in Edinburgh!
There are already over 50 choirs in Edinburgh. Ten years ago most choirs were singing traditional repertoires. After the BBC’s Last Choir Standing series in 2008, there was an explosion of contemporary choirs across the country, and Gareth Malone has brought singing to the masses in his fantastic television programmes.
I started two modern choirs in 2008 and both are still going strong. I left them last year and, after 14 months away from conducting, I’ve decided to start a new one in Edinburgh. I have new ideas I want to try, and they need a vibrant, capable team to make them work well.
I’ve been amazed by the response. In two weeks of going public, over 70 people have expressed interest. Some of them auditioned last week, and there are more signed up for a free taster session over the next couple of weeks. Of course, not all will stay with it. Some will decide it’s not for them, or I’m not for them, or that it’s too difficult, or the pace too fast etc. And that's fine. But it’s a fantastic start, and the opening rehearsal on Tuesday 20th October will be exciting.
The choir has a fantastic rehearsal venue. St. Andrew's and St. George's West Church on George Street is not only a well-known church and establishment but also extremely well managed. The people there have been first class and extremely helpful. The size and shape of the beautiful interior help it to hold a fabulous acoustic, and I can't wait to hear what the new choir sounds like. Judging from the auditions, it's going to sound amazing.
The new choir starts this Tuesday. It doesn't have a name yet, but there are some ideas in the oven...