Singers proceed in Usher Hall direction

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SOME local bobbies are swapping their truncheons for microphones for a special event in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall next month, writes Simon Duke.

Members of the Lothian and Borders Police Choir are joining fellow singers InChorus in a concert to raise money for both choirs’ trip to New York in September to take part in the 9/11 tenth anniversary concert.

They are not the only acts on the bill for Take The High Note.

Dougie MacLean, writer of Scottish anthem Caledonia, will perform as well as Mairi Campbell, whose rendition of Auld Lang Syne appeared in the soundtrack of the first Sex and the City film.

As well as supporting the two high-profile artists, 150 members of the Lothian and Borders Police and InChorus choirs will lend their vocals to a wide ranging repertoire which includes the likes of Take That’s The Flood, Earth, Wind and Fire’s September and Seasons of Love from Broadway musical Rent.

Andrew Russel, musical director of the choirs, which were both formed in 2009, is looking forward to the night.

He said: “I’m delighted that once again we’re presenting a concert in a major venue in the capital city and being able to entertain so many people with our music.

“This concert will show our completely new repertoire and none of our regular audience will have heard us sing any of the songs before.

“We’re very lucky to have Dougie MacLean and Mairi Campbell joining us. I fear there won’t be a dry eye in the house after they have both been on stage with the choirs.”

Dougie MacLean added: “Having heard both InChorus and Lothian and Borders Police Choir sing, I’m genuinely looking forward to the concert.

“The brand new backing arrangement for Caledonia was a joint work and it remains faithful to the sentiment and meaning of the song while giving it a new and inspirational flavour.

“I’m sure it will go down extremely well, and I’m also looking forward to singing one or two of my other songs for the audience as well.

“These are great choirs, and the concert will be fabulous.”

On the choir’s 9/11 concert appearance, Andrew said: “We are privileged to have been invited to New York to sing for Scotland, and it is of course all the more moving, as we will be commemorating not just civilian lives, but those of the emergency services who played such an integral role and are so close to our hearts.”

The concert on Friday, June 3 starts at 7.30pm and tickets are available from the Usher Hall website - or phone 0131 228 1155.