Vocal groups Usher in a new era of co-operation in the capital

InChorus during their Usher Hall appearance
InChorus during their Usher Hall appearance

PEEBLES community choir InChorus took the high note at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall this month.

In front of an audience of nearly 1,700 people, the group of singers, led by musical director Andrew Russel, combined with Lothian and Borders And Tayside Police choirs for the fundraising concert.

And Scottish musicians Dougie McLean and Mairi Campbell were also on the bill.

From the opening chords of the Les Miserables favourite, Do You Hear The People Sing, the audience were said to be “in awe”.

Highlights included Take That’s The Flood, and Baba Yetu, the Swahili version of the Lord’s Prayer, which reviewer Ben Preston described as “sublime, with even the most seasoned observer confused as to where all the sounds and voices were coming from”.

He added: “Dropping in Earth Wind and Fire’s disco classic September near the end was inspired – reminding us of the choirs’ worthy mission to New York to represent Scotland at the 10th anniversary commemoration of 9/11.

“This trip was also represented through the eponymous musical gift from the choirs to the people of New York – a poignant new arrangement of two classic songs; The Star Spangled Banner and Amazing Grace.

“Soloists Sophie Dyer and Chris Judge took the lead, with the choirs providing the harmonies needed to allow the two songs to merge into one.

“The breathless pause between the music finishing and the applause of the audience starting up said it all.”

Other guests on stage included the Irish Garda choir, school performers from ENotes choir and the Portobello High School Singers, as well as policeman and bagpiper, Richie Adams.