On many occasions, smaller groups have been formed from Love Music Community Choir’s ranks to take part in events which didn’t require or couldn’t accommodate the full choir. Some of these have been events run by or in partnership with Love Music Productions, and others have been arranged and run by choir members themselves. Read on to find out more about some of the events we’ve taken part in.
Summer 2016 events
Opening of the 5th Session of the Scottish Parliament – Saturday 2nd July 2016
A third of Love Music Community Choir took part in a day of celebrations to mark the new session of the Scottish Parliament. We sung and walked in The Riding, a procession down the Royal Mile to Holyrood amongst many other community groups and performing artistes, from pipe bands and brass bands to dancers and more.
Later in the day we gave a performance of four songs inside the Parliament building on the well-recognised stairway that leads to the debating chamber. This was part of the Big Day Out, an open afternoon at Holyrood filled with performances and activities for all the family. We are very proud to have been asked to take part in this memorable occasion!
Edinburgh International Festival’s Songlines – Sunday 21st August 2016
Around one third of LMCC took part in our first performance at the EIF! Songlines was a day of community singing, with several choirs and soloists appearing in simultaneous free concerts across Edinburgh and beyond. We performed 2 concerts in St John’s Church on Lothian Road, along with Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus and soloist Chris Elliot, all accompanied by pianist Tom Gibb. Audiences were encouraged to join in and at the end of the day every concert ended with a performance of Wild Mountain Thyme.
Big Songs – celebration with The BIG Project, at the Queen’s Hall – Friday 2nd September 2016
We were delighted to be asked by our friends at The BIG Project to join them in a special concert to celebrate the end of their 2-year songwriting and singing project. The children and young people of The BIG Project Youth Choir are well-known to LMCC – they joined us for our concert with Karine Polwart Trio in 2014, and we also commissioned a song from them and had them join us for the performance at one of our end-of-term concerts in 2016. The Big Songs concert included appearances from some of the songwriters who have supported the young people over the 2 year project, including Rachel Sermanni, Karine Polwart and choir director Kim Edgar. The children performed a mix of covers and original songs and we were delighted to revisit most of the songs we’d sung with them in the past. It was a lovely evening!
NOW’S THE TIME… LET FREEDOM RING! 7th Oct 2013
Love Music Community Choir took part in a fantastic concert with highly acclaimed jazz composer, saxophonist and educator Denys Baptiste in a live performance of his jazz suite: NOW’S THE TIME… LET FREEDOM RING! Love Music ran a special weekend learning project, with 2 additional rehearsals followed by professional public performance with an amazing band live in the Usher Hall. The project was additional to our weekly term meetings, and was open to everyone.
Film of the choir songs in the performance on 7th Oct 2013
THE MUSIC AND THE PERFORMANCE
Commissioned by Cheltenham Jazz festival in 2003, NOW’S THE TIME toured the UK in 2013 to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s 1963 speech with music and poetry, a wonderful 12-piece live band and choir, spoken word and projected visuals. In the opening set, Baptiste incorporates poetry by Lemn Sissay, to shine a light on the first half of the speech where Dr King sets the scene for the second part speaking of the evil of slavery, The Emancipation Proclamation, the importance of peaceful and dignified protest and, ultimately, his vision for the future. He is clear that there is no time to lose; waiting is simply not an option: “Now Is The Time…” In the second set, Baptiste sets poetry by Ben Okri against compelling live and archive video projections. The rhythmic patterns of Dr King’s speech become the foundation for a suite in four parts – I Have A Dream, With This Faith, Let Freedom Ring!, and Free At Last!.
Denys Baptiste says: “This piece posed the question: How far have we as human beings progressed in our fight against oppression, injustice and discrimination in all its forms? In all, I hope to create a multi-sensory experience for our audience that will inspire and empower more people – ordinary people like me – to advocate for and effect change. Let Freedom Ring!”
NOW’S THE TIME toured the UK, with performances at Usher Hall, The South Bank, The Sage Gateshead, Turner Sims Southampton and Leeds Town Hall. Each project featured a local amateur choir.
Other Love Music projects
As partners of Big Big Sing, Love Music has invited members of LMCC to be involved with several projects including singing at the launch event at the Emirates Stadium in Glasgow (November 2013), singing as part of the on-stage choir at the BIG Big Big Sing at Glasgow Green during the Commonwealth Games (June 2014) and testing the new songs for the 2015 Big Big Sing days at an open rehearsal in March 2015.
Love Music partnered with the Luminate Festival in 2014 to run a project called The Falkirk Cabaret, forming choirs in 3 care units/groups in Falkirk over the course of 6 weeks. The project culminated in an afternoon of singing with the 3 choirs together with singers from LMCC and a local Falkirk choir, as well as a professional jazz band, to celebrate the project with friends and family.
Several LMCC members took part in our 2015 Luminate project, Instant Choir, which took place in an Edinburgh care home. Find out more here: http://www.lovemusic.org.uk/projects/luminate-partnership/
In November 2014 we worked with Waddell Media to help recruit singers to form the congregation for recordings of Songs of Praise, and several LMCC members have been spotted on screen in the intervening months! The choir was also approached in September 2014 by BBC’s The One Show for a segment about the history of Flower of Scotland, and one of our singers took part, appearing in the programme singing a line in Princes Street Gardens.
In October 2016 several LMCC ladies took part in The Suppliant Women, a reworking by David Greig of a play by Aeschylus. They sang as The Wise Women of Argos in the production which took place at The Lyceum. Our Artistic Director Stephen Deazley worked on the production as Vocal Leader.
In October 2014 several LMCC members took part in Mrs Barbour’s Daughters, a new play by AJ Taudevin, part of A Play, A Pie and A Pint series at the Traverse Theatre.
In April 2014 several members of LMCC worked with Cutting Edge Theatre to provide a flashmob element to their outdoor performance of The Edinburgh Passion in Princes Street Gardens.
In August 2013 several LMCC members performed at the Traverse Theatre with Actors Touring Company in The Events, a new play by David Greig.
Out and about
In 2014 we were approached by a man who was bringing his girlfriend on holiday to Edinburgh with the intention of proposing! He asked if we could help make the moment special, and a small group from the choir surprised the bride-to-be (of course she said yes!) with a rendition of one of her favourite songs in the Balmoral Hotel.
LMCC members have a big love of carol singing, so alongside our fundraising each term, smaller groups have formed from the choir to raise funds for Mercy Corps (winter 2014), Edinburgh Direct Aid (winter 2014), Scottish Love in Action (winter 2013) and for funds for the choir itself (winter 2013).
The choir also organised a small group of singers to join the programme of a Holocaust memorial concert in January 2014, at a school in Musselburgh where one of our members is a teacher.
Many other singing events have been organised by choir members, including a Winter Solstice event in 2014, and a Choir Cabaret Evening in 2013.