Karine Polwart performs with Love Music Community Choir


Karine Polwart Trio with the Love Music Community Choir, The BIG Project Youth Choir (Broomhouse) & Dave Milligan, conducted by Stephen Deazley

One of Scotland’s most relevant and popular singer-songwriters, the award-winning Karine Polwart, will be sharing the Usher Hall stage and her powerful melodies with two of Edinburgh’s more remarkable community singing initiatives on June 17th. The formidable, 330-strong Love Music Community Choir and the inspiring BIG Project Youth Choir will join Karine to sing a selection of songs specially arranged by Love Music Artistic Director Stephen Deazley, followed by a stirring set by the Karine Polwart Trio. Dave Milligan, Scottish jazz legend and Love Music pianist will join the choir on stage.

“I’m delighted to share my songs with such passionate singers and to be working with them over the next few weeks. It’s really inspiring as a songwriter to have over 300 performers from all walks of life, and from all over Edinburgh, helping me to tell the stories embedded in these songs. It will add such depth, drama and power to my music.” – Karine Polwart

Supported by the City of Edinburgh Council, Love Music Community Choir calls the iconic Usher Hall its home. The largest community choir in the UK, all you need to be part of the choir is a love of singing. Choir repertoire can include anything from Mozart to Joy Division, with its eclectic music choices following the Usher Hall’s programme. The choir is ambitious, fearless and fun. Led by its inspiring and celebrated Artistic Director Stephen Deazley it regularly works with internationally acclaimed musicians, recently including opera soprano Anne Sophie Duprels, contemporary jazz musician Denys Baptiste, and champion beatboxer Hobbit. Performances have involved three Usher Hall concerts each year, as well as flash mobs for Blondie and Rufus Wainwright, and a surprise appearance at the Commonwealth Games Gala Concert.

“Karine is an international star right on our doorstep, and we are thrilled that she has agreed not only to perform with us, but also help us craft new arrangements of her beautiful words and melodies we will perform a world premiere too which is very exciting for the choir. Inviting the children’s choir from The BIG Project in Broomhouse is another exciting adventure for us, as we continue to grow our amazing community of singers at the Usher Hall to reach across the city. There will be plenty to cheer about on the night!” – Stephen Deazley, Artistic Director, Love Music

The BIG Project Youth Choir, Broomhouse is open to children and young people of all musical abilities. Since its formation in 2009 with funding from Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative, the choir has worked with Gareth Malone, performed live on Children in Need, shared a stage with Emeli Sande, sung for Sir Chris Hoy, and represented Scotland in the Four Nations Choir as part of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. The Choir aims to increase confidence, self– discipline and emotional wellbeing through singing, and to raise children and young people’s aspirations through the exciting experiences of travelling and meeting new people that performances bring.

“Karine has supported The BIG Project Youth Choir right from the start, performing alongside us in halls of all shapes and sizes – from gym halls to Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, and the Usher Hall. Our current project, BIG Songs, focuses on songwriting as well as performance, so we’re thrilled to return to this beautiful venue, and to give our children and young people the inspiring experience of working alongside a songwriter as talented as Karine, as they develop as young songwriters themselves. We’re also super excited to work alongside Love Music Community Choir – and having enjoyed a recent performance from the choir, and a warm welcome from Stephen and the members, the kids are itching to get on stage and perform with them!”Kim Edgar, Music Director, The BIG Project Youth Choir

“It feels like it’s all come together with this project – a lot of Edinburgh people tell me that they “once sang on the stage of the Usher Hall”, and we’re delighted we can support this tradition in this performance.” – Karl Chapman, General Manager, Usher Hall

Councillor Richard Lewis, the City of Edinburgh Council’s Culture & Sport Convener, said: “When you listen to Scottish folk singer Karine Polwart’s songs on their own they are beautiful but 300 voices singing them in unison in the Usher Hall will be fantastic to hear. I’m sure the Love Music and BIG Project Choirs will have as much fun as the audience, if not more. It is important that Scotland’s Capital has an outlet for people of any age and ability to sing their hearts out on stage and gain confidence and that is why the Council is such a supporter of the Love Music Community Choir. I hope local residents snap up the chance to support their local choir singers.”

Karine Polwart Trio with the Love Music Community Choir, The BIG Project Youth Choir (Broomhouse) & Dave Milligan, conducted by Stephen Deazley, will perform at the Usher Hall on Wednesday 17 June at 7.30pm.

Tickets are available from the Usher Hall box office / www.usherhall.co.uk / 0131 228 1155.