I inherited my love of singing from my mother and I’ve been singing in choirs from an early age.
I joined Ayr Choral Union’s second soprano section over 30 years ago. I found choral singing to be an escape from the bustle of family life and the pressures of work – there is no time to think of anything other than the music and there is no feeling equal to the ultimate high of singing a large choral work with a professional orchestra.
Over the years, our choir has taken part in many outstanding performances of a wide range of both small and large scale works , from the well-known oratorios to contemporary pieces. The choir is friendly and although some rehearsals can be challenging, help is always available and includes current on-line resources.
We are fortunate that we attract a team of high-quality conductors and accompanists and we receive huge support from our Patron, Sir James McMillan
I’ve been lucky enough to sing alto with Ayr Choral for nearly 40 years, and have taken on a few roles in that time – the most exciting being the compilation of a history of the 140 year old choir. As a choral singing nerd, I’ve happily explored choral repertoire in choirs in Harrogate, Vaison La Romaine, Troon, Dalkeith, and Cumnock to name a few, but Ayr Choral has always been a home base which offers musical challenge, fulfilment, and friendship.
I have sung choral music ever since I was a pupil at Cumnock Academy, when our choir won several choral trophies at the Ayrshire Music Festival.
I subsequently sang with ‘Manus Cantorum’, made up of ex-pupils from Cumnock; toured France with ‘Schola Sancti Alberti’, an Edinburgh University student choir conducted by James MacMillan, and later sang bass with Carrick Chamber Choir and Kyle Choral Union. I sang, and played bass with 3 part harmony group, ‘Redwing’, for a number of years.
I joined Ayr Choral Union in 2001 and am now a member of the newly formed Cumnock Tryst Festival Chorus.
I enjoy singing and each choir has brought me great experiences and a definite sense of fulfilment.
After more than 20 years singing with the Ayr Amateur Opera Company and almost 15 years with the church choir I’ve recently joined Ayr Choral and I am enjoying learning the wider variety of music.
As one who doesn’t read music this has been a challenge, but getting shown how to breathe correctly and how to improve your voice production has been a great help.
I have been made very welcome, and it’s a pleasure to sing with a larger group and with professional soloists and musicians.
Many years ago in another life, I did a great deal of singing; I sang quite a few of the standard choral works as a boy treble. After Uni I had many years with no singing at all – until someone inveigled me into the Ayr Choral to sing Mozart’s
Requiem. Learning it all again – this time from the back row! – I realised how much I had missed it, and I’ve been a member for several years now, enjoying music old and new, always learning, and making many new friends. It is a joy to have a couple of hours each week when you don’t have to think of anything except the music, and I would recommend it to anyone. This is a friendly choir, and we’ve sung works ancient and modern; all of it has its merits even if sometimes it take a few rehearsals to discover them. It’s most rewarding to be part of it all, and to know that I am playing my part in keeping this great cultural tradition alive.
I joined Ayr Choral in 2013 because they were going to perform Verdi Requiem that year.I have since found plenty of enjoyment and challenge in singing a wide variety of choral pieces and songs in lovely venues such as St Giles,Edinburgh and a visit to France with the choir. I have always enjoyed singing. Apart from the choir I also sing with Ayrshire opera experience, Scots opera project,Cumnock Tryst festival chorus and a trio who sing locally. Ayr Choral is a friendly welcoming choir and has added another dimension to my singing experience.
I have been singing in choirs since I was 8 years old. These days I sing in my church choir and I joined ACU seven years ago. It’s lovely being part of a large choir where we get to sing such wonderful music. I find it especially exciting to take part in concerts with professional soloists and orchestras.
Apart from singing as a member of Aberdeen University Chapel Choir in the 60’s, joining Ayr Choral in 2000 was my first introduction to singing choral music. I joined largely because of my wife Norma’s long standing involvement in choral singing, and the evident pleasure that it brought her. I found initial rehearsals challenging but hugely enjoyable. Rehearsing alongside more experienced singers helped to improve confidence and sight reading; workshops designed to aid breathing and tonal quality continue to be of great benefit.
The atmosphere at rehearsals is friendly, fun, yet focused on achieving a really high standard of singing. The enjoyment of performing some of the greatest works in concert with a professional orchestra and soloists cannot be over emphasised.
Ayr Choral is also twinned with two French choirs with regular exchange visits; great experiences of singing together, socialising and having fun.
The highlight for me singing with Ayr Choral is always the day of a performance. Our rehearsal with professional musicians at last adds the final touches to all the hours learning the music in the weeks beforehand.
The performance is always rewarding and exciting to be part of and leaves me singing extracts for days.