Love Music – The UK’s largest community choir held its (12th) concert in The Usher Hall Edinburgh tonight, and as you would expect, the venue was pretty much packed out with supporters. The concert was a short one at roughly 45 minutes but packed a lot into that short time.
Songs for the choir are arranged by conductor/artistic director, award-winning composer Stephen Deazley, and accompanied for this show by Scottish jazz pianist Dave Milligan. As you might expect approaching Christmas, there was an overall religious/seasonal theme to the songs presented, but innovatively re-arranged for a large choir...Johnny Cash songs here included the gospel themed “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” and a clever name re-working on the places visited for “I’ve Been Everywhere”. Nick Cave’s “Into My Arms” also fitted well into the theme for the night and is always a wonderful song to hear performed.
Other music from the performance ranged from classic hymns to UB40 to opera with the “Chorus of the Slaves” from Verdi’s classic Nambucco.
This concert is of course the end result of many unseen to the public hours of performance practice by everyone involved in the Love Music Choir, but even this performance is only a small facet of what a community choir is about. Music and a love of singing may be the common thread that brings everyone together here, but once that has been achieved then finding out more about the people around you, making new friendships and breaking down any perceived social barriers is in the end the far more important aspect of a community choir.
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Review by Tom King