Love Music Community Choir Usher Hall Edinburgh Review Monday 11th March 2019

With Edinburgh Entertainment & Arts

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NOTE - STAR RATING SYSTEM NOT USED ON THIS REVIEW

Love Music Community Choir concerts at the Usher Hall are always an eclectic mix of music, genres and styles from around the world, and this one is no different.  This year our musical journeys took us to ancient Swedish fishwives’ songs, Hollywood films, Bertolt Brecht, Woody Guthrie, Manchester rock band James and songs performed in the smaller group, face to face style of the American Sacred Harp tradition.  Quite a journey as all songs are specially arranged for the choir but, as usual, choir director Stephen Deazley  took everything in his usual enthusiastic stride.

With over 300 members (if everyone attends), the Love Music Community Choir is one of the largest community choirs in the UK, and watching its members filling the stage at The Usher Hall is always an impressive sight.  This does of course mean that some songs that were designed for one voice need a little bit of tweaking, and the classic “Moon River” composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer for Audrey Hepburn to sing in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is one such song, and the results were interesting.  Another well-known song from the musicals, “Shall We Dance?" from the 1951 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, “The King and I” also fitted the choir format well.  A little film trivia note here folks, if you have fond memories of Deborah Kerr singing this song in the film, sorry, that was not Deborah Kerr herself singing, but voice-over artist Marni Nixon.

Manchester band James will be at the Usher Hall on Monday 18th March, so it was nice to hear the choir giving their special arrangements to a few of their songs, including probably their best known song “Sit Down”.

Love Music Community Choir as always was presented by The Usher Hall and registered charity Love Music, and it is important to step back a little here and look at the bigger picture of Love Music as the Usher Hall concerts, although the end result of a lot of work by many people, are important events, they are only the very visible part of something far larger.  The clue here is in the title, Love Music Community Choir, and “Community” is what the organisation is really about, albeit a community brought together by their love of music.  Perhaps more important than even the music is the friendships that everyone involved in this organisation make all through the year, friendships that will often last long outside the choir itself.  For reasons like this, I am not using our usual star rating system on this review as much of what Love Music does for people and communities is not something that should be judged in this way.

If you want to find out more about Love Music, visit their website at

https://www.choir.lovemusic.org.uk/

 

Review by Tom King

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TOM KING

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