The Usher Hall and Love Music Community & Junior Choirs took to the enormous space that is the Usher Hall stage tonight for their “Songbirds & Troubadours” show, directed as always by the ever enthusiastic Stephen Deazley.
Variety is always present in any Love Music performance as the often musically unexpected is re-arranged for a large choir with often very distinctive results. This show was no exception as it focused on the “Songbirds & Troubadours” behind the music and a few of my favourite songwriters were featured here too – Burt Bacharach (Make it Easy On Yourself) and Jackie DeShannon (Put a Little Love in Your Heart).
Our musical journey also took us from the classical music of GF Handel to a sacred Georgian Hymn (performed in memory of choir member for many years, David Wilkinson) and Gaelic song. More contemporary music from Coldplay (Yellow) and Enda Reilly (Oxygen 21) was balanced with The Beach Boys (Friends) and a visit to the Southern Blues music (if completely re-arranged) of Sam Chatmon. Along our musical journey we even visited the experimental music of New York’s Moondog.
Also working with Love Music and performing on stage were Siannie Moodie on Clarsach (a folk harp) and on a piano duet, two members of the Edinburgh School of music, Hailun Hu and Andy Wong; Jillian Bain also performed on trumpet.
This evening also saw trainee choral leader Darla Eno make her final appearance with Love Music (well maybe not, who knows what the future holds) and her first public direction of the choir on the Usher Hall Stage.
Love Music choirs are community projects that allow people of all ages and abilities to join together to share the joys of music, singing and, just as importantly, friendship. Both choirs are large with the adult choir having over 300 members and the children’s choir over 100 members. Obviously keeping an organisation like this together from even a logistics point of view takes many people behind the scenes too, and a lot of support from organisations including City of Edinburgh council & Usher Hall and The Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiatives.
As always, no star rating system has been used on this review as community projects like this one bring far more to everyone involved than such a crude system can ever measure.
Review by Tom King