Eclectic programme unveiled for Scotland singing festival

An eclectic and inclusive programme has been unveiled for St Andrews Voices, Scotland’s singing festival, bringing a breadth of vocal and choral music to the Fife town this October.

Eclectic programme unveiled for Scotland singing festival

Article Source: St Andrews Voices
First Published: 23 September 2021 10:57
Updated: 23 September 2021 10:57

Taking place between Wednesday 13th - Sunday 17th October in venues around St Andrews, the festival will showcase performances across a variety of genres – from classical and folk to jazz and world music – as it marks a welcome return to live performance post-lockdown.

The full programme is available to view now, with tickets available to book at 12pm, Monday 27 September.

Themes of pilgrimage and journey will be at the heart of the five-day event, celebrating the process and voyage singers and musicians undertake to come together, explore and share music.

St Andrews Voices will showcase some of the finest singers from across the UK and beyond and incorporate its important community outreach work into the programme with a series of free workshops.

On Friday 15th October, award-winning and highly acclaimed Scottish jazz singer Georgia Cecile will herald the release of her debut album with a special performance from the stunning McPherson Recital Room in St Andrews University's Laidlaw Music Centre.

Audiences can expect an incredible audio experience from this magical venue – the smallest in the world to feature a reverberation chamber in the ceiling.

On Saturday afternoon, the University’s McPherson Recital Room will come alive with the sounds of the exciting collective Saanjh, as they create a mesmerising soundscape exploring a woman’s journey through dusk.

Blending the atmospheric vocals of Ankna Arockiam, Edward Cohen’s colourful pianism, and Hardeep Deerhe’s virtuosic tabla, this collaborative multi-sensory performance will see cultures and eclectic artistic influences merge to captivating effect.

Saturday evening sees celebrated Scottish Gael Mary Ann Kennedy complete an epic journey of musical discovery with a stunning concert at Laidlaw Music Centre.

The project entitled Triall (Gaelic for journey) saw Mary Ann follow in the footsteps of St Columba and complete a pilgrimage that has taken her across the breadth of the country in recent months, from Iona to St Andrews.

This performance will be the culmination of that journey, drawing on the inspiration garnered from choirs and singers along the way. She will perform as part of Aon Teanga, a trio from three Gaelic nations with superbly expressive voices.

Mary Ann will unite with Ruth Keggin, a leading vocalist of the Manx Gaelic revival and young Irish Gael Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin, to celebrate the cultural connections between sister nations.

Sunday afternoon sees a journey of a different kind as world-leading Baroque ensemble Dunedin Consort take to the stage of St Andrew’s Holy Trinity Church. In the run up to COP26, this commission will explore music’s relationship with nature and look at how the arts can both reflect and inspire environmental concerns.

Journeying between Scotland and Scandinavia, this evocative programme will be under the guest direction of the esteemed Norwegian choral director Grete Pedersen and see Dunedin’s a cappella consort perform music by J.S. Bach, James MacMillan and Jan Sandström, with a new work by Drew Hammond and Isobel McArthur as the centrepiece.

Elsewhere across the programme, notable Scottish baritone Andrew McTaggart and esteemed pianist Tim Dean join forces for their Landscape of Song recital and formidable Glasgow vocalist Christine Bovill will stage an intimate evening of French cabaret-inspired song. There will also be performances from St Salvator's Chapel Choir and a Student Song Concert.

Poignant choral services at St Salvator's Chapel include a Festival Evensong on Friday 15th October and a Festival Service featuring Haydn’s Little Organ Mass on Sunday 17th October.

The festival’s prolific community and health engagement programmes will also take centre stage with a Vocal Health Workshop for Singers, led by Rachel Hynes and a Singing for Health and Wellbeing session, building on the festival’s exceptional work of sufferers of long Covid. Local students will also have the opportunity to attend a singing masterclass with opera singer Lucy Schaufer.

Amanda MacLeod, Festival Director at St Andrews Voices, said: “We can’t wait to emerge from a sustained period without live performance to present St Andrews Voices Festival 2021. This year’s diverse programme brings singers together from across a real mix of genres in a celebration of the uniting power of vocal and choral music.

“There is something for everyone to enjoy across the five days and we hope music fans from Fife and far beyond will join us for a special few days of musical celebration in St Andrews. The theme of journey runs throughout the programme and I hope people take this opportunity to embark on their own journey of musical discovery with us this October.”


St. Andrews Voices is supported by the St Andrews University Music Centre.

The programme for St Andrews Voices 2021 is available to view now at www.standrewsvoices.com/festival. Tickets available to book 12pm, Monday 27 September.

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