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Colin Douglas
Colin Douglas

MOVE over Gareth Malone – there’s a new choirmaster in town.

Musical maestro Colin Douglas has moved north from the Welsh mountains near Bangor and he’s looking for raw talent to join his latest venture in Lundin Links.

The former music teacher, trumpet player and experienced conductor has spent the last 15 years honing the soaring altos and booming tenors of countless singers across the UK, but now his attention is firmly fixed here.

What’s more, people do not have to be excellent singers to join, as Colin (65) explained.

“This choir is part of the Natural Voice Network, which is about the joy of singing in harmony a capella.

“It’s the main thrust of what we are about, so we don’t tend to go over and over the same piece with a view to an end performance.”

He added: “All the music is taught by ear – there’s no stress and nobody is turned away.

“I believe everybody can sing and if someone’s voice can be best described as ‘interesting,’ let’s say, then it can, over time, be attuned.

“Unless someone has a medical condition, for example, damage to their voicebox, they can sing – otherwise people would be talking in monotone.

“It’s not like being at school and being told by a teacher to go to the back of the class.

“The number of people who have had their singing confidence damaged by teachers is quite surprising.”

Colin’s wife Anne is very much part of the team and participants can expect to lend their voice to an exciting range of songs and musical influences.

“I’m a musical magpie and the choir would sing a varied selection of songs, including folk, pop and African and East European music.

“There’s a wonderful singing tradition in Georgia which is quite spine-tingling,” said Colin (pictured conducting a choral session).

“In Africa, to this day, songs are still very much part of everyday life events.”

People of all ages are invited to take part in the weekly sessions and, although there are no scheduled performances as such, the choir will be able to take part in larger gatherings of natural Voice Network Choirs across the UK.

In Dorset, for example, over 400 participants meet each year.

The first meeting is due to take place at the Montrave Hall in Lundin Links on Tuesday, January 15 at 7.45pm. Participants are advised to bring a bottle of water with them.

Hoping many people take the chance to join, Colin said: “The main thing I’d like to emphasise is singing is full of fun – it’s really quite an experience!”

For more information, contact Colin Douglas on 01333 329663.