Voices raised in St Andrews at festival inspired by vocal music

Artistic director Sonia Stevenson (above) is delighted to have brought together a diverse programme for the Voices Festival.
Artistic director Sonia Stevenson (above) is delighted to have brought together a diverse programme for the Voices Festival.

A feast of music for the voice – that’s the formula for one of Scotland’s most unique festivals taking place next week in St Andrews.

St Andrews Voices is the only festival in Scotland dedicated to vocal and choral music of all kinds.

Vocalist Zo� Gilby will be leading a late-night jazz session.

Vocalist Zo� Gilby will be leading a late-night jazz session.

Attractions this year include the world-leading chamber choir Tenebrae (Holy Trinity Church, Friday, October 26, at 7.30pm), Northumbrian folk music star Kathryn Tickell (Younger Hall, Saturday, October 27, at 7.30pm) and Jamie MacDougall in his one-man show paying tribute to the great Scottish music hall legend Sir Harry Lauder (Byre Theatre, Sunday, October 28, at 2.30pm).

Scottish Opera will also present an entertaining programme of highlights from works by Mozart, Donizetti and others (Byre Theatre Saturday, October 27, at 3pm).

The festival also includes a myriad of fringe, family and free events.

The University’s Byre Opera Company will illustrate how Newton’s theories of light and colour play out in English baroque composer John Eccles’ opera The Judgment of Paris (Byre Theatre, Thursday, October 25, 5.30pm), while audience participation is the name of the game when Disney’s much-loved Beauty and the Beast gets the ‘singalong’ treatment (Byre Theatre, Saturday, October 27, 10am-noon).

Amateur choral singers will have the opportunity to take part in a workshop with Tenebrae founder/director Nigel Short (Younger Hall, Saturday, October 27, 10am) and a jazz session with vocalist Zoë Gilby will provide the late-night ambience at The Adamson (Friday, October 26, 10pm).

Local folk musicians are also invited to entertain during an Open Mic session at the St Andrews Brewing Company pub (Saturday, October 27, 10pm).

Artistic director Sonia Stevenson is excited to bring such a diverse programme to the town.

She said: “One of the reasons I founded St Andrews Voices six years ago was to give something back to St Andrews.

“I was lucky enough to grow up here and took full of advantage of all the wonderful cultural things.

“I wanted to make sure culture would continue to thrive in the town, so the idea behind St Andrews Voices was a festival bring the whole community together – town and gown, families and tourists.

“The high-quality, wide-ranging programme, with affordable tickets and lots of free events, is key to this.

“In one weekend, you can listen to Tenebrae, one of the world’s best choirs, sing along to Beauty and the Beast, grab a free beer and enjoy folk star Kathryn Tickell, find out the secrets of how to sing well at our public masterclass and come & sing workshop, and discover the extraordinary story of music hall legend Sir Harry Lauder.”

Tickets for St Andrews Voices are available in advance from the Byre Theatre Box Office, online at www.byretheatre.com the Byre Theatre website, or by calling 01334 475000.

For full details of this year’s St Andrews Voices programme, visit St Andrews Voices website