The Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus (SCOC), under the direction of Gregory Batsleer since 2009, has built a reputation as one of Scotland’s most vibrant and versatile choirs. Widely regarded as one of the finest orchestral choruses in the UK, it celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021.
Members enjoy the unique opportunity to perform with one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras, working with international conductors including Maxim Emelyanychev, Harry Christophers, Richard Egarr, Andrew Manze and Sir James MacMillan.
The Chorus appears regularly with the Orchestra in Scotland’s major cities. Recent concerts have covered a wide range of music including MacMillan Seven Last Words from the Cross, Stravinsky Mass, Handel Messiah and Theodora, Haydn Creation and Seasons, Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem, a rare performance of Vaughan Williams Flos Campi and the premiere of The Years by Anna Clyne, SCO Associate Composer 2019-2022. The 2023-24 Season features the world premiere of Composed in August by Sir James MacMillan.
The SCO Chorus also appears on its own in a cappella repertoire, both digital and live. Notable performances include a dramatisation of Parry’s Songs of Farewell in 2017, devised by stage director Jack Furness and Chorus Director Gregory Batsleer, Tallis’ Spem in Alium in 2020, and concerts as part of the SCO’s 2022 Summer Tour including the premiere of Anna Clyne’s The Heart of Night. The Chorus' annual Christmas concerts at Greyfriars Kirk have quickly established themselves as a Season highlight. The 23/24 programme includes the world premiere of The Night Watch, commissioned by the Chorus from SCO Associate Composer, Jay Capperauld.
The Chorus made a critically acclaimed BBC Proms debut with Handel’s Jephtha in 2019 and returned to the Royal Albert Hall in July 2023 with Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Summer 2023 also saw the Chorus at the Edinburgh International Festival in a semi-staged performance of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev.
The SCO Chorus’ Young Singers’ Programme was established in 2015 to nurture and develop aspiring young singers. It is designed for young people with a high level of choral experience and ambitions to further their singing with a world-class ensemble.
The SCO Chorus Young Singers' Programme is kindly supported by the Baird Educational Trust.
The SCO Chorus have seldom sung better: their blend was rich and resonant, their rhythms crisp and bracing, their ensemble impeccable, and they paced themselves carefully across Haydn’s ever more exuberant songs of celebration. Quite simply an evening of musical joy …
Kirstin Anderson, Naomi Black, Nancy Burns, Joanna Burns, Morven Chisholm, Mairi Day, Joanne Dunwell, Lucy Forde, Emily Gifford, Nicola Henderson, Lisa Johnston, Katie McGlew, Jenny Nex, Ciara O'Neill*, Annike Petin, Kotryna Starkutė , Alison Williams, Emily Zehetmayr*.
Shona Banks, Dinah Bourne, Sarah Campbell, Gill Cloke, Judith Colman, Liberty Emeny, Anne Gallacher, Jennie Gardner, Claire Goodenough, Holly Gowen*, Anne Grindley, Caroline Hahn, Fiona Haldane, Lorna Htet-Khin, Melissa Humphreys, Rachel Kemp, Elizabeth McColl, Morven McIntyre*, Hilde McKenna, Charlotte Perkins, Jan Raitt, Linda Ruxton.
Matthew Andrews, Andrew Carvel, Ben Evans, David Ferrier, Colin French, Peter Hanman, Fraser Macdonald*, Keith Main, David Nelson, Conor Quinn, Michael Scanlon, Paul Vaughan, Alexander Vonderschmidt.
Mathew Brown, Gavin Easton, Luke Francis*, Robin Hiley, Richard Hyder, David Ireland, Donald MacLeod, Sandy Matheson, Richard Murphy, Kenneth Murray, Douglas Nicholson, David Paterson, Jonathan Pryce, Fraser Riddell, Peter Silver, Stephen Todd, Roderick Wylie.
*Young Singers' Programme
SING WITH THE SCO CHORUS
The Chorus is made up of around 70 singers from all walks of life. Typically performing with around 50 singers, we meet regularly for rehearsals in central Edinburgh. To find out more, please contact our Chorus Manager.
The excerpts below are from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra & SCO Chorus'
BBC Proms 2019 performance of Handel's 'Jephtha' conducted by Richard Egarr.
Many thanks to BBC Proms and BBC Radio 3 for their permission.
YOUNG SINGERS' PROGRAMME
Our Young Singers' Programme aims to nurture and develop aspiring young singers. It is designed for young people (aged 18 - 23) with a high level of singing/choral experience and ambitions to further their singing with a world-class ensemble.
Read more here.
Watch our digital performances
Enjoy the SCO Chorus' recent digital performance of Henry Purcell's Hear My Prayer, O Lord with a BSL interpretation of the choral anthem by Zoë McWhinney. Filmed at Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, in 2021.
This is the sort of performance The Sixteen or the Tallis Scholars – both masters of this art – would have been delighted with, and that’s no exaggeration.
Thus the concert began and ended in a cloud of harmonies, tapping into the mystery of the season, and confirming again how capable the chorus are of turning this concert into something truly magical.
... stars of the show were the SCO Chorus ... with singing that was strongly defined, expertly balanced and joyfully buoyant...
... [SCO Chorus] really does set the gold standard for ensemble singing round these parts.
This has to be one of the best performances ever from an amateur choir... No doubt this splendid group's inspirational chorus master Gregory Batsleer is partly to thank.
Professional voices can be thrilling here but the humanity, expressiveness and energy of the SCO Chorus in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's performance of Jephtha under the conductor and harpsichordist Richard Egarr was even more impactful.
The SCO Chorus, trained to within an inch of their life by Gregory Batsleer, sang this music with truth and thrilling conviction.
... a deeply rewarding, absorbing evening of music, immaculately judged in its shifting moods and perspectives, and one that provided – as Batsleer also said he hoped – a time for reflection amid the pre-Christmas hubbub. The SCO Chorus singers were on breathtaking form...