SCO Chorus

Chorus

UPCOMING CONCERTS

Click here to find out what the Chorus will be performing.

THE CHORUS

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus, 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 celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021.

Members enjoy a unique opportunity to perform with one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras, working with international conductors including Maxim Emelyanychev, Harry Bicket, Richard Egarr, Phillipe Herreweghe, John Storgårds, Emmanuel Krivine, Peter Dijkstra 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, Beethoven ‘Choral’ Symphony and Missa Solemnis, Berlioz Béatrice et Bénédict, Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem and a rare performance of Schumann Requiem.

The Chorus also appears on its own in a cappella repertoire and its annual Christmas concerts have quickly established themselves as a Season highlight. Other recent out-of-Season appearances have included a critically-acclaimed debut at the BBC Proms in Handel’s Jephtha in August 2019; a dramatised performance of Parry’s Songs of Farewell in 2017, devised by stage director Jack Furness and Chorus Director Gregory Batsleer; and the world premiere of David Lang’s RPS Award-winning Memorial Ground at the 2016 East Neuk Festival.

Artistic Team

Chorus Director Gregory Batsleer
Associate Chorus Master Stuart Hope
Vocal Coach Dr Patricia MacMahon
Vocal Coach Alan Beck

Members

Sopranos
Kristin Anderson, Naomi Black, Nancy Burns, Sally Carr^, Morven Chisholm, Mairi Day, Joanne Dunwell, Liberty Emeny, Lucy Forde, Ruth Hoare^, Emily Gifford, Lisa Johnston, Lesley Mair, Katie McGlew, Jenny Nex, Emily Phillips, Sarah Roberts, Alison Robson, Eilidh Thomson^, Alison Williams.

Altos
Shona Banks, Madeleine Baron^, Dinah Bourne, Sarah Campbell, Gill Cloke, Judith Colman, Anne Gallacher, Claire Goodenough, Anne Grindley, Caroline Hahn, Fiona Haldane, Lorna Htet-Khin, Melissa Humphreys, Rachel Kemp, Helen Leigh, Elizabeth McColl, Hilde McKenna, Jan Raitt, Linda Ruxton, Anna Yule.

Tenors
Matthew Andrews, Andrew Carvel, David Ferrier, Colin French, Lewis Gilchrist, Brendan Glen, Keith Main, Anthony Mudge, David Nelson, Michael Scanlon, Paul Vaughan. 

Basses
Mathew Brown, Patrick Callaghan, Gavin Easton, Robin Hiley, Richard Hyder, David Ireland, Jamie Lewis^, Donald MacLeod, Sandy Matheson, Richard Murphy, Kenneth Murray, Douglas Nicholson, David Paterson, Jonathan Pryce, Peter Silver, Stephen Todd, Roderick Wylie.

^ Young Singers' Programme

Young Singers' Programme

Our Young Singers' Programme (YSP) aims to nurture and develop aspiring young singers.  Following on from the successful Choral Scholarship Programme of 2014–2017, YSP is aimed at young people (aged 18 - 23) with a high level of singing/choral experience and ambitions to further their singing with a world-class ensemble.

Applications for the 2020/2021 Season are now open. Read more and apply here.

Chorus 2

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. New members are very welcome – to find out more, please contact Interim Chorus Administrator Jessica Massey (jessica.massey@sco.org.uk).

Reviews

"The first performance in the usual choir positions was magnificent. The second, in the round, blisteringly brilliant. 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."  The Courier (Spem In Alium, February 2020)

"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." Seen & Heard International (Christmas Concert, December 2019)

"But stars of the show were the SCO Chorus singers, who earned that position with singing that was strongly defined, expertly balanced and joyfully buoyant". The Scotsman (Haydn Harmony Mass, December 2019)

"...it [SCO Chorus] really does set the gold standard for ensemble singing round these parts." The Herald (Haydn Harmony Mass, December 2019)

"The SCO Chorus, in particular, was on excellent form... lithe, energetic and bitingly committed, its singers pleasingly mixed on the platform to add to its nuanced blending." The Scotsman (Mozart Requiem, October 2019)

 "Changing lines from Pope ending "what God ordains is right" to "whatever is, is right", Handel has the chorus hurl them out between pregnant silences. Nothing could have been more astounding than the way the SCO chorus articulated them here under Richard Egarr, more as a series of angry questions marks. 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." The Arts Desk (Handel Jephtha, BBC Proms performance 2019)

 "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 Times (Handel Jephtha, BBC Proms performance 2019)

"Gregory Batsleer’s chorus were the extra element. He has done wonders with them, and they turned what is a fairly easy work to sing into a well refined beauty."  Bachtrack (Fauré Requiem, May 2019)

"The SCO Chorus, trained to within an inch of their life by Gregory Batsleer, sang this music with truth and thrilling conviction."  ***** The Times (MacMillan Seven Last Words from the Cross, February 2019)

"...its bold mix of English, Latin and Hebrew texts [were] performed with pristine clarity by the SCO chorus here. There was a very fresh, young look to the choir and it was audible too, particularly in the pure-toned sopranos at the opening of the work. When they were to the fore, the men were just was impressive, with powerful tenors and real heft from the basses..."  ***** The Herald (MacMillan Seven Last Words from the Cross, February 2019)

"...The result was 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..."  ***** The Scotsman (Christmas Concert, December 2018)

“...an impeccably enunciated, perfectly pitched performance that was sensitive to every line of text." Bachtrack (Handel Solomon, April 2018)

“...precision, clarity and musical intelligence... laser-like intensity..." Seen & Heard International (Parry Songs of Farewell, June 2017)

“...needle-sharp diction capable of cutting through the orchestral largesse, and expressive range intensified by the superb homogeneity of the voices” The Scotsman (Beethoven Missa Solemnis, April 2017)