The results are in! We are delighted to announce the winners of the inaugural Chorus Awards. There were over 150 nominations from every corner of the country sharing unusual, unique and inspiring stories from Scotland’s choirs and singing groups.
The judging panel had a very tough job indeed deciding on the winners but after much deliberation these were the winners in each category:
The Milestone Award goes to SoundSational Community Choir in Coatbridge which celebrates its fifth birthday this year. Started by Tommy Chambers with only a dozen people at the first rehearsal, there are now more than 120 members aged 5-82 getting together regularly in their own arts centre. As well as three choirs for different ages, the centre hosts music lessons and dance classes for the community.
The Sick Kids Community Choir came out on top in the Local Connection category. Made up of nurses, consultants and volunteers from the hospital community, the choir offers two hours a week away from their busy schedules, although it’s not unusual for at least one beeper to go off during rehearsals. Their performances raise funds for the hospital in Edinburgh and they’re often to be found singing on the wards.
Shetland-based Evergreen scooped the Young People award for singers under 25. The five female members, now in S5, have been singing together since primary school promoting dialect singing both at home and on the mainland. Their dialect and way of life is very precious to all of them and Evergreen is a way for them to preserve and promote this for old and young alike.
The Joyous Choir, based in Maryhill, Glasgow is the first winner of the Unique Story award. It began as a handful of singing sessions for women seeking asylum and is now a fully fledged choir singing songs from around the world and reflecting the experiences of the women who come together for weekly rehearsals. Their performances give them the opportunity to share their diverse cultures and joy of singing together.
A choir from Dumfries made of plumbers, joiners and others working in trades won the Newcomer award. Good Man & Friends began in 2014 for a Choir for Charity event in the town and only two had ever sung before. Through working hard towards a common goal, they not only took part confidently in the event but won two second prizes for their performances. They are planning to take part in this year’s event with their expanded repertoire under the banner of Friends of Huntington’s Scotland to raise funds for the charity.
Renfrewshire Carers Choir is made up of a number of unpaid carers aged 18-80 who use the Renfrewshire Carers Centre. Their choir practices are a chance to forget the stresses and strains of their week, do something for themselves and support each other. The choir has only been together for two years but is already full of spirit and taking part in local performances.
Kirsty Baird and Annette Hanley were nominated by a number of members of the Sing in the City family. There are seven choirs across Edinburgh with over 500 members. Kirsty and Annette were praised for the confidence they instil in each of their singers and the inspiration they provide at each practice. They have worked hard to build a community that gets together outside of rehearsals to take part in other activities, including social get togethers and walking to improve overall wellbeing and raising money for charity.
Congratulations to all of our winners! Next year’s awards will be launched on 31st March 2016. Watch this space!
The judging panel also wanted to recognise those that were highly commended and shortlisted in each category.
Highly Commended: Loud and Proud, Edinburgh
Shortlisted: Atomaig Piseag, Oban
Highly Commended: Timebank Temptations, Edinburgh
Shortlisted: Glad Community Choir, Glasgow; Evergreen, Shetland; SoundSational Community Choir, Coatbridge; Clark Community Choir, Musselburgh.
Highly Commended: Bethany Forbes, BIG Project Youth Choir, Edinburgh
Highly Commended: Hearts in Harmony Choir, Glasgow
Shortlisted: Sing! Moray; Soisgeul, Inverness; Glasgow Chamber Choir
Highly Commended: Soisgeul, Inverness
Shortlisted: Too Many Kooks, Moray; Thomas Hughes, City Voice Choir, Glasgow
Highly Commended: Singing for Pleasure, Inverness; Pauline Waugh, The Cheyne Gang, Edinburgh; Tommy Chambers, SoundSational Community Music, Coatbridge