InChorus’ 10th Birthday Trip

“It was the icing on the birthday cake” was the unanimous comment from InChoristers following their trip to Barcelona which completed their 10th birthday celebrations. The choir has just returned from an exciting long weekend of performances and appearances in the city.

The choir’s programme of main events began in the wonderful Palau De La Musica Catalana. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of extraordinary beauty, the modernistic design and decoration of which is quite unique. After a tour of the building, choir members were asked if they would like to sing on the main stage.

Choir manager, Lorna Turnbull said, “The design of the Palau is mind blowing and the acoustics are amazing. We were told that we could sing “just one song”, but having heard us, we were asked to sing another. This happened on the first morning of the trip, and I was afraid that everything else we had planned for the weekend would be an anti-climax. I needn’t have worried. Barcelona did us proud.”

The next major event took place in the beautiful old church of Sant Gaieta in the Eixample District of the city. The priest there raises money for an African mission by staging regular quality concerts. A large, very discerning, audience took the choir to its heart, with many of them coming backstage to express their thanks.

The following day InChorus travelled to Sabadell, north of Barcelona, where they were introduced to Coral Catasons, a contemporary choir of similar size. The choirs performed a joint concert to a full house, receiving a standing ovation at the end. There then followed some excellent hospitality from the Spanish choir and some hilarious Catalonian entertainment. Friendships were formed on the back of which Coral Catasons has announced its intention to visit Peebles and the Scottish Borders in June next year. They will be made very welcome here.

The final Barcelona event was an hour-long performance on the steps of the magnificent Barcelona Cathedral. To stand in such a location singing in the sunshine to a fantastic audience was extraordinary. The choir loved it.

On the plane to Catalonia – at the suggestion of the pilot – and at other points throughout the trip, the choir took the opportunity to sing whenever and wherever they could, especially in the beautiful squares and open spaces of the Gothic Quarter around La Rambla. As the days progressed, whether singing or sight seeing, members were recognised increasingly. Men in kilts are an instant attraction, and this, combined with the gents’ Catalonian coloured bright teeshirts bearing a line in Spanish from ‘Havana’, a piece from the choir’s repertoire, ensured a positive response everywhere.  In the course of the few days they were congratulated and spoken to by people from all around the world including South America, the United States, Canada, all over Europe, Russia, India, the Middle East, the Far East and Australia. To cap this there was the warm welcome extended to the choir by the Spanish people.

Accompanying the choir through all its derring-do was the InChorus mascot, Singu, a penguin given to the choir by the family of the late Celia Hayton, a much loved choir member. The family knew that Celia would want to be there in spirit.

Musical Director, Aly Skidmore, said, “InChorus decided over a year ago that Barcelona would be the perfect city in which to properly celebrate its first decade. The culture there embraces all the arts, but music particularly. The choir worked hard to master an extensive repertoire of both sacred and secular pieces which could be performed in any venue or outdoor space. The response from our audiences reflected appreciation of the achievement of this choir from the Scottish Borders.”