New choir master sings city’s praises

Mark Hindley. Picture: contributed
Mark Hindley. Picture: contributed
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The Scottish Chamber Choir has announced the appointment of a new musical director.

Mark Hindley, 54, was born near Liverpool, to a family involved in brass band music through the Salvation Army. He began learning to play piano at the age of six, around the same time he became a chorister at Lichfield Cathedral near Birmingham.

When his time came to attend university he took the unusual step of studying both music and medicine at Cambridge.

He said: “It sounds odd, but you’ll actually find many doctors who are also musicians. I did qualify as a doctor but I’ve never practised. At the time that I graduated the first lot of NHS reforms were going through, and to be honest I didn’t like the look of them, so I chose to pursue music instead.”

After leaving university Mark found himself working in church music around Dundee, Cambridge and Northamptonshire. As chorus master, Mark has worked with symphony choruses across the UK including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus and the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus.

He has taught at the universities of Cambridge and St Andrews and has been at the forefront of many large-scale community and education projects. Mark has a busy freelance career as choral director, organist and harpsichordist. He is chorus master of the Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) Philharmonic Choir in Dublin and has been musical director of The Wordsworth Singers in Cumbria since 2009.

He said: “I’ve actually lived in Scotland a while now. I spent the 90s living in Dundee and St Andrews and then I moved to the Borders in 2003.

“During my time north of the border I’ve visited Edinburgh a lot, and it’s always an absolute pleasure to come to the city. I’ve travelled to many places in the world, but Edinburgh really is wonderful, the culture and the people make it really unique.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Scottish Chamber Choir. It has a long and distinguished history and I look forward to continuing its development, exploring exciting repertoire and presenting polished performances across Scotland and beyond.”

Since its formation in 1968 the Edinburgh-based Scottish Chamber Choir has performed throughout Scotland to great acclaim. The choir takes pride in singing a broad spectrum of music: ancient to contemporary, sacred and secular, accompanied and a cappella. The choir has commissioned works from James Macmillan, Edward Harper, Kenneth Dempster and John McLeod.

Chairman of the Scottish Chamber Choir Andrew Polson said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Mark has seen fit to join us and look forward to him taking us to great places in the near future.”