MORE than 430 members of Kirsty’ Baird’s Sing in the City Edinburgh choirs will come together for the first time to perform at the Usher Hall this week. They will perform cover versions of a range of well-known songs and also sing original tunes accompanied by a six-piece band on Friday.
Over the years Sing in the City has raised more than £55,000 for charities including Radio Lollipop, Edinburgh Food Bank, Cancer Research UK and Maggies centre an this latest show will raise more funds. The choir is the inspiration of Kirsty Baird who started her first Sing in the City in 2010 with 48 members. There are now nine choirs which meet in a range of venues – including in Leith, Bruntsfield, Corstorphine, Trinity and Musselburgh – with a total of 550 members and a tenth choir due to begin at the start of next year.
Kirsty said: “In 2015 we started to hold huge rehearsals for all choir members to come together to sing and rehearse with the live band. We didn’t realise how amazing it was going to be for everyone concerned.
“That is when I had the idea, instead of having the 60-70 members of each of my nine choirs rehearse for their yearly show, why not in 2016 have a massive show with the band and let everyone come together to be a part of something really special.
“I just can’t wait to see what 430 Sing in the City members with the band will sound like, not to mention 2200 audience members singing back at us.”
Kirsty, 49, said Sing in the City’s shows are like no other, adding: “There is always a fun family atmosphere and a great selection of song choices that will include something for everyone. The choirs work hard all year round and their enthusiasm and joy of singing is infectious.”
The choir’s youngest current member is 18 and the oldest is 82. Members sing songs from all decades and genres and all share the harmony parts.
Kirsty told how most members have had no experience of being in a choir before they join and told how many members had told how joining up had improved their confidence and increased their circle of friends.
Kirsty said: “We have heard our members comment often on how Sing in the City has changed their lives. There is still the very important tea break during rehearsals and throughout the year there are events that we organise for community, charity or social groups like our end of year award party.
Kirsty, a professional a singer, musician and songwriter since she was 17, added: “Developing the choirs, the business, the band and our music is a dream job.”
She gets her musical inspiration from many genres but has a particular soft spot for Lionel Richie. She said: “It’s not like it’s what I listen to all the time, but I saw him at Edinburgh Castle last year, and he is a proper showman.”