‘Here We Are!’ saw Autumn Voices working with songwriter, workshop tutor and choir leader, Sophie Bancroft. Sophie guided a group of Pathhead community members aged 60+ to write original songs for The Pathhead Choir to perform. These songs were arranged and notated for the choir by local professional musicians and arrangers, rehearsed and performed by the choir, conducted by Sophie choir co-leader Gina Rae, with Dave Milligan on piano. The choir gave three concerts in June 2023, performing these new and original pieces.
You can now see the performances of each of the eight new songs on Youtube.
Sophie has also made a podcast series about the project, available here.
If you belong to a choir who would like to perform one or more of the songs, the scores are available on Sophie’s website here.
Those of us in the project team from both Autumn Voices and The Pathhead Music Collective were very excited about being able to run this unique and special project, providing some of the older choir members with the opportunity to experience the craft and joy of songwriting under the guidance of a professional songwriter, and providing the choir with the opportunity to learn, sing and perform a mini tour of the resulting new music.
The concert dates and venues were Wednesday 21 June (Make Music Day), Crichton Collegiate Church, Midlothian; Friday 23 June, Braid Hall, Morningside Parish Church, Edinburgh; and Saturday 24 June, West Barns Village Hall, near Dunbar, East Lothian.
The other professional musicians who took part in the project were:
~ vocalist Gina Rae, music arranger and choir co-leader for the project
~ pianist Dave Milligan, music arranger and choir accompanist for the project
~ bassist Tom Lyne, drummer Tom Bancroft and clarsach player and vocalist Corrina Hewat, music arrangers for the project
Sophie, and all the above, are members of the award-winning Pathhead Music Collective.
As well as the songwriting sessions, Sophie also led two creative writing sessions, drawing on some of the themes touched on by the songs. You can see some of the results on our Showcase page.
Photos by Louise Humphrey, taken at Morningside Church, 23 June 2023
Photos taken at Crichton Collegiate Church, Midlothian, 26 June 2023
Autumn Voices is delighted to have received funding for Here We Are! from Creative Scotland, The Hope Scott Trust and the Unwin Charitable Trust.