Chorus Member at Edinburgh Festival Chorus
I’m Soprano 2 of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus. In a choir we have four parts – soprano, alto, tenor and bass. The soprano tends to sing the melody part, with all the parts forming a harmony. The soprano sings the top line.
I joined the Festival Chorus in October 2018. I’ve always been a singer – I came to Edinburgh to study for Master’s in Music Therapy. I came to the UK from Taiwan. I’ve always been in the school choir, Cathedral choir, was classically trained in music. Singing’s a big part of my life. When I moved to Edinburgh it was the first time I’d not been in a choir. I’d been looking around and went to a few different rehearsals before I found the Chorus through an open public rehearsal. Immediately I felt that this was the choir for me. It’s splendour and sense of community – everyone was so friendly. When I first joined everyone got a name tag to help to get to know one another – that had never happened in any other choir I’d joined before and really helped. I was thrilled to join.
What do you enjoy most about working for the festivals?
The opportunity to meet different people and share these experiences that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Last year’s performance of Quickening by Sir James MacMillan – we sung with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, The King’s singers, the RSNO Junior Chorus – all put together to make that amazing piece of work – it was an incredible experience.
I love the sense of community and people taking care of each other – you don’t experience that just anywhere.
What is your favourite festival memory?
Elgar’s The Kingdom (with Conductor Martyn Brabbins and the Hallé) at the Usher Hall in 2019 was really wonderful – I’ve always loved that piece. I’ve performed it before, but the two experiences were very different – performing at the Festival made it feel so alive. I already knew the piece – it was like greeting an old friend. I loved performing at the Usher Hall. The Kingdom was one of the first times that I had stepped in the building. It’s an amazing space – despite the Chorus’s narrow wooden seats!
I met my partner (Brendan Glen, Chorus Member) at rehearsals. We’d passed each other on occasion but never really spoken to one another until he came over to talk to a mutual friend of ours during a break. This was May 2019. Given that I joined the Chorus the previous October it’s kind of funny that it took so long for us to get to know each other.
What makes you proud to be a Festival City citizen?
We’ve been working so hard practising for this year’s Festival, it just really feels like something’s missing. Being part of the Chorus is a big commitment but very rewarding.
Last year I was so tired towards the end – as much as I enjoyed it – but now it’s not happening I’m really missing it!