Lammermuir Festival > News > Forget nymphs and shepherds – this choir will blow you away!

Forget nymphs and shepherds - this choir will blow you away! - Lammermuir Festival

The first of our two concerts in the far west of East Lothian, at St Michael’s Inveresk, is by the National Girls Choir, one of the astonishing array of groups that come under the umbrella of the National Youth Choir of Scotland, and under the direction of genius choir trainer and conductor Christopher Bell. On Saturday afternoon September 17, in the big generous acoustic of St Michael’s, they’ll sing British and French music, including a centenary tribute to a French composer, Jehan Alain, who is known mainly to organists (like me!) but would probably be much better known if he hadn’t died so tragically young in the 2nd World War.

I first heard the NGC in Glasgow last year, and was blown away by the power and huge dynamic range of this group of about 60 young women. Forget, ‘nymphs and shepherds’. Don’t imagine the world ‘girls’ implies anything remotely insubstantial or under-powered. This choir lifts you into the air with the focused energy of its sound, and sweeps you along on a tide of glorious tone. And I’m not exaggerating. One of the French pieces they’ll sing is Fauré’s lovely Messe Basse. Here’s the Kyrie:


Hugh Macdonald – Director, Lammermuir Festival