The Borders Chamber Choir is Scotland’s newest choir. It is made up of gifted amateurs and semi-professionals and seeks to perform a wide variety of accompanied and unaccompanied music, from Carver to Tallis, Bach to Purcell, and Poulenc to MacMillan. Amongst our aims are promoting young Scottish/Scottish-trained musicians/soloists as well as using the best orchestral players from in and around the Borders.
"The choir are delighted to be giving their first performance on 4th November at the inaugural concert of the Borders Chamber Orchestra - a ‘showcase’, if you like, of who we are and how we sound. Our conductor will introduce our short programme, which will include a variety of pieces in a variety of styles."
"We begin rehearsals proper in the New Year, preparing for our inaugural concert - a performance of Bach’s St John Passion on the Saturday immediately prior to Easter 2024, accompanied by the Borders Chamber Orchestra. Our Evangelist will be Tom Raskin, a tenor who trained in Scotland and went on to sing with The Sixteen and the BBC Singers. Beyond that, we will present a regular programme of concerts throughout each year as well as taking part in the Melrose Music Festival."
The Choir is the creation of its Director, Robert Marshall, a professionally trained conductor, choir trainer, and singer who has extensive experience making music in the Borders and beyond. Having studied under Kenneth Leighton at Edinburgh University, Robert trained as an orchestral conductor (founding the Edinburgh University Chamber Orchestra along the way, which celebrates its 40th anniversary next year). He also set up and conducted the Glasgow Chamber Choir (which will turn 30 next year).
He went on to become the Chorus Master of the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union, performing with professional orchestras including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the BT Scottish Ensemble in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall and further afield.
As a singer, Robert began as a Lay Clerk at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh, before joining Cappella Nova and singing with a range of choirs and organisations performing oratorios and performing the part of the Evangelist. On Good Friday this year he was the Evangelist in a performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion given in this very church.
Robert was recently appointed the Artistic Director of the Melrose Music Festival for 2024 and beyond. He lives in the Borders.