History


John Stone founded andante in August 2007.



On 8th March 2008 andante  gave their Inaugural Concert and included in the programme for that evening was his description of how it all came about:

Introducing
 andante CHAMBER CHOIR
            During 2007, in addition to singing with Berwick Arts Choir and the Roxburgh Singers, I was involved in a number of other choral projects in the locality. I loved participating, and an idea began to form in my mind that I would like to do even more choral work - but on a smaller scale.
            I wanted to concentrate on unaccompanied choral singing of a more domestic nature. Were there a dozen or so other people out there who could share my enthusiasm for masses, motets & madrigals and part-songs; arrangements of folk-songs and orchestral favourites; and populist material that has stood the test of time? Would anybody join me to explore new work – now more readily available than ever via the internet?
            The answer, I discovered, was a resounding yes!
            Inviting a small group to Eccles Village Hall on Tuesday evenings in late August, we embarked on a carol programme for Christmas and on creating the repertoire programme that we present to you for the first time this evening.
            Why “a repertoire programme”?
            Well, experience taught me that, in order to get performing opportunities, it would be good to be able to call on a number of different combinations of pieces - achieved by preparing a “bank” of varied material. It has the added advantage that you get many more potential performances of a piece than simply working towards a one-off concert. Thus, the choir is able provide suitable programmes for charity fundraising church or chapel and village hall concerts; whilst being able to “guest” for weddings, meetings and events.
Put simply, a “jobbing” small choir!
Thank you for support this evening.



            And now, all these years later, we are still exploring the a-cappella repertoire - everything from plainsong and polyphony to jazz and pop. In those years we've been excited to give first performances of works by former King's Singer Grayston Ives, drum & bass star Goldie, Michael Nyman and Sean Doherty; Borders musicians Geoffrey Emerson, Karin Scott & Amy Ward; and Edinburgh composer Nigel Don. Singing has taken us as far afield as the Isle of Arran, St Silas Church Newcastle, Cathedrals in  Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Asaph in North Wales, Dunfermline Abbey, Brinkburn Priory, Romaldkirk in the Durham Dales and all the Borders Abbeys as well as dozens of churches and halls on both sides of the border in our home locality. Along the way we have raised well over £30,000 for local & national charities by performing concerts without charging for our services.
           
          We have thirty-two full singing members, with additional guest singers and apprentices. With members from Berwickshire and the wider Scottish Borders, as well as Berwick-upon-Tweed and north Northumberland, we meet in Leitholm, north of Coldstream, for weekly rehearsals.
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