Dec 132013

Granite City Chorus With City Brass Nov13Aberdeen’s Granite City Chorus is hosting a  Love to Sing day on 19th January which is free – yes FREE! – to all men. With thanks to Peter Coutts.

Within our local community we have a wide variety of musical and artistic groups, many of which are benefitting from renewed public interest in choral singing largely influenced by Gareth Malone’s TV series The Choir.

Aberdeen’s own Granite City Chorus is one group of enthusiastic men which would love to share their singing experiences with others and encourage more men to take advantage of the positive benefits which stem from being a member of an active choral group.

Apart from the social benefits, singing is officially good for your health!

Many clinical studies have reported a variety of health benefits including better posture, higher energy levels and enhanced feelings of relaxation, mood, and confidence.

Psychological benefits are also evident when people sing together because of the increased sense of community, belonging and shared purpose.

Oh, and the chorus members are also often told they look better!

The chorus currently has around forty five members, with a wide variation in age and musical ability, who all love to sing and are addicted to ringing chords in four part unaccompanied harmony.

The chorus performs at local events and festivals throughout the year appearing at many local venues and corporate functions and also travels to compete in various competitions having performed as far away as Dublin and Bournemouth.

The chorus is holding a free, one day, Love to Sing event at the Doubletree Hotel, Beach Boulevard on Sunday 19th Jan 2014.

Granite City Chorus at Dobbies Nov 13

This is aimed at encouraging both new and existing singers to come along and experience a day of music and voice coaching in an informal and friendly environment.

No prior singing experience is necessary for this fun, unique and enjoyable day out, which could just turn out to be your new addiction!

So anyone who is interest is warmly invited to go along on the day and find or rediscover your singing voice.

There’s absolutely no commitment – just enjoying the day is fine.

Details and registration available at the Choruses website at   or telephoning 07909 108633 or by email to

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Jun 142013

The Granite City Chorus are holding a concert at the Phoenix Centre, Newton Dee, Bieldside, on Saturday 22nd June.  Brian Welch writes.

The Granite City Chorus has been in existence since 1990, from an initial idea by Bob Stevens, our current Honorary President, a name is synonymous with its home city, although it began life as the Royal Mailers which reflected its Post Office origins.

And, just to confuse things further, its ‘Sunday name’ is The Aberdeen Barbershop Harmony Club.

Having come first in the Light Entertainment and Barbershop Chorus sections of  the Aberdeen and North East Festival this month, the group can legitimately claim to be ‘the best male barbershop chorus in the North of Scotland’ and currently boasts a membership of just under fifty.

The singing style of the chorus is the four-part, unaccompanied, close harmony of tenor, lead (melody), baritone and bass voices combining to create the unique Barbershop Sound and, as a variety of song types can be arranged in the Barbershop style, its present repertoire covers a range of songs from traditional barbershop to Scottish and vintage pop standards.

The Club is one of over 50 which are members of the British Association of Barbershop Singers (BABS) and is affiliated to the parent society, the Barbershop Harmony Society of America and to the UK choral organisation Making Music, previously known as the National Federation of Music Societies.

As the group is both a Social and Competitive chorus, the members sing for fun and the entertainment of others, but they also like to compete in annual barbershop conventions against many other choruses from around the UK and Europe.

The Chorus is also available for in the City and Shire corporate events, club functions, private parties and it regularly performs for local residential homes and sheltered accommodation and has a range and depth of material that can be adapted to deliver that 4th dimension to any event

Anyone who wishes to join the Chorus – which practises every Tuesday night from 7 – 10 p.m. in the Woodside Church Hall, off King Street – wants to engage it for a function, or is just interested in getting further information about it, is invited to contact the Chorus Manager via the Contacts Page at

About the Barbershop Style

The notion of men singing together as a group is thought to have originated in the coffee shops of 17th century England.  But it was much later, towards the end of the 19th century that actual barbershop singing, where an individual would sing the melody which others would harmonise around as men waited to get their hair cut singing, was started in America.

This form continued, even in competition, until the 1930’s when written music in parts was introduced, although informal harmonising, otherwise known as ‘woodshedding’ is still practised today and has its own association.

About The Granite City Chorus’s concert on 22nd June.

There will be four acts on the evening, including the Aberdeen debut of iQ, the 2012 gold medal quartet, it is iQ’s debut in Aberdeen which is not to be missed.

Tickets for the concert, which is being held at the Phoenix Centre, Newton Dee, Bieldside, at 7.30 p.m. on Saturday 22nd June, are available from the Aberdeen Box Office.

The Granite City Chorus is directed by Colin Reid.

Further information can be obtained  at:

Web site:         
Mobile phone:         07909 108 633
Email Address
Facebook :               Granite City Chorus
Twitter:                      @granitecitychor

Dec 212011

Rev. Hugh Wallace of Newhills Parish Church, Aberdeen  tells Voice about a “Not-So-Grumpy Innkeeper” and his highly accomodating role in a  community event to celebrate Christmas and the switch-on of the Bucksburn Christmas tree lights. 

Jim Bell of the Cloverleaf Hotel welcomed around 200 residents from Bucksburn into his Inn for mince pies and tea following the Third Annual Switch-on of the Christmas tree lights.

With the financial encouragement of Aberdeen City Council and the organisation of the local Community Council, the Christmas Story was told in carols and readings.

With a Community Choir made up of children from Bucksburn Primary, Newhills Primary, Stoneywood Primary and Bucksburn Academy, with members of staff and members of Newhills Church, Miss Kirsty Robertson (music teacher at Bucksburn Academy) led the choir in John Rutter’s “Angel Carol” to enthusiastic acclaim from the gathered crowd.

Traditional Carols were sung together, and Rhonda Reekie (Chair of Newhills and Bucksburn Community Council), Rev Nigel Parker (minister of Bucksburn Stoneywood Church), and Rae Wallace (teacher at Newhills Primary School) read the Nativity story from St Luke’s Gospel.

The countdown to the switch-on rang out across the car park until Jim Bell duly lit the tree, rounding off a wonderful evening. The previous week the storms had blown down the tree and buckled its stand, but a sympathetic guest at the Hotel arranged for a new stand to be made in time for the Community Event. A Mexican “Mary and Joseph”, travelling on their way to Bethlehem, also stopped off to take in the atmosphere before heading on their way.

It is thought that they may join the Street Pastors in town this week, and visit the Aberdeen Winter Care Centre where other homeless folk are being welcomed in this Christmas. Perhaps there is room this Christmas for Jesus.

Personally I want to thank the many Newhills Church folk for coming out to support the event, John and Doug for sorting out the sound, and the many others who sent texts and emails of encouragement.

God bless.


Sep 302011

With Thanks to Linda Allan.

The lilting strains of “Harmonise the World” with its powerful musical message for today’s world, can be heard at the close of every gathering of the body of women singers called Sweet Adelines International.
Audience members in Deeside will be treated to an example of this international spirit this autumn, when the Jazz Group Conference-of-Swing from Dresden and Aberdeen Chorus of Sweet Adelines team up for two evenings of lively Jazz vocals and superb close harmony.

This all came about when Riki Gohrbrandt one of the German Jazz Group, found an outlet for her musical talent by singing with the Aberdeen Chorus in her spare time while working for a year as a Foreign Languages Assistant in Aberdeen. 

She enjoyed the experience so much, and had become such firm friends with the singers, that she was determined to keep up her links with the Chorus and encourage her fellow singers in the Jazz Group to consider a trip to Scotland culminating in a joint concert with her musical friends from last year.

Several months and many reams of emails later, this plan has come to fruition.  

The Aberdeen Chorus – fresh from their success at the Edinburgh Fringe and their Show in the Music Hall Aberdeen – is soon to play host to the group of 25 talented singers from Dresden, and provide accommodation with lots of sightseeing opportunities, culminating in two concerts in the Banchory area.

On Monday 3 October at 7:30pm the two groups will make music together in Peterculter Church.  Both groups are particularly excited not only about the chance to hear each other, but also the chance to perform together as one and demonstrate to audiences what is so near to all singers’ hearts in the lyrics of Why we sing with its echoes of “Harmonise the World”.

On Tuesday 4 October at 7:30pm, Riki will sing with her group Conference-of-Swing at the Woodend Barn Banchory. 4 Quartets from the Aberdeen Chorus, Vocal Zone, Shindig, Chimaera and Singularity are also excited about sharing the stage then and this promises to be an entertaining and very harmonious event.

Tickets £8(£6) for the Peterculter Event from Peterculter Church, Riah Hair Design, Bridge St. Banchory, Kathy Davis 01330 823967, and at the door.

Tickets £10 (£8) (£5) for the Wooded Barn Event from The Woodend Barn Box Office 01330 825431, from the Website, and at the door