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St Andrews Voices – hitting a chord on a national scale

St_Andrews_VoicesExcitement for the second St Andrews Voices festival is mounting ever higher, with the grand opening night performance on Thursday 3rd October, starring Susan Bickley and BBC Radio 3’s Iain Burnside on piano, taking place at Younger Hall in less than one month. With recent setbacks to the St Andrews arts and culture scene – including the loss of the Byre Theatre – the St Andrews Voices Festival 2013 aims to use music of all styles and genres to bring the community back together through song.

This year’s festival promises plenty of opportunities for the public and local community to get involved in singing: there are choral workshops; free-to-attend inspirational talks from some of the star performers; and The Three Belles, famed for their distinctly glamorous 1940s style and close-knit vocals, will be visiting local schools to teach children how to sing and harmonise in their truly forties style that puts some of Britain’s more recent television talent show singers to shame!

If warming up the vocal chords and bursting into song isn’t for you, the festival’s organisers eagerly welcome those who want to volunteer and get involved behind the scenes in ushering and leaflet distribution (which would provide some useful work experience for budding events organisers, marketing gurus and music industry enthusiasts!). And, if you want to go one step further and really show what St Andrews-style hospitality is all about, then why not accommodate some of the festival’s fabulous singers and entertainers for a couple of nights in your home? There are free tickets up for grabs and the likelihood of a few private performances for those of you willing to show the most community spirit!

Building links with the local community is a key part of St Andrews Voices, which, as well as enjoying the support of the University of St Andrews, has a gold seal of approval from national organisations such as Creative Scotland and BBC Radio 3, making this a festival with a truly Scottish flavour that will showcase the best vocal talents to the rest of the UK and beyond. With music styles ranging from swing to classical, and musical theatre to choral, every age group will find something to be entertained by in a selection of atmospheric venues throughout St Andrews’s historic centre, and every performance in the programme will benefit from staging appropriate to its style.

Luck will definitely be a lady on Saturday 5th October if you go along to Younger Hall for a night of songs from the musicals of the 1920s–1940s. Sarah Fox, Jonathan Gunthorpe and Francesca Jackson (a finalist on I’d Do Anything – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s BBC search for a Nancy to star in Oliver!) are three of the country’s top West End stars and will be performing songs from Guys and Dolls, South Pacific, Anything Goes and Oklahoma, to an audience relaxing in cabaret-style seating. The Scottish premiere of Sally Beamish’s Hagar in the Wilderness will form part of Fife’s programme for the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival and will be specially staged in the impressive surrounds of Holy Trinity Church, and the University of St Andrews Chapel Choir will be performing in their regular home at St Salvator’s.

St Salvator

To bring the 2013 programme to a spectacular close on Sunday 6th of October, St Andrews Voices is thrilled to announce that The Sixteen will be providing a festival finalé for the town to remember: there will be a spine-tingling programme of choral music, with works from Benjamin Britten, Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, among others. Having thirty-three years’ experience of worldwide performing and recording, The Sixteen is recognised as one of the world’s greatest ensembles. The choir’s unrivalled dedication to giving audiences a polished performance is its greatest distinction. Their uniquely crafted reputation is founded on performing early English polyphony, masterpieces of the Renaissance, and by bringing a fresh take on Baroque and early Classical music, as well as 20th-century pieces. (Earlier on the same day there will also be a choral workshop from The Sixteen, though places are limited and must be booked in advance.)

With the support of the local community, St Andrews Voices will provide a source of cultural pride that can show the world what the town is capable of for 2013 and for years to come. If you want to get involved in a world-class festival on your doorstep, and show some St Andrews community spirit, then now is the time to do it!



St Andrews Voices will be running from Thursday 3rd October – Sunday 6th October 2013. Advance tickets are available from Dundee Contemporary Arts in person (152 Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4DY) or by phone (01382 909900), and from Younger Hall in person (North Street, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AJ). For further information on tickets and prices, Younger Hall can also be contacted by phone on: 01334 462226.


The Three Belles

The Three Belles

Ticket Prices:

Evening concerts at Younger Hall:

Balcony = £16/ £13 concession*

Stalls = £14/ £11 concession*


Concerts at Holy Trinity Church:

£16/ £13 concession*


Late-night and morning concerts:

£10/ £7 concession*


Susan Bickley

Susan Bickley

Festival passes (for all events excluding ‘The Sixteen workshop’):

£75 – full price

£60 – concessions*

£25 – special price for students and under 26s


Group discount:

10% discount if a single booking is made for five or more tickets for any single concert.


The Sixteen workshop:

£10 per adult singer and £5 for students and under 26s (& £2 discount on the concert by The Sixteen).


More information about the St Andrews Voices festival is available on its website: