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PICTURES: Youth choir reunited at Culloden Battlefield as coronavirus restrictions ease

By Ian Duncan

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Choir members are reunited as coronavirus restrictions ease.
Choir members are reunited as coronavirus restrictions ease.

After months of being restricted to rehearsing via an online app, an Inverness youth choir chose a historic location for its first open-air session.

Members of the National Youth Choir Scotland Inverness branch gathered near the Leanach Cottage, at Culloden Battlefield for their reunion rehearsal as a group.

They had been prevented from singing in person due to the coronavirus restrictions but now it is considered safe enough to ditch Zoom app meetings, in preference for gathering in the flesh.

The younger choir practised Tartan Terrors by Tom Cunningham – which is a series of songs about Scottish mythological creatures including the Loch Ness Monster.

And, appropriately given the location, the senior choir rehearsed I Landed with Seven Men by Ken Johnson – a series of songs telling the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite rebellion.

Choir director John Thomson said it was good to be back together, despite social distancing.

He said there used to be 100 members, however, unfortunately numbers had probably dropped to half that during Zoom sessions, adding: "They should return – that’s our hope."

The choir formed 13 years ago and it is one of 15 area groups across the country – Mr Thomson joined the National Youth Choir of Scotland in 1998 and it just progressed from there leading to him leading the Inverness group.

He said, because choirs had been unable to meet up, maybe interest had dropped during the pandemic.

"I’d love to have a resurgence locally now we’ve got past this situation," he said.

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