Yvonne Burgess: musician, choir director, composer and writer in Scotland

Hello there.  Do you live in Edinburgh or Fife, and would you like to sing regularly without having to audition first? If so - and even if not - read on to get a sense of who I am and how I work - the range of material, the background, and the atmosphere in my choirs and singing workshops.

This is me on the beach at Fisherrow, Musselburgh, close to where I live. (I don't know what the elephant's doing there.) Sea views to the north, sun and the low East Lothian hills to the south, 66 steps (up) from the street to the jungle of pot plants by the front door.




in Stockbridge Parish Church Hall


A monthly routine of Stockbridge Saturdays, with varying themes, has become established:  for example, Spirituals days (my own original riffs, songs and chants), Themed Artist sessions (we've visited the Beatles a few times, and Paul Simon, the Kinks and Gillean Welch, among others) Taize singing, African songs, and so on. 


FEBRUARY 13th  -  Spirituals Day  from 11.30am - 5pm

- original material, some rhythmic and funky, some more meditative.  A calming, grounding day


MARCH 5th  -  African Afternoon  2 - 5pm

. . . making it up, messing around - finding our own harmonies and rhythms in the lovely acoustics of this space . . .


COST:  afternoon: £15 (£12);  full day: £30 (£25)



We received several new members into Voice House after our last concert, and reopened our waiting list.  Our next concert will be on Friday, May 27th, in St Cuthbert's at the West End.

All Together Now has been on the move, since the schools began to charge commercial rents.  So, farewell to our lovely Atrium at Boroughmuir, and hello to the hospitable folk at the Dalriada, down the Portobello Prom, and when they're closed on week nights through the winter, to the equally hospitable Tollcross Community Centre in Fountainbridge (it used to be the Gaelic School).

We have been very fortunate to find good spaces to sing in both venues, our summer and winter quarters.

This is a very supportive, relaxed group, and the best place to learn to harmonise independently.  While finding your own way off the tune can feel scary at first, the atmosphere in the group helps to instil confidence and trust - and the lovely sounds we produce together carry their own encouragement.

This welcoming group remains open to newcomers.

Pop Choir is recruiting!!  We could do with 3 or 4 new members (maximum).  Since we meet (fortnightly) in one another's homes, we can't expand too much.  You learn a lot by singing Pop songs - how to do backing riffs, how to lead and be accompanied by others, and that this is no big deal!

This is a slightly longer evening, with snacks at the break, and the odd glass of wine. 

Voice Howff, which meets in Dunshelt Village Hall on the 'other Mondays' from Pop Choir, is a warm and friendly group of people, whose singing skills are growing markedly, over the years.  I so much enjoy my trips over to the Kingdom, where I spent ten nourishing years in the 90s, and first got involved in this sociable singing milarky.


An Observation

The steady growth of confidence and ease that's happened over the past fifteen-plus years of singing together makes it an increasing pleasure to 'jam' - or mess about creatively.  An interesting phenomenon we've noticed is that first-timers at these events seem able to step right in and join us on the level we're on.  In other words, as our musical skills improve, harmonising becomes easier for everyone present, however long they've been involved. 



Weekly Groups


      Pop Choir continues its fortnightly Monday evening party in one another's homes, with enthusiasm and (we like to think) increasing skill!  CURRENTLY POP CHOIR IS ACTIVELY RECRUITING NEW MEMBERS

Dates for Pop Choir are:  Monday 22nd February and so on, every two weeks.

    Voice Howff, the Fife (Auchtermuchty) equivalent of Edinburgh's Voice House,           meets on the alternate Monday evenings, i.e. February 29th and so on. 

About a year ago, we moved (from the Guide Hall in Auchtermuchty) to Dunshelt Village Hall - a very attractive space, where we have plenty room to move.

Both Monday choirs start at 7.30pm. 


  • All Together Now  (D.I.Y. harmony group) meets on Tuesday evenings, from 7 - 9pm, either (winter months) in Tollcross Community Centre, room 5; or (summer months) in the Dalriada Bar on the Prom at Joppa (end of Brunstane Road North and turn right, along the front).  The group is well established now, but we welcome new members. Call me for more information.  

      Voice House, the big community choir, meets in Bruntsfield Primary School on           Wednesdays from 7 - 9pm. 

        The Jammies meet in the Dalriada on Portobello Prom on Thursdays, from       7.30  -   9.30.  (This group is the only one not open to all comers.)


  •      Call me for more information - (0131) 653 - 2146