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

Hello there.  Do you live in the Edinburgh area, or in 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.




Summer House was established in 2002, to fill in the long summer weeks without regular singing - and it has become a cherished tradition.  We welcome everyone, whether or not you sing with a choir the rest of the year.


This year, after a two-year gap, I am delighted to announce there will be SUMMER HOUSE again.  I look forward to seeing you down the Prom.


.  .  .  . and here are the dates!


July 12th & 19th;  August 9th, 23rd and 30th


5 sessions in all - subscription: £40






in Stockbridge Parish Church Hall

Afternoon events from 2 - 5 pm


A more or less monthly routine of Stockbridge Saturdays, with varying themes:  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. 


June 17th  -  Spirituals Afternoon  2 - 5pm

A mix of my own original songs of 'the earth and heart' - some rhythmic riffs, and others gentle songs and chants.


COST: £15 (£12)



Voice House  We are now working towards our next concert in November 2017, in St Cuthbert's as usual. As ever, the energy of singing with a big, friendly group brings rewards.

All Together Now 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 group has been on the move, since the schools began to charge commercial rents.  We have been very fortunate to find good spaces to sing in both our summer and winter quarters.  From Easter until the October break we are at the music-friendly Dalriada, down on the Portobello Prom.  Then, through the winter, we meet in the equally hospitable Tollcross Community Centre in Fountainbridge (it used to be the Gaelic School).

This welcoming group remains open to newcomers.

Pop Choir   (meeting monthly at present)  You learn a lot by singing Pop songs - how to do backing riffs, and sing chords, to provide a 'sound support' for the tune, as well as having the chance to lead songs you love, and be accompanied by others.  (Since everyone has a go, it's no big deal - really.)

Pop Choir is a slightly longer evening, finishing at 9.15pm - with snacks at the break, and the odd glass of wine. 

Voice Howff, which meets fortnightly in Dunshelt Village Hall, in the Howe of Fife, on the 'other Mondays' from Pop Choir, is a very warm and friendly group.  I so much enjoy my trips over to the Kingdom, where I spent the 1990s, and first got involved in this sociable singing milarky.


An Observation

I have been noticing with pleasure a steady growth in confidence and ease in singing and harmonising, over the past sixteen years. This means we have more and more fun and freedom in 'jamming' - or messing about musically. 

Interestingly, it seems that first-timers at these events just step right in and join us on our current level.  In other words, as our musical skills improve, harmonising becomes easier for everyone present, however long they've been involved. 



Weekly Groups


Pop Choir's Monday evening party is now happening monthly.  We meet in one another's homes, with enthusiasm and (we like to think) increasing skill! 

Times:  7 - 9.15pm

Voice Howff, the Fife equivalent of Edinburgh's Voice House, meets on alternate Monday evenings, at the moment, June 12th and 26th and so on. For the past few years we have been meeting in Dunshelt Village Hall - a very attractive space, where we have plenty room.

Times:  7.25 - 9.25


  • 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.  In November we'll be celebrating our 25th      anniversary!

        The Jammies meet in the Dalriada on Portobello Prom on Thursdays.        

Times:  7.30  -   9.30.  (This group is the only one not open to all comers.)


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