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Caithness choir hitting the right note with the public


By Gordon Calder

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A CHOIR which has been formed in Caithness is hitting the right note with the public. Kara Gray came up with the idea for the Tutti Choir – named after an Italian musical term for playing all together – after seeing people struggle with their mental health during the Covid lockdown.

The music teacher at UHI North Highland in Thurso said: "Singing is brilliant for improving how you feel, and I just love the community spirit up here, so I put the two together in the hope that a choir might give something back to the local area."

Kara, a vocal coach specialist, said the choir began rehearsing regularly at the Halkirk Youth Club.

They have performed at the college Tern House campus in Alness and did an end-of-year presentation in Halkirk.

The Tutti Choir at Halkirk Youth Club at the end-of-term presentation
The Tutti Choir at Halkirk Youth Club at the end-of-term presentation

Kara said: "The end-of-year show was amazing. The singers were fantastic, and I was overwhelmed with the number of spectators. At this rate, we’ll have to start looking at bigger venues for our public performances."

The Tutti Choir is now looking for new members ahead of the new college term beginning in August. The choir has three age group categories – six to nine, 10 to 16 and over 16s. All participants are encouraged to develop and build vocal technique as well as working on harmonies.

Kara, who teaches vocal and musical activity, added: "The choir is a great way to meet people, have fun and learn something new. For the kids it's a great way to learn how to be creative and develop musicality. We’d love to meet new members."

She added: "I am from Thurso but moved to Inverness as I work from UHI North Highland in their Tern House campus in Alness as a music lecturer. However, during lockdown most of my classes moved online and will stay this way, so that allowed me to move back to Caithness.

"The choir covers a range of popular music from Africa by Toto to Happy by Pharrell Williams. There are currently 24 members split between the three groups. They are all female but males are more than welcome."

Ola Omand, one of the choristers, said: "My confidence for singing in public has grown so much since joining the choir and receiving lessons from Kara. It is a great opportunity for those of all ages to come together and sing. We all really enjoy it.”

Another chorister, Kitty Mackay, described being part of the choir as "exhilarating, encouraging and good for the soul."

For anyone interested in more information for the Caithness Tutti Choir contact Kara Gray via email at karalouisegray06@gmail.com or via Kara Gray Vocal Teaching on Facebook.


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