Welcome to the online home of SongTribe, Edinburgh’s vibrant performance choir with a big heart and soul! If you’re interested in joining a choir that’s focused on building a community and on singing and performing to the very best of our collective capability, visit the ‘Join us’ page on our website for more information. SongTribe started in October 2015.

How does the choir work?

There are no auditions and you aren’t expected to be able to read music. However we are looking for people with enthusiasm, commitment, and a willingness to take part in our concerts. While it’s expected that the choir performs without words or music it may be helpful to know that many of the choir’s songs have minimal words to learn. When songs are wordy or challenging, singers can perform with discreet cue sheets as long as their focus stays on the conductor.

SongTribe singing with the Feral Choir at the Eden festival, June 2016

The culture at rehearsals is to work as much as possible by ear but word sheets and written music are available. Over the course of getting to know a song it is expected that the paper will gradually disappear!

Back Up Learning Resources

Back at home all songs can be learnt by ear or from written music. Learning tracks of separate parts and PDFs of the music are available for members to download from the members area of this website. This music is licensed to the choir only and should not be shared.

What material will the choir sing?

Ali Burns the Musical Director says, “What do we sing? Well, I always look for songs with great words and because text and ‘story telling’ is so important to me I tend to mostly work in English and Scots. I love putting together sets of songs for choirs. I enjoy the drama of emotions that combinations of songs can lead you through – like sitting watching a good cabaret!

I’m drawn to songs that are inclusive and anthemic, big-hearted and life affirming; songs with text that’s inclusive and universal to the human condition. I love the dark theatre of Brecht songs and the deep spirit and infectious joy of Gospel songs and a whole palette in-between of quirky contemporary Indie music, folk, blues, Americana and world music songs. I’m also really excited by many new compositions from the Natural Voice Practitioners’ Network – from contemporary songwriters and composers like Helen Chadwick, Tony Backhouse, Kirsty Martin and Polly Bolton. And we’ll be doing quite a number of my own songs too.

So the short answer is – a diverse range of songs and styles. However, what I’m always looking for, are songs that sound right when sung by an acapella choir. Some do and some just don’t! That’s largely down to having well crafted arrangements that are easy for singers to navigate through.”