IT is just a year ago that the Traquair Village Choir was newly formed, and put on its first performances at The Glen and Traquair House and then in front of a sizeable audience in the village hall.

Since then it has gathered new members and developed a new repertoire in preparation for further concerts this year. The first of these will be in the village hall on Friday, April 24, and another at the Traquair Fair at the beginning of August.

The choir has become a new and significant focal point for a dispersed local community. This is largely due to the drive and initiative of Elaine Heron who first had the idea, gathered a disparate group together and continues indefatigably to organise the choir’s life.

The choir has developed a unity of spirit and singing ability that has surprised its members, thanks to the inspired leadership and conducting of Julie Leavett. She has encouraged even those with little musical experience and ability to believe they can become part of a choir and share in making a beautiful sound.

The concert ont Friday is to be performed jointly with the Eddleston Voices, another community choir, slightly older (started in 2008) and larger in numbers, and gathered from a wider area. They are conducted by Lorraine Mulholland, a local music teacher, and accompanied by Kirsty Peebles. Lorraine’s motto is “there’s no such thing as a person who can’t sing!” The whole programme will last just over an hour with a (free) drinks interval in the middle. Each choir will perform a number of pieces separately, and there will be also four items sung by the two choirs together.

The programme will cover a wide range of music – from African tribal songs and African/American spirituals to16th century dances and rounds; from modern American jazz 'a cappella’ to a haunting version of 'Auld Lang Syne’.

Tickets are £5 with drinks included, and can be bought at the door (unless sold out), or from Elaine (01896 831212).