Douglas’ early recollections

I joined Rudsambee in early 1999. Sheena and Frances were running an International Singing Workshop at Wiston Lodge, which I heard about through the Biggar Singers who I belonged to at the time. After struggling through some very strange songs in different lanuages, including Vum Vi Ve Vum, they said they were looking for tenors and would I be interested in joining their choir.

I said no as I was in two other choirs, one in Biggar and one in Broughton and this was quite enough for me! Anyway in the evening Rudsambee appeared and sang some folk songs and Gaelic mouth music, and Sheena fiddled as well. The arrangements of the songs were just so different and exciting that I had to join.

So I phoned Sheena expressing my interest and ordered a copy of the cassette tape, she had to check with the choir and I got a letter inviting me to a rehearsal in Morningside. Closing my car door and making my way to a strange house was extremely daunting to say the least. But I was made very welcome.

The warm up with no accompaniment was scary (open Hums) and so was everything else. Each week I was given a new song to learn in strange languages but I practiced hard at home and managed to perform at the Portrait Gallery in early April.

The whole a cappella thing is quite nerve racking at first but once you get used to it, it helps you sing much better as a whole.

A few months later and we were off to the Western Highlands! More songs to learn and remember. I left the Broughton Choir but carried on with the Biggar Singers.

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