The Glasgow School of Art Choir
Lines and Spaces
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THE creation and rise of the Glasgow School of Art Choir has coincided exactly with the college's high profile in the news, with the controversial Reid Building arriving across the road from its original home, the great masterpiece by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, which was badly damaged by fire in 2014. So the chorus sang at the opening of the former, has recorded a song responding to the latter event and will perform a new work by James Macmillan to celebrate its restoration in 2019.
This short album sits apart from all that and is about the choir itself, which was formed by architecture student Jamie Sansbury in 2012. His idea was to give students, staff, alumni and friends of GSA the opportunity to sing quality music together, a high standard of performance married to an open-door, audition-free welcome to all. That has seen the choir grow from 16 to 65 with an ensemble sound that hides any individual deficiencies, although the fewer male voices are inevitably somewhat out-sung by the women. Sansbury's choice of material is wide and challenging – Durufle, Elgar, Lauridsen and Whitacre – if not radical, and the recording, in a church in Glasgow's Dennistoun, is high quality, with some fine piano and violin accompaniment.