THE National Youth Choir of Scotland has announced the opening of applications to its four National Choirs: National Youth Choir of Scotland (ages 16–25), NYCoS Training Choir (ages 16–19), NYCoS National Boys Choir (ages 10–16) and NYCoS National Girls Choir (ages 12–16).

Comprising of young singers from across the country, membership for each NYCoS Choir is granted by audition to those born, resident or studying in Scotland, or of Scottish descent.

Led by conductor Christopher Bell, the basis of the choirs' activities stem from a week-long residential course in Edinburgh.

During the residential course the repertoire is for the year ahead is learnt and choir members receive vocal tuition and singing lessons.

Deadline for applications is October 13.

PAMELA Butchart will write two novels about Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven.

The Dundee author will be published with illustrations from Tony Ross.

The first book, The Mystery of the Skull, will publish in 2018 with the second to come in early 2019, featuring “refreshed editions” of Ross’ original covers for the series, created by the illustrator in 2013.

Set in the same world as Blyton’s original stories, the new mysteries promise “all the fun, adventure and humour that Butchart is known for, while satisfyingly extending this much-loved series”.

The Secret Seven, the first of the 15 titles in the official series, was published in 1949 by Brockhampton Press, now an imprint of Hodder headline.

Blyton's books have sold 9.8m copies.

A NEW exhibition dedicated to the history of Scottish coinage is now open at The Hunterian museum in Glasgow.

Many of the coins at the Scotland’s Own Coinage show have not been shown in public before.

Highlights from the 187 coins on display include one of the earliest examples of a Scottish coin, a David I silver penny minted in Roxburgh in c.1150, a scarce Alexander III penny struck in Glasgow and the exceedingly rare gold noble of David II, one of only four known specimens.

Also highlighted are the coinages of James III, Mary Queen of Scots and James VI, featuring some of the most outstanding and distinctive portraits of any Scottish monarch.

Admission is free.

The majority of the coins on display come from the collection of Dr William Hunter (1718 – 1783), who collected over 30,000 coins and medals in the last thirteen years of his life.

Other coins have been selected from The Lord Stewartby Collection, gifted to The Hunterian in March 2017, and the William Cuthbert Collection.

A SECOND novel, Madness Lies, from the author of the acclaimed Highland Noir novel In the Shadow of the Hill, will be released on October 19.

Madness Lies, by Helen Forbes, follows DS Joe Galbraith on a new murder investigation and moves between Inverness, North Uist and London.

Helen Forbes is a solicitor based in Inverness, specialising in housing and property law.

She has also lived and worked in Edinburgh, Fife, and the Outer Hebrides, where she edited Am Paipear, an award winning community newspaper.

Prior to studying law at the University of Edinburgh Helen was a veterinary nurse in Inverness and at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh.;