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Alison Young, Ythan Singers Musical Director

I was born in Inverness, but have lived in Ellon with my husband for the past 32 years and our three children (Alasdair, Craig & Eilidh) were all brought up here. I am Director of Music at Ellon Parish Church and tutor piano from home.

I have been involved in choral singing most of my life. We had a well established Junior and SATB choir in Inverness Royal Academy both of which tackled all types of music and staged operas and concerts throughout my school career. When I came to Aberdeen to train to become a music teacher there were many opportunities to sing in choirs both at college and in Aberdeen. I sang with the Stonehaven Choral Society and The Aberdeen Choral Society and enjoyed all the choral work we sang in college. Although my first instrument was piano I did a course on singing but only really dabbled in choral conducting!
When I took up the post as Teacher of Music at Grantown Grammar School I started a choir and really enjoyed my first real foray into choral directing. Since moving to Ellon over thirty years ago, however, I have had lots of opportunity to work with various groups including Harmony (Young Woman’s Group singing group), Ellon Parish Church Choir, Gordon Gaelic Choir (twice Mod winning choir), Grace Notes (Banff based choir), Aberdeen Gaelic Choir and Haddo Children’s Voices. I also had the pleasure of conducting the Ythan Singers for a performance of Fauré’s Requiem in 1988 although I use the term “conducting” very loosely! I was drafted in to help out at the very last minute so “holding together” might be a more apt phrase!

In my spare time I enjoy walking with my husband and my children. While on our walks Ian and I enjoy bird watching and I particularly like wild flowers. At home I enjoy crocheting, reading and cooking and I am now learning to play the clarsach.

I am delighted and honoured to be the Musical Director of the Ythan Singers and I look forward our first concert together on 9th June and to working with them in the months ahead. 

In January 1980, a group of singers from local churches planned a performance of Stainer's "Crucifixion" for Easter of that year. Subsequently, the performance was repeated at three different churches during the year. As invitations to sing at other events came in, the Ythan Singers was born. At that time the Musical Director was Gerald Hill followed by David Taylor, Jane Grime, and Alison Young for a short time. Morag Paton took over in 1988 and was the Musical Director for 28 years until May 2016. For the Christmas term 2016, the MD was Kathleen Cronie, who is currently a singing tutor and voice coach at the North East of Scotland Music School. The choir are delighted to see the return Alison Young as our current Musical Director. The Ythan Singers’ accompanist is Rosemary Lund, who has been with the choir since it’s start in 1980.

Although based in Ellon, Ythan Singers performs in venues within reasonable travelling distance within Aberdeenshire and sometimes out with the area. The venues are varied ranging from Churches, National Trust properties, sheltered housing units and residential homes.

The repertoire of Ythan Singers is varied, from oratorios and other classical music, folk music, Scottish music, songs from the musicals and shows and semi pop music.

Ythan Singers are always actively seeking new voices to join us, like all choirs we particularly need tenors and basses but all voices are welcome. If you would like to join then contact Ythan Singers and we will send you more details. Joining the choir is easy. You don't need to be an experienced singer. If you can keep a tune, enjoy singing in general, are looking for something to do on a Monday evening, then you have all it takes to be made very welcome by the existing members. You don't have to know whether you are a soprano or an alto, a tenor or a bass. Our musical director will help you if you are unsure.

We do have an annual membership fee of £55, which goes towards the cost of musical scores, and any fees incurred.

We meet at Ellon Parish Church Kirk Centre, Station Road, Ellon, on Monday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and are happy for anyone to come along and sit in before joining us. The Kirk Centre is next to Costcutters.

Ythan Singers is a charity registered in Scotland, Number SC038223.