Choirs Think Big For Burns

Choirs Think Big For Burns

24 January 2015

Big Burns Supper audiences are in for a treat with two of the finest vocal ensembles from each side of the Pond. Countermeasure, from Toronto, Canada, is the new ‘a cappella’ sound in vocal music, known for their upbeat presentation, sophisticated harmonies, and infectious energy. InChorus, the celebrated community choir from Peebles, boasts 100 singers from all ages and backgrounds that form a musically powerful choir capable of entertaining a broad range of audiences. The two groups will be featured in the Transatlantic Songbook Concert on Sunday, January 25 at 11 a.m. in the Spiegeltent the Big Burns Supper. Ticket are available at the Festival box office on Munches St, by phone at 01387 271820, or online at

Big Burns Supper is Europe’s Largest Winter Fringe Festival. Headquartered in Dumfries, it is one of Scotland’s fast-growing cultural events. Hundreds of people take part in one of Scotland’s biggest community celebrations that spans across 9 days, 100 different shows in over 50 different venues and boasts the World’s biggest Burn’s Night Celebration.

Led by award-winning composer/arranger Aaron Jensen, and featuring 14 of Canada’s top young vocal talent, Countermeasure’s genre-defying, contemporary sound has earned the group critical and public acclaim. From Cole Porter to the Beatles to Feist, Countermeasure delivers a memorable musical experience. Songs range from lively pop, jazz, and contemporary, to originals, sung in complex but playful arrangements highlighting the breadth and range of the voice. They will be performing songs from their award-winning debut CD, “14 Characters”. “We challenge expectations with a fresh and innovative approach to well-known and new pieces,” says General Manager and bass singer J-M Erlendson. Formed in 2010 and now dubbed “the leading a cappella chorus out of Toronto” by the Washington Examiner, the group has won praise from critics and fans. “Riding the hot a cappella singing craze, Countermeasure, from Toronto, Canada, is one of the hottest new vocal groups” wrote the Annapolis Patch.

InChorus was founded in 2008 in Peebles in the Scottish Borders. 97 people turned up to the opening rehearsal and the choir remains 100-strong today. They’ve filled Edinburgh’s Usher Hall and Festival Theatre twice, and performed sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Fringe by the Sea. In 2011 they sang at the 10th anniversary commemorations of 9/11 in New York. Last year they won ‘Choir of the Day’ at the BBC’s ‘Choir of the Year’. This spirited choir presents contemporary works in a unique mixture of the modern and classic under the musical direction of Aly Skidmore. She said, “We are delighted to share the stage with Countermeasure and are looking forward to joining forces in a vibrant and entertaining choral show for the festival. Canada has a strong affinity with Scotland and what better way to celebrate this than by singing at this special concert on the anniversary of Robert Burn’s birthday.”

InChorus is a registered charity, and raises funds for local and national causes.

Jack Findlay, from the Big Burns Supper, said, “We are delighted to be bringing together artists from as far apart as Toronto and Peebles to perform in our Spiegeltent. Merged with the appetite for local community choirs in Dumfries and Galloway, we are providing a musical smorgasbordfor culture hungry audiences. We can’t wait to hear the choirs perform.”

Countermeasure’s appearance is made possible by the generous support of Ontario Media Development Corporation, Ontario Arts Council, FACTOR. We acknowledge the financiasupport of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters.

Transatlantic Songbook is presented by the Dumfries Community Choir.

For artist information, visit and

For festival information, visit

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:        

J-M Erlendson, General Manager


Lorna Turnbull, InChorus Choir Manager

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