About

We are a very friendly, secular Edinburgh singing group with no auditions and no music to read.  Everyone with a desire to sing is welcome – whether untrained or musically adept. For people who want to sing but are a little scared or hesitant – “I can’t Singers” – the group will suit you well.

Our singing style varies hugely from song to song – whether it’s a blues number, a Georgian folk song, a Sami yoik, a Beach Boys hit, a gentle African lullaby or a highly rhythmical indigenous song.  You’ll get to learn all the parts for a harmony, not just one, so you can play with singing different parts and even switch parts while we’re singing if you want to…  We’re not a performing choir, so there’s no pressure and it’s a safe space for you to find your voice and try different singing styles. We list the songs we sing each week on our Latest Songs page, ocsg.org/latest-songs/

Penny Stone is our incredible, charismatic Song Leader who specialises in voice production and encourages us to experiment, play, have fun and be creative. Teaching is by ear i.e. call and response.

Venue: We were unable to meet during the prolonged months of the Covid pandemic but in early September 2021 we met for a number of weeks in a Member’s garden close to our original venue of the Eric Liddell Centre, weather permitting. This gave us time to review our indoor venue situation as our ELC venue does not have adequate ventilation for singing while adhering to Covid recommendations. On 21st October 2021 we held a successful trial session at Reid Memorial Church, West Savile Terrace, EH9 3HY (in the church – their halls are not available) and are going forward with this venue, holding weekly sessions on Thursday evenings 6.30pm-8.00pm. (We may later extend this to our original 2 hours). To be Covid safe, we have to restrict the numbers to 26 so we operate a booking system. A weekly email goes out to members reminding them of the next session and to book by replying to the email. New members please ask to be added to the mailing list by contacting us at opencommunitysinginggroup@gmail.com.

Also of note – during the pandemic, our Song Leader, Penny Stone, sent us a weekly video with a song to learn, including harmonies. You can access these videos on Penny’s website with the link singlouderthanguns.com/singalong-songs/ and there are many more videos there for you to explore and enjoy.

Charges: We are self-funding and cover all our costs from our subs.  We are an open group and believe everyone should have the chance to sing, regardless of their ability to pay. For this reason we don’t have fixed rules for concession eligibility.  Please make sure to pay the full rate if you can, however, if the full rate would prevent you from coming, do use the concession facility. If the concession rate is too much for you, please contact us confidentially by email and we will try and find a way that works well for your situation.

Whichever sub you pay, if you are a little more flush some weeks, then please feel free to make a donation – this helps us keep our concessionary rates as low as possible for those who really need them.

We offer a first “taster” session for £5, thereafter it’s £8 (concessions £5) drop-in, or £35 for five sessions (over a reasonable period of time).

Do please join us!