Name: James Slimings
Any official choir function? Conductor
Joined in: 2012
Daylight job: PhD Student/ Modern art installation
Why did you join a choir? I was playing trumpet in my county youth orchestra on tour and ended up playing the piano and singing a little bit in the bar. The conductor of the choir (who were on tour with us) asked if I would join. I was besotted with one of the sopranos at the time, so went along.
What do you enjoy most about singing with us? The fun that we have in rehearsal, every time we can’t sing for laughing I know I’ve done my job right.
What is the most exciting piece you’ve ever sung? This is a difficult question, there are exciting pieces because the piece is exciting, and exciting performances. As a singer, I think that the most exciting choral piece I’ve done is Harmonium by John Adams at the Edinburgh Festival last year. As a conductor, it HAS to be Symphony of Psalms
What’s the hardest piece you’ve ever sung? There is a piece called Cantus Mari Baltica which was released on Delphian with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. Either that or Taverner by Sir Peter Maxwell Davis, which was my Freshers Week concert. As a soloist, Les Noces by Stravinsky… my Russian Sprechgesang isn’t ideal.
Which piece is your guilty pleasure? Jesus Child, Rutter.
Do you also play an instrument and if so, which? Piano and a bit of trumpet. My claim to fame is I’ve played Triangle in Die Walkure with Martyn Brabbins conducting and Sir John Tomlinson singing Wotan.
What other music do you enjoy? I enjoy a little bit of everything, but if I’m just sat working you can’t beat a bit of Postmodern Jukebox.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not singing? I’m always singing. Always.
Tea break! What’s your favourite biscuit? A Penguin, of course!
What’s your choir super-power? Managing to shoehorn an obscure Monty Python reference as a metaphor for a complicated physiological process.
Tell us something we don’t know about you. I’ve been gaffa taped to a wall before.
What would you say to anyone thinking of joining our choir? Choir isn’t about the performances, it’s about the pure unadulterated joy of singing together, in rehearsal in concerts but it’s all about US as a unit and we have so much fun together. You won’t laugh as much or have as good a time for less money anywhere else in Scotland.