Singing group works to improve mental health
A Selkirk choir has been created by a charity in memory of Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison.
The singer who hailed from the town took his own life in 2018 aged 36.
Selkirk Community Choir was founded by Tiny Changes, the charity created after his death by family and friends of the singer. .
The group meets at Scott's former school in Selkirk and since it began in September, membership has reached close to 20.
Founder Sara Alakus said: "The idea of setting up the choir in Scott's memory was to improve people's wellbeing, and that's happening."
She was a pupil at Selkirk High School at the same time as Scott."The impact Scott had on music in Scotland and elsewhere was incredible, and we felt this was a great thing to do in his memory," Sara said.
"We wanted to improve people's wellbeing and let them have fun by singing together.
"The Tiny Changes charity was fully supportive and we now have a lovely mixed group who come along every Wednesday to sing at our old school."
AmyBeth Beel, a professional soprano and vocal tutor who has shared the stage with Jose Carreras and Lesley Garrett, has been recruited to lead the choir.
She said it has been one of the most rewarding projects she has worked on.
"People have spent two or three years sitting in front of screens during lockdown and it's great that we can all come together and sing as a group," she added.
"This is all about improving people's mental health, and we are doing that through singing and connecting with the songs - there's been a marked difference in quite a few of our choir members already.
"Just last week we were all sitting around discussing Frightened Rabbit and their songs - for me, it is great that's Scott's legacy is making such a difference here in the town where he grew up."
Primary school pupil Laird Ross Williams travels from neighbouring Galashiels each week for rehearsals.
The eight-year-old said: "We sings a lot of fun songs and I go home feeling really happy."