Going hall out for choir's 150th

A CIVIC reception is to be held to mark the 150th anniversary of Scotland's longest-established choir.

Earlier this year, the president of the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union accused city leaders of snubbing plans for the group's birthday celebrations at the Usher Hall. The choir had been planning to perform a specially-commissioned work to mark the anniversary next May, but was later told this could not be guaranteed because of delays with the hall's revamp.

City culture leader Deidre Brock said: "A provisional date has now been booked by Edinburgh Royal Choral Union for the hire of the Usher Hall on October 31, 2009.

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"Once this booking is confirmed, a civic reception will be arranged to mark the 150th anniversary.

"A meeting is now being pursued to ensure success for the staging of this important event."