About the Pentland Junior Singers

The Choir

Formed in 1987, The Pentland Juniors exists to enable children to experience and develop their love of singing choral music in a vocally healthy and fun environment. As a trained singer and singing teacher, Sarah ensures that the young singers of the Pentland Juniors cultivate a healthy singing technique.  They explore a range of styles throughout the year – from the more traditional choral repertoire,  to folk, world songs, and songs from  shows and films – in order to develop their ability to sing in unison, and 2 or 3 parts. During weekly rehearsals, the Pentland Juniors also work to develop their musicianship and sight-singing skills through Kodaly-based singing games and the learning of solfège notation. 


Sarah, our musical director, firmly believes that learning and enjoyment go hand-in-hand, especially where singing is concerned. So, whilst some hard work is involved, singing in the Pentland Juniors is also extremely fun and rewarding!

The Junior Singers meet at Balerno Parish Church every Tuesday evening between 6.00 and 7.00pm

There are three sessions a year the first is from September to December, the second is from January to Easter, with a break for mid-term. The third term is from Easter to June. In line with school holidays

The Pentland Junior Singers perform in the Christmas and Summer concerts of the Pentland Singers. They also take part in the Edinburgh Competition Festival and have won the Scots Song section twice ( 2017 and 2019) and the Choir of Mixed Ages (2019).

The Pentland Singers

The Pentland Junior Singers are supported by the Pentland Singers which is an adult community choir of mixed voices formed in 1984. The choir performs Christmas and Summer concerts in Balerno High School. They have hosted succesful Come and Sing events as part of the Balerno Music Festival and have performed in St Marys and St Giles Cathedrals, Edinburgh and the Swaledale Music Festival.


Musical  Director

Sarah Charista

Sarah Charista is a choral conductor from Indonesia. She is the current holder of the Sir
Alexander Gibson Conducting Fellowship at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, where
she works with Gregory Batsleer and the RSNO Chorus on projects across Scotland.
Awarded a full scholarship, she studied conducting at postgraduate level at the University of
Birmingham under the supervision of Simon Halsey CBE, Simon Carrington, and Julian
Wilkins. Known for her enthusiasm, she was appointed as the Assistant Music Director in the
Summer Festival Opera at the University of Birmingham in 2019, and sang with the CBSO
Chorus in a diverse range of projects in Birmingham and abroad. Sarah received early tuition
from Budi Utomo Prabowo and attended the Choral Conducting Workshop (by Goethe-
Institut Indonesien) in 2016 with Nicolas Fink, which led her to pursue career in conducting.
Sarah was the co-founder and chief musical director of Youth Ministry FIRES choir and
section leader in Oratorio Society projects in Jakarta.
As an active musician, Sarah plays piano and has accompanied several solo performances
and was a reserved accompanist in Jakarta Oratorio Society Youth Choir. She took
orchestral conducting masterclass with a Norwegian professor, Sigmund Thorp, and joined
Jakarta Christian Youth Orchestra as the second violin principal and as a rehearsal
assistant. She also regularly served as a church organist.
A graduate in voice performance for her undergraduate study at Universitas Pelita Harapan,
she appeared as a chorister in numerous concerts in Aula Simfonia Jakarta Concert Hall
with Jakarta Oratorio Society under the baton of Stephen Tong, Jahja Ling, Masaaki Suzuki,
and many more.
Aside from her performance experiences, she enjoys teaching piano and voice to students of
various ages. Her aim is to encourage the enjoyment of music-making across a wide variety
of ages and abilities.

Junior Choir Co-ordinator

Alison Marr

Alison undertakes all the administration to support Pentland Junior Singers and attends all the rehearsals.

Alison is a member of the Pentland Singers and represents the Pentland Junior Singers on the choir committee.

Alison is the child protection officer for the Pentland Junior Singers