Based in East Lothian, Scotland, the Garleton Singers is a mixed voice choir of some 65 voices. The choir was formed in 1970 but in its 40-plus years it has only had two conductors of which I am the second! The 2020-21 season marks the choir's 50th birthday, which will feature the first performance of a significant piece for choir, brass and organ, written by a member of the choir. See here for more info. 

 

The choir performs most regularly in the glorious 14th century St. Mary's Church, Haddington (which you can see in the picture below), but also sings regularly in Edinburgh. Furthermore the choir has embarked on four tours to Europe, to the Rhine Valley, Florence and San Gimignano in Italy, Krakow and, most recently, Munich including leading the worship in St. Mark's church where the famous Karl Richter was organist. 

The choir enjoys singing a wide variety of music which frequently bridges the 'gap' between the larger symphonic works and a more contemporary/ folksong style; recent concerts, all of which are programmed and conducted by myself, have included larger pieces such as Mozart Requiem, Haydn Stabat Mater and Poulenc Gloria, but also cycles of folk song arrangements by John Gardner, Stanford as well arrangements by myself. Highlights from the 'lighter' repertoire have included music from 'stage and screen' and a juxtaposition of Beatles songs with the classical pieces that inspired them. 

 

Every few years the Choir holds a commemorative concert around Remembrance Sunday. Faure's Requiem, music by John Tavener and Karl Jenkins' Armed Man have all contributed to moving and poignant concerts, usually attracting capacity audiences. 

" Christmas Starts Here..." and if you fancy a fun and festive Christmas concert then you can do a lot worse than attending a Garleton Singers annual event! Early booking is recommended, though, as they are frequently sold out! 

These concerts are a highlight for the choir and our audience each year, and feature the usual mix of traditional carols with the audience, choral items and also one or two 'unexpected' opportunites for everyone to let their hair down! Often we will be joined by instrumentalists; recent concerts have included the 5-piece brass ensemble Aura Brass in a programme that included extended works by Cecilia McDowall Gwyneth Walker. 

 

Future plans include Mozart C minor Mass and, as mentioned elsewhere, the 50th birthday of the Garleton Singers in their 20-21 season. Why not come along to an Open Rehearsal and try us out? You can find out more information and buy tickets here!

On the podium in St. Mark's, Munich, presumably where Karl Richter once stood

© 2020 by STEPHEN DOUGHTY

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