Falkirk Caledonia Choir

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Choir History

A History Of Falkirk Caledonia Choir

1922 William Gellatly, a local music teacher, was asked by one of his female pupils if he would conduct         a girls’ choir. This he agreed to, provided that she find the girls.

1924 William Gellatly asked the girls to bring along their boyfriends, brothers and fathers to form a mixed choir. The inaugural meeting was held on Friday 12th December 1924. The new choir was named Falkirk Select Choir.

1938 Mr. Gellatly conducted the choir until his death in this year, having guided the choir to success in various music festivals, and making radio broadcasts throughout the 1930s.

1940 James Fyfe, a member of the tenor section was appointed conductor, taking over from the interim conductor.

After the end of the Second World War in 1945 the choir made regular visits to the BBC Studios in Glasgow to broadcast and record for the Overseas Service. Concerts were given throughout the country.

In Falkirk, before the establishment of the Town Council Entertainments Office, the choir sponsored concerts by Symphony Orchestras as well as solo recitals, also bringing the famous Glasgow Orpheus Choir to the town on a few occasions.

1945 The name of the choir was changed to Falkirk Choral Society.

1949 The choir toured Denmark, also broadcasting on Danish National Radio.

1954 The choir was honoured by an invitation to participate in “Hail Caledonia”, a showcase and celebration of Scottish Music and Dance in the Assembly Hall as part of the Edinburgh International Festival. 8 performances were given between the 6th and 11th September.

The choir also took part annually, over several years, in a concert presented by Edinburgh Libraries Committee in the Nelson Hall, Edinburgh as part of the “Fringe”.

Also in 1954 the choirs name changed once again, being renamed the Caledonia Choir (Falkirk Choral Society).

1959 A series of performances on “Jig Time”, a long running Scottish Television programme.

1964 A Festival of Scottish Choirs was held in the Kelvin Hall Arena in Glasgow on 11th and 12th September. Eleven choirs took part in the competition. The Lord Provost of Glasgow, Peter Meldrum, had donated “The City of Glasgow Trophy as 1st prize, which was duly won by The Caledonia Choir and presented to them by the famous Scottish operatic bass Ian Wallace, who also sang in two concerts given on the evening of Saturday 12th September.

1970 Conductor for 30 years, James Fyfe died and was succeeded by Robert Wardrope, a member of the bass section and choir soloist.

1973 The choir travelled south to participate in the prestigious Blackpool Music Festival, gaining 3rd place in the mixed choir section.

1976 A new conductor, George Stewart, was appointed.

1977 David Malloch, the present conductor was appointed Assistant Conductor.

1981 George Stewart reigned as conductor and David Malloch was appointed Conductor.