top of page

About The Kilbarchan Singers

The Kilbarchan Singers is a chamber choir singing mostly a cappella music. We have about twenty members and are based in Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire, performing concerts in December and May.The choir performs a wide range of music, from individual pieces to larger scale choral works.

We sing in a variety of styles from early music to the 21st century, classical to folk,  madrigals to contemporary works from around the world. Our repertoire includes music from Bach to the Beatles, Robert Burns, James MacMillan,  Simon and Garfunkel and Eric Whittaker.

The Kilbarchan Singers were founded by Ian and Joyce McCallum in 1982. It was originally a madrigal group with 12 members and rehearsed and held concerts in The Steeple Hall in Kilbarchan. As the choir and audience numbers expanded we moved to rehearsing in the Kilbarchan East Church and held our Christmas concert in the Kilbarchan West Church. We are now fortunate to rehearse and perform in Kilbarchan Parish Church.

Ian retired as Musical Director in 2006 and the choir has built on the strong foundations he gave us. These include our love of music, our enjoyment of singing together and maintaining high perfrmance standards. For this we owe Ian a huge debt of gratitude. Since then, each Musical Director has brought something new to the Singers and continued to build on Ian’s legacy.

 

 

History of The Kilbarchan Singers

During our forty plus years, we have sung in a variety of local venues including Paisley Abbey, Pollok House, Glasgow Cathedral, Kelvingrove Museum, and Holy Trinity and St. Barnabas Church, Paisley. For many years we sang as part of the Prince and Princess of Wales’ Hospice’s “Light Up a Life” Service in St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow until the Hospice moved their premises to Bellahouston.

The Singers have been fortunate to be able to travel further afield to sing in some iconic venues. With Ian as our conductor, we have sung in St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. 2002, which was our 20th anniversary, saw us visiting Freiburg, Germany and singing in the Munster. Other venues have seen us in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris  in 2004, and St. Michael’s and St Gudula’s Cathedral in Brussels, Belgium in 2007.

In 2012, the choir celebrated its thirtieth anniversary, by producing our own CD - "My Spirit Sang All Day", conducted by James Slimings, and recorded at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. If you would like to listen to some of the tracks from our CD please click on Video section at the top of the home page. 

For our 35th anniversary in 2017 we sang in Dunfermline Abbey. As Covid 19 struck we decided to continue rehearsing via Zoom with our then Musical Director, Rebecca Murphy. So with the help of Rebecca, our Zoom rehearsals and our choir What’s App group we were able to come out of that difficult time and continue with our love of music. With our new musical director, Joshua Stutter we were able to celebrate our 40th anniversary with family and friends in a concert in Kilbarchan where it all began.

We wish to sincerely thank Renfrewshire Council who have, over the years, very generously awarded us grants to enable us to appoint two Music Scholars to bring their musical talents to The Singers and therefore enhance our rehearsals and performances. In return, it enables them to develop their musical skills even further by singing in a choir setting and by taking on solo performances.

"My Spirit Sang All Day - our CD

Quoting from the CD's sleeve - "The Kilbarchan Singers was formed in 1982 as a madrigal group, and this CD was created to celebrate our thirtieth anniversary.

 

Since the choir began, we have grown in number and our repetoire has widened.  We rehearse and perform regularly both locally and further afield.  Our annual Christmas concert takes place at the heart of our community in Kilbarchan and we perform a summer concert in Paisley.  In addition we also help other charities with their fundraising.  In recent years tours have included performing in Freiburg Munster, Notre Dame Cathedral (Paris) and Brussels Cathedral.  We sing mainly a cappella music by composers spanning six centuries.  Our repetoire includes madrigals, Christmas carols, modern British, sacred and secular music - all of which are represented on this anniversary CD."

 

Track listings:

 

1.   My Spirit Sang All Day - Finzi

 

2.   Hodie Christus Natus Est - Sweelinck

 

3.   O Magnum Mysterium - Vittoria

 

4.  Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day - Gardner

 

5.   If Ye Love Me - Tallis

 

6.   Sure On This Shining Night - Barber

 

7.   Kyrie (from Mass in B Minor) - Vaughan-Williams

 

8.   Ae Fond Kiss - arr. S. Hope

 

9.   My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose - arr. Ashmore

 

10.  When David Heard - Tomkins

 

11.  Summer is Y' Coming In - Pearsall

 

The CD costs £5, and is available at our concerts.

The Kilbarchan Singers' conductors

Ian Mc Callum 1982 - 2005

 

Edward Caswell 2005

 

Oliver Rundell 2005 - 2007

 

Christopher Hann  2007 - 2010

 

James Slimings 2010 - 2015

 

Edwin Hillier  2015 - 2019

Rebecca Murphy 2019 - 2021

Joshua Stutter 2021 - Nov 2023

Alasdair Robertson - Nov 2023 to present day

bottom of page