Singing stars celebrate 90 years of song in Kirkintilloch

Kirky Male Voice Choir
Kirky Male Voice Choir

THE legendary Kirkintilloch Male Voice Choir is marking its 90th anniversary with a special concert in St Mary’s Parish Church in the town on Saturday.

The 50-strong choir has been led by musical director Sally McLellan and accompanist/assistant musical director David Burns since 1999.

Sally said: “I’m really looking forward to the night, and I know everyone connected with the choir is too.

“The concert will also feature the Cardiff Male Voice Choir, who we have a great relationship with, so it will be a fitting way to celebrate.

“Four or five of our members are in their 80s and have been in the choir for a long time, so it will be an extra special occasion for them.”

The concert is just one of a series planned this year to mark the milestone anniversary.

A special CD has been released and a book on the choir’s history is being produced by former Scottish Television journalist Bob Tomlinson, who is also one of the group’s singers.

A dinner will also be held later in the year.

The choir has enjoyed a long and illustrious history since it was founded in 1921 by John Knox with a group of singers from church choirs and other local singing groups.

For the next 25 years, the choir continued to grow under his leadership until, at the age of 85, he handed over the baton to son Andrew in 1946.

The choir continued the tradition of male voice singing, taking part in many festivals, radio and television broadcasts before Andrew returned to the singing ranks in 1978.

The founder’s grandson Ian then took over, changing from the accompanist’s position which he had held for 19 years to that of conductor.

Ian will be conducting his own special arrangement of Scottish songs at the anniversary concert.

And Sally is confident that the choir has a healthy future once the 90th anniversary celebrations are over.

Tickets are selling quickly for Saturday’s concert but some were still available as the Herald to press.

However, due to the high demand tickets should be bought in advance. They are on sale, priced £7, and can be purchased from any choir member or Lynsey’s Flowers in Catherine Street, Kirkintilloch.

They are also available from the choir’s business manager on 0141 775 2437.