Munich choir visit

On Friday 13th June the Garleton Singers are looking forward to welcoming the Nymphenburger Kantatenchor from Munich. They will joining the choir for a number of events including a civic reception in the Edinburgh City Chambers, a ceilidh and also a concert on the Saturday night (14th June) in St Mary’s, Haddington. Details of the visit are now on the German Consulate General Edinburgh website. Please click here for more information.

Come and sing some opera choruses with us!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sing a famous opera chorus? Well now you have the chance.


On the 2 June 2014 The Garleton Singers will be performing a selection of famous opera choruses as part of their Summer Concert in St Mary’s Church Haddington.


We are inviting anyone who would like the experience of singing these choruses, to come along to 4 open rehearsals starting from Monday 5 May 2014 and potentially sing in the concert.


Rehearsals are held in the Town House, Haddington from 7.30 to 10.00 pm. They are informal and good fun, do involve some hard work, but the effort is usually well worth it!


If you like what you experience and want to do more singing with us, you can always come along at the start of the new session in September and following a short audition, could find yourself enjoying a lot more singing in your life!


Want to know more? Contact Keith Waddell, Secretary at

A review of our spring concerts by John Stone

Music from France and Scotland Sunday 16 March 2014 @ St Mary’s Church, Haddington.


Resplendent in their brand new fuchsia (I’m told) and black uniforms, The Garleton Singers and Orchestra presented their latest concert “Music from France & Scotland” to appreciative audiences in Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh on Saturday 15 March and in St Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington on Sunday 16 March 2014.

A carefully constructed programme of both familiar and unfamiliar pieces gave opportunities for choir & orchestra – together and separately – to shine.

The two undoubted highlights were the longest works on the programme.

A Burns Sequence by John Gardner – known by me only as the composer of “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” – was given a very creditable performance. This work is immediately attractive with its clever scoring for orchestra never overpowering the choir’s contribution.  In particular, the 4th movement “Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary?” was beautifully arranged and sensitively played. The pizzicato strings and woodwind interventions were neatly handled. The choir commanded the material – with choir soloists David Wilson and Graham Miller contributing to the mix – and sounded suitably earnest in the opening and closing religious songs. With such a wealth of poetry on offer, you would think the composer could have dreamt up a more inspired title for the piece! Still, it did what it said in the title – and the audience loved it.

Poulenc’s Gloria is, of course, a much more familiar work. Here again the balance between choir, orchestra and a beautifully sweet sounding soloist in Wilma MacDougall, was expertly handled by the conductor Stephen Doughty. The choir needed a little time to find its rhythmic feet, but soon settled into a dramatic performance which really commanded the church environment. The soprano and alto sections in particular are to be commended on some thrilling singing.

The two opening works of the programme – Cànan nan Gàidheal (Language of the Gael) and Faure’s ever popular Cantique de Jean Racine set the parameters of the programme well, but I would have liked to have heard the lyrics a little more clearly.

One piece each for choir and for orchestra completed the programme and gave fine contrast. The conductor’s own arrangement of Ossianic Processional for a-cappella choir had wonderfully atmospheric dynamics. The orchestra played Faure’s Pavane with much French poise – and the flute solo was beautiful.

A small aside – posters, tickets and programmes are always nicely presented by The Garletons, but why no programme credits for the orchestra for this concert?

All-in-all, a very satisfying musical evening – and I look forward to hearing them again in Haddington on Saturday June 14th in concert with Nymphenburger Kantatenchor from Munich.


John Stone

17 March 2014


New members required!

Did you enjoy our Christmas concert? Has Gareth Malone inspired you? Then why not join our choir?! We are currently seeking new members, particularly in the tenor and bass sections. If you are interested then please contact us via email ( for more information. We are just starting learning the music for our Spring concert, so it is an ideal time to join our friendly group. We rehearse on Monday evenings in the Townhouse in Haddington. Rehearsals start at 7.30pm and include a coffee break when we can catch up with each other. We look forward to seeing you there!

Christmas concert review

Here is the fabulous review from the sell-out Christmas concert on 8th December 2013, written by Janet Anderson:



The Garleton Singers’ annual Christmas Concert in St. Mary’s, Haddington, has

become a musical milestone as we in East Lothian tread the Advent trail to

Christmas, and so it was this year with Sunday’s wonderful celebration of

Christmas, carols old and new, something for everyone.


The Choir, and its Conductor Stephen Doughty, set the scene with a lovely

warm, round sound in the opening “O come, O come, Emmanuel”, for the

highlights to follow “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree”, an unaccompanied piece by

Philip Stopford, where the sound was beautifully sweet, sustained and even,

and the melody sang out clearly above the accompanying voices; two Poulenc

pieces, on the 50th anniversary of the composer’s death, the first “Hodie

Christus natus est”, a suitably joyful, energetic, rhythmical rendition, the

second “Quem vidistis pastores” with its increasingly insistent theme, both

performances successfully capturing the mood of the music; a delightful

arrangement by Ian Humphries of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, complex in

texture but very neatly executed, where lovely solo voices were given the

opportunity to shine.


Mention must be made of Polwarth Brass whose mellow sound melts hearts,

their silky “In the bleak mid-winter”, and dreamy “Have yourself a merry little

Christmas”, and also of organist George Wilson’s excellent playing, sensitive,

deft accompanying, and in his impromptu improvisation on “O come, O come,

Emmanuel”, St. Mary’s organ as you’ve never heard it before!


Andrew Carter’s “Hodie Christus natus est” for choir, brass and organ was a

glittering finale for choir, musicians and Conductor, all in sparkling form.