Carols for Christmas

Garleton Singers Christmas Concert 

Our annual Christmas Concert will take place on Sunday 14 December 6.30pm at St Mary’s Parish Church Haddington.

These “Carols for Christmas” will be sure to get you in the mood for the festive season.

Tickets here online from our website or from any choir member.

We look forward to seeing you!

Seasons Greetings from the Garleton Singers.


The Armed Man – Remembrance Day concert

The Garleton Singers bought the audience of St Marys to tears with their emotionally charged performance of Karl Jenkins’  “The Armed Man”.

This is such stirring music and with the accompaniment of Trumpets, Cello, Drums and the evocative Piccolo it was difficult not to feel that the battle was real especially during “The Charge” which made our hearts beat fast.

As always it was a treat to spend an hour listening to this wonderful choir and for them to share such emotive music with us.

Caroline Jack

Some dates for your diary……

We are pleased to announce some dates for your diary for the upcoming season. We will release more information about the concerts in due course. We thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you again this season!

9th November 2014 – Garleton Singers join St Mary’s Church in Haddington and Poppy Scotland for an evening service of remembrance. We will be singing Karl Jenkin’s ‘The Armed Man’.Garleton Singers The Armed Man

14th December 2014 – Christmas concert, St Mary’s Church, Haddington

14th March 2015 – Spring concert, Greyfriar’s Kirk, Edinburgh

15th March 2015 – Spring concert, St Mary’s Church, Haddington

25th May 2015 – Summer concert (part of the annual Haddington Festival), St Mary’s Church, Haddington

June concert review – by George Wilson

Concert “Eine Kleine Sommermusik”

St Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington

Saturday 14th June 2014

For someone of my generation, born into the dark shadows of WW2, yet studying with a German Government scholarship in the early 70’s, it has been reassuring to witness how, academic and cultural exchanges and twinning partnerships provide the cement which binds peoples together. We were fortunate on this evening to witness a reinforcing of that wish on the part of humans to meet and relate to our fellows. Invariably on these occasions what emerges is that we share much more in common than we thought we might.

How heartwarming it was then to witness the remarkable Nymphenburger Kantatenchor from Munich being joined in the conclusion of their concert by their hosts, the Garleton Singers of Haddington. Both groups fed, together into a wonderfully sensuous and resonant performance of Mendelssohn’s 100th Psalm setting.

Given that the Garleton Singers have seen audiences grow and grow over the last few years, it was perhaps disappointing that this ancient church was not filled for such a gifted and communicative visiting choir. It is always fascinating to listen to choirs from abroad and how the different vowels and consonants affect the overall sound. The Nymphenburgers have an astonishingly resonant middle register and their director Christina Schnüttke, has tremendous ability to allow long notes to develop resonance and to shape phrases eloquently.

This choir shone in the hugely demanding “Ubi caritas” of Maurice Durufle and in some lovely settings by Schumann, including translations of our own Rabbie Burns. I did wonder whether the choir might have felt more comfortable with some of the Schumann songs transposed down…..

Travelling with the Choir was the richly sonorous St Stephen’s Church Brass ensemble, a group of eight brass players who know how to make their instruments sing – rather than blast, a quality which made magic of their Intrada by the little known Pezelius and an unidentified Chaconne by Handel. One might have wished for this excellent group to tackle something more virtuosic, perhaps Monteverdi Canzonas or one of the exciting arrangements by their native Ludwig Güttler.

If one considers the number of person-hours in the preparation of a concert like this, it can amount to at least 2,000 all told. What better way to spend the hours than in music making and sharing in common human values with artistic ideals?

As the evening concluded with another Mendelssohn favourite from Elijah “ for he shall give his angels charge over thee”, one could only hope that this collaboration might develop. Each choir has many strengths to offer their colleagues. There is a great opportunity here to explore some of the choral/brass repertoire, for instance the glorious and uplifting motets of Heinrich Schütz, in addition to the growing contemporary repertoire.


George Wilson

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