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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 the Edinburgh Libraries Committee in the Nelson Hall, Edinburgh as part of the “Fringe”. Also in 1954, the choir's 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 the 11th and 12th of 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 was appointed Assistant Conductor.

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

1985 Miss Catherine Preston retired as accompanist and Mhorag Barclay (Malloch) was appointed.

1989 Part of Songs of Praise congregation at St. Andrew's Parish Church.

1994 Choir logo was introduced.

1997 Rotary International Concert at SECC.   FCC received a standing ovation and was awarded membership of the Rotary Clan.

2001 David Malloch's 20th year as conductor.

2008 New outfits purchased thanks to 'Awards for All'.

2011 The choir sang in Dunblane Cathedral at the annual Christmas concert.

2012 The Dalesment Choir from the Peak District joined with FCC in a concert in Bo'ness.

2014 Our 90th year anniversary.

2015  We welcomed back the principal trumpet player with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra - Mark O'Keeffe.

2016  Our Conductor - David Malloch - celebrated 35 years as conductor - to the day- at our Spring Concert on Wednesday 27th April

2020 - Aug 2022 Choir shut down due to Covid Restrictions - but kept in touch with a regular 'song of the week' to keep the community spirit alive.

2022 David and Mhorag Malloch both retired as conductor and accompanist after over 40 years of service.

2022 The choir re-assembled with smaller numbers and relocated to Larbert East Church Hall.

2022 Helen Robbie as Conductor and Fiona Hobson as an accompanist were appointed

2022  Steph Moyes as an accompanist was appointed following Fiona's untimely death.

2023 New choir logo introduced

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