Glasgow Phoenix Choir is one of the foremost and longest established choral groups in Scotland, and indeed, the UK. This mixed voice choir has today approximately 95 singing members, several non-singing Associate Members and many Patrons.
Founded in 1951 (though able to trace its history via the iconic Glasgow Orpheus Choir to 1901) it continues to perform new arrangements (and old) of Scottish song for which it is widely known throughout the British Isles, Europe, and North America. (We even have our own tartan, pictured left!) However, this is only part of the Choir's extensive repertoire which extends from oratorio, opera, chamber music, and sacred music from all the major composers through choral songs and folk music of many cultures to music from the shows including many of the top musicals currently showing all over the world. Whilst this is not a religious/church choir and neither is it an orchestral/theatrical chorus, it has elements of all of these and more in its catalogue, has recorded over 30 albums and boasts a library that currently has over 1000 titles of all genres.
The Glasgow Phoenix Choir has had many milestones throughout its history. In recent times these have included appearing in the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London as part of a 1,000 strong chorus from all over the UK in the first ever Choral Day performing Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana"; the UK premier of the concert version of "Chess" in the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow; and performing the centrepiece of the Glasgow International Jazz Festival, John Surman's "Ovation" in Glasgow Cathedral which was broadcast on BBC Radio 2.
A small group of the choir also accompanied Michael Crawford on his UK tour at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow and the Edinburgh Playhouse.
It isn't all serious though, and some of the choir have recently been involved in the filming of BBC Scotland's TV comedy "Still Game".
Other highlights have been concerts in the National Presbyterian Church and the Kennedy Centre, Washington DC and Durham Cathedral for St. John's Ambulance Brigade. The choir also provided the Chorus for a performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony to celebrate the 10th birthday of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and has also performed several concerts with orchestra for the Raymond Gubbay Organisation.
Tours and Associations
In late 2007 the choir was approached by The Co-operative Funeralcare with a view to providing assistance. Their generous offer was gratefully accepted - running an organisation like this is an expensive business. This arrangement provides mutual benefit and supports the choir in its activities. The choir is also a member of the National Association of Choirs in UK.
Since 1960 the Choir has undertaken many tours to Europe, including Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium and to Canada and USA (four times), establishing links with choirs in these countries.
From Europe the Choir regularly exchanges visits with the Widukind Chor Enger, Bergischer Männerchor, and the Podinghausen Gemischter Chor, Germany.
In the USA links have been made with the Mendelssohn Singers from Montana, the Orpheus Male Choir from Phoenix Arizona, the Vancouver USA Singers from Washington State, and the Benzie Community Chorus from Michigan. The choir has also appeared at the Missoula International Choral Festival, Montana.
In the UK, exchanges have been made with the Richardson Singers from Darlington, the Nelson Arion Male Voice Choir from Lancashire, the Hereford Police Male Voice Choir, the Mull Gaelic Choir, the Dingwall Gaelic Choir and the City of Glasgow Chorus.
The Choir also performs throughout the British Isles in prestigous venues which have included Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Royal Albert Hall London, National Concert Hall Dublin, Ulster Hall Belfast and many of Britain's wonderful Cathedrals.
Itself a registered charity (Scottish Charity No. SCO 02904), the choir gives concerts to raise funds for a great many charitable organisations and worthy causes, both large international groups and smaller local bodies, and has raised over £1.5 Million Sterling (approx €1.7 Million, US$ 2.3 Million). In recognition of its fundraising contributions the Choir was awarded the Paul Harris International Fellowship by Rotary International. This prestigious award is usually presented to individuals and the choir is currently the only organisation in the world to have received it.
Support for Young Singers
The Choir has a policy of encouraging music-making in schools and colleges, particularly to stimulate the interest of youth in choral music. To further this aim the Phoenix established the Peter Mooney Scholarship in the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama to assist a first year student in voice training and has also a strong connection with the Inverclyde Schools Choirs, finalists of the "Sainsbury's Choir of the Year Competition", who have appeared regularly at Phoenix concerts as guest artists.
If you would like to hire or join Glasgow Phoenix Choir please follow the "Contact Us" link on the navigation bar.
The Choir has a new sponsor:-
In 2007 we were approached by Co-operative Funeralcare with a view to supporting the choir in its activities. Needless to say, we were very happy to accept their generous offer.
Message from David Hendry (pictured), Managing Director of Co-operative Funeralcare, part of the Co-operative Group.
"The sponsorship of this popular choir is literally music to our ears. Music of all types is synonymous with funerals and can help to reflect a person's life. We are pleased to be able to link up with the top quality Glasgow Phoenix Choir to help them to continue the excellent work for which they are well known.
We have strong links with many local communities and this sponsorship is one way in which we can give something back to the community of Glasgow and also provides us with an opportunity to help raise funds for very worthwhile charities.
The Glasgow Phoenix Choir is also proud to be associated with Co-operative Funeralcare and they look forward to working closely with our team to build on the choir's success."