The Chandos Choir


In 1967 St. Salvador's Episcopal Church, Dundee, hosted the first festival of flowers and music to be held in Scotland.  The Festival Chorus for the event numbered around 40 - all experienced semi-professional and excellent amateur singers.

At the end of the choral and orchestral concert, a number of the chorus approached me and expressed their disappointment that such a band of singers which had been gathered for the occasion and had given such a creditable performance should dissipate into oblivion.  They were most keen to remain together, as a unique bond had been achieved, and they pleaded with me to accept the task of maintaining their training as conductor.  They had the vision that future regular performances should be the norm.

And so The Chandos Choir was born - so named as one of the works performed that evening had been the Sixth Chandos Anthem by Handel and growing to some 70 voices.  Alas, many of that which evolved into a lovely 'family' are no longer with us.  The group mind that was The Chandos was always evident.  At one rehearsal for Mozart's Twelfth Mass, we had just begun to practise a chorus which began with the English words: "Remember, remember."  Before we could proceed further the entire choir and myself stopped and everyone in unison cried out: "the fifth of November!" and were convulsed with laughter.  That clearly demonstrates the level of 'togetherness' that had evolved over the years.

Secular concerts also followed with many of the great choruses of Lehar, Romberg et al., interspersed with solo work by a considerable number of talented members who were soloists of no mean ability.

The highlight of the year was the dinner dance at a local hotel where The Chandos took over the entire dining room for the evening.  Such cordial events were all part of the cohesion of the choir.

The programme for the first festival concert gave the singers as follows:-


M. Adams, M. Anderson, E. Davidson, D. Dow, M. Duncan, M. Finlayson,
N. Jack, A. Knight, E. Macaskill, M. Smith, M. Webster, J. Wilkes.


A. Adams, A. Burch, J. Davidson, M. Duncan, E. Fenwick, A. Fraser,
N. Guild, M. Hajbovicz, E. McFarlane, M. Prain, I. Winton.


G. Adams, S. Bannerman, W. Lindsay, E. Scott, D. Smith, R. Whitehouse.


G. Angus, W. Bell, J. Campbell, D. Davidson, W. Dewar, J. Grieve,
I. Mortimer, C. Sinclair.

I must remember with great sadness the passing of my old friend of over three decades, George Adams who died on 31st January 1998.  George had been organist & choirmaster at Old St. Paul's & St, David's and St. John's Cross Parish Churches, Dundee.  A dedicated musician who with his wife Agnes who pre-deceased him was a member of the Chandos Choir.

George was also an accomplished accompanist who competently officiated at each rehearsal and performance, tackling everything from arias to the great fugal choruses of Handel.  I never knew him to miss a note!

He is survived by his two daughters whom I met again after many many years, sharing their grief at his memorial service.  Goodbye, old friend.