Helensburgh Dorian Choir

Welcome to Helensburgh Dorian Choir website

Be Our Guest

Whether you're looking for a good choir to join, would like to attend our next performance, or simply want to find out more about us, please be our guest, and read on...


Generally we sing in 4-parts although from time to time we have performed as two choirs, in six parts. The Choir has a professional musical director who also conducts, and a professional accompanist. We're run by a strong management committee made up of members.

Practising the difficult bits just prior to a recent Christmas Concert


Christmas Concert - December 2017

Christmas 2016
Our aim in presenting our Christmas Concert is to offer you...

a feast of easy listening Christmas songs, carols and choral music ...

...some old and some new, with each appetising course representing one of the several types of songs or works the choir performs.

The choir will be conducted by Sian Winstanley and our piano accompanist will be Jane Hepworth.

The Choir's programme is at the moment subject to change and will be chosen from...

...'In Dulce Jubilo', 'Ave Verum' (Elgar), 'Mary's Boy Child', 'Sleigh Ride', 'Winter Wonderland', 'Follow that Star', 'O Holy Night', and our main piece Benjamin Britten's 'A Ceremony of Carols'. There will be three communal carols and a soloist. We will write up more detail nearer the concert...

So if you'd like to enjoy a concert evening to truly remember, come along and join us on:

Friday 8th December 2017 at 7.30 pm in the United Reformed Church, West Princes Street, Helensburgh.

We will announce ticket prices a little nearer the concert. As usual there will be mulled wine and mince pies afterwards in the URC Hall.

Coffee 'n' Carols Afternoon

This is our main annual fund raising event where you can enjoy a coffee or tea and mince pie whilst listening to us singing well-known carols and seasonal songs.

We set up a number of Christmas stalls offering home-made baking, bric-a-brac and the ever-popular lucky bottle stall.

This year our afternoon will be held at the United Reformed Church Hall, West Princes Street, Helensburgh on Saturday 25th November 2017 from 2.00 pm.

It's well worth a visit - do come along if you can.

Spring Concert, May 2018

Each year we perform two major concerts in May and December, and from time to time make appearances at fund-raising and charity events.

Spring Following on from our successful Spring Concert this year we plan to make the Concert next year something just as special.

Our conductor, Sian Winstanley, will lead us in a grand array of popular choral music, some old and some new, some from shows, others folk classics and some to stir your imagination and mood. Each piece will represent one of the many and varied types of songs or works the choir performs.

The performance will be held on Friday 4th May 2018 at the United Reformed Church, West Princes Street, Helensburgh at 7.30 pm.

We'll be announcing details about the concert in the Spring.

What's Included in the Site?

The site includes info. about Concerts (as above) and where to obtain your Tickets (near the time of the concert), Who's Who, Joining the Choir, our Photo Album, Choral Singing, Music for Hire. Please surf at your leisure... and if you'd like us to include info. on other topics or you have comments about any aspect of the site, we'd be pleased to hear from you. You can contact us here.

About the Choir

We're a friendly, mixed choir, about 65 strong. We rehearse and perform in and around Helensburgh & Lomond on the west coast of Scotland. We have stunning views across the 3-mile wide Firth of Clyde, and 8 miles the other way, over the Black Hill, are the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond.

Our 'Come and Sing' day on Saturday 5th September 2015 was a great success.

This was an open day for singers of all abilities and experience to enjoy themselves singing with some members of the Choir, and if they liked it, to consider joining us.

We called the event "FROM THE MESSIAH TO MAMA MIA" because the pieces we practised and performed (mainly for the sheer fun of it) included: For Unto Us A Child Is Born from the Messiah (Handle), In Praise of Islay (Trad.Scottish) and Abba's Mamma Mia (Andersson, Ulvaeus, Kotliar & Anderson). The day was led by our conductor Matthew Todd and accompanied be Jane Hepworth.

Rehearsal went well and, at the end of the day, the 'choir' performed the pieces to a small audience of family and friends. The pic above shows the'choir' enjoying well derserved applause for their performance.

Glasgow Music Festival, March 2015

In March 2015 the Choir sang in the Glasgow Music Festival at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
Here we all are (pic above) in an anteroom to the main auditorium waiting to be called on stage.


Dorian has a broad-ranging repertoire which suits most tastes. We sing quality choral music which embraces a wide range, from short and excerpts of oratorios to Jazz, from mediaeval ballads and classical songs to folk and popular music.

There are opportunities for members to sing solo and in small groups from time to time. We include fun and experimental pieces.

Supporting this exciting repertoire is our developmental approach to music making - we aim to improve our ability and quality in manageable steps - continuously becoming the very best we can be.

Who's Who?

Included here are details about how the Choir is run, the Management Committee, the Conductor and the Accompanist.

Photo Album

If you'd like to put a face or two to our name, have a look through our Album. We've included shots of the Choir enjoying themselves and some shots of individual members (enjoying themselves too). We've even included photos of Helensburgh - we love it despite the rain.


Dorian is a member of Making Music, The National Federation of Music Societies.

In May 2010 we performed the World Premiere of 'Music of the Hill' & 'Mountains I love' funded by a Choral Ambition Grant from the BBC Performing Arts Fund in association with Making Music.

In 2009 Argyll & Bute Council awarded us a generous grant under the Home Coming Scheme towards our Diamond Jubilee Spring Concert.

In 2005 the Council also granted us and other users of Helensburgh Victoria Halls, 50% of the cost of new portable staging which can accommodate 75 singers.

The Choir is a charity registered in Scotland and aims to offer membership and ticket prices at the most reasonable levels possible.


We normally have several social events each year. A Members' and guests party after our Spring Concert in May and an open Christmas party after our December concert.

At the end of our year, in June, we have a posh dinner at a local hotel or club which sometimes ends on a choral note around a piano.

Informally we have a break at each of our weekly rehearsals to give an opportunity for members to get to know each other and socialise. Some of us retire to a local pub after rehearsals to sooth our larynxes.
Although we have social events because members like them, they also contribute to our musical rapport on the concert platform.


The Dorian is the oldest choir in Helensburgh having been set up in 1949 by James MacTaggart. He was a remarkable man who was blinded as the result of a childhood injury but went on to become an organist, a teacher of piano and singing and a choral conductor and arranger.

At its beginning the Choir's repertoire consisted, in the main, of Scot's songs, sacred music and part-songs. Later it extended its repertoire to include classical works with accompanying musicians and soloists.

For some time now the Choir has 'specialised' in singing a broad-ranging repertoire. This results in the Choir appealing to a wide audience, which contributes in turn to a high standard of performance and a high level of personal satisfaction of members.

Joining the Choir

If you think we might be the kind of Choir you would like to sing in, come and try us out for a week or two, then make up your mind. You'll be very welcome.

Here you'll find the contact details you need and some notes about the practise CDs we produce, singing tips and frequently asked questions.