Choir Members - Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir

The Glasgow Islay Choir date back to 1944 and while in the immediate post-war years many of the members would have had connections with the home island, today’s members have backgrounds in both Gaelic and non Gaelic speaking areas of Scotland and even beyond.  Over the years the choir has had considerable success particularly at the Royal National Mod, winning the Lovat and Tullibardine Shield on 10 occasions with particular success in Skye in 1982 when they won all 4 competitions.  They have also tasted success at the Pan Celtic Festival in Ireland and at the Vancouver Mod and the Choir has been invited to sing at the Eistedfodd and the International Eistedfodd.  Over many years the choir had a strong relationship with the Gaelic group Runrig, appearing with them on many occasions, and in 1996 they produced a CD “A Tribute to Runrig”. 

During the past years the choir have been busy locally performing at the 150the birthday celebrations of the Glasgow Islay Association, the Paisley Choral Festival, at the opening ceremony of the International “Active Ageing” Conference and in a concert organised by Kirsteen Grant and her husband Iain MacLean in aid of the “Help for Heroes” Charity.  Choir members have been successful in Solo, duet and quartette competitions and numerous members have won the coveted Mod Gold Medal for solo singing.  Kirsteen Grant, who has conducted the choir since 1991, is a Mod Gold Medallist and is well known and respected in the musical world as a singer, teacher and conductor.  Her beautiful choral arrangements are included in the repertoire of many choirs and are often prescribed pieces at competitions.  Prior to Kirsteen, the choir conductors have included Sheelagh Nichol, Eoin Miller and Seamus Campbell.  In October 2010 Kirsteen’s choir member husband, Iain MacLean, was the proud recipient of the Gold Medal.  The duties of Gaelic Reader are currently shared by Rachael MacPherson from Harris and Clare Anne MacNeil from Barra.  In addition to the senior choir, the Glasgow Islay Junior Choir – the only Junior Choir in Glasgow outwith the education system – has been very successful for over 25 years.  The juniors have visited Celtic Colours in Nova Scotia and the Pan Celtic Festival in Kilkenny.


  • Monday evenings in Glasgow Gaelic School, Berkley Street, Glasgow, 7.30 - 9.30. Occasional extra practices as required, including occasional Tuesdays as school holidays dictate.
  • Junior Choir (under 18's)rehersals are on Tuesday evenings (6 - 7.30) in the same venue.

Other information

  • Annual Concert on Friday 22nd February 2013 in Bearsden Burgh Hall @ 7.30. Contact Alan Crawford, choir secretary, for ticket details.