Brief history of Dunfermline Choral Union

In 1868 a Dunfermline Philharmonic Society formed with two sections, a band and a chorus, the rules being:

“The study and practice of choral music with the view to cultivate and diffuse a taste for classical compositions.”

1874 – 1899

Source: semi-jubilee programme held in Carnegie Library

Subsequently after a public meeting in September 1874 Dunfermline Choral Union was formed.

Mr William Harrison, organist at St James Episcopal Church in Leith was engaged as conductor and the first performance was Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus in April 1875. Mr Harrison remained as conductor for the next 12 years.

DCU benefitted from gifts of music from Provost Donald and music books from Andrew Carnegie. In 1885 Carnegie started giving annual donations of £50, (equivalent to £4,500 today).

In autumn 1886 Dunfermline Abbey organist, Mr WFW Jackson, became conductor until May 1888 when Mr Hugh McNabb from Glasgow was appointed to the post remaining until at least 1906.

Over its long history Dunfermline Choral Union has sung some of the finest music and engaged quality soloists.

Their music ranged from The May Queen, a pastoral composed by Sir W Sterndale Bennett, to the well-known works by Haydn, Mendelssohn and Handel.

A Scottish premiere by one Ebenezer Proust – Red Cross Knight, a dramatic cantata – was performed.

Many early concerts were performed in St Margaret’s Hall, St Margaret’s Street, Dunfermline. This hall opened in 1878, adjacent to and south of the Carnegie Central Library (which it predated by three years). It had a very fine organ which cost £1,300, (£108,000 today) with 26 stops, 1,522 pipes and a hydraulic blowing engine. Unfortunately, the interior of the building was destroyed by fire in 1961 and thereafter demolished. The extension to the Carnegie Library now stands on its site.

1874 – 1899

Source: semi-jubilee programme held in Carnegie Library

Subsequently after a public meeting in September 1874 Dunfermline Choral Union was formed.

Mr William Harrison, organist at St James Episcopal Church in Leith was engaged as conductor and the first performance was Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus in April 1875. Mr Harrison remained as conductor for the next 12 years.

DCU benefitted from gifts of music from Provost Donald and music books from Andrew Carnegie. In 1885 Carnegie started giving annual donations of £50, (equivalent to £4,500 today).

In autumn 1886 Dunfermline Abbey organist, Mr WFW Jackson, became conductor until May 1888 when Mr Hugh McNabb from Glasgow was appointed to the post remaining until at least 1906.

Over its long history Dunfermline Choral Union has sung some of the finest music and engaged quality soloists.

Their music ranged from The May Queen, a pastoral composed by Sir W Sterndale Bennett, to the well-known works by Haydn, Mendelssohn and Handel.

A Scottish premiere by one Ebenezer Proust – Red Cross Knight, a dramatic cantata – was performed.

Many early concerts were performed in St Margaret’s Hall, St Margaret’s Street, Dunfermline. This hall opened in 1878, adjacent to and south of the Carnegie Central Library (which it predated by three years). It had a very fine organ which cost £1,300, (£108,000 today) with 26 stops, 1,522 pipes and a hydraulic blowing engine. Unfortunately, the interior of the building was destroyed by fire in 1961 and thereafter demolished. The extension to the Carnegie Library now stands on its site.

1874 – 1899

Source: semi-jubilee programme held in Carnegie Library

Subsequently after a public meeting in September 1874 Dunfermline Choral Union was formed.

Mr William Harrison, organist at St James Episcopal Church in Leith was engaged as conductor and the first performance was Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus in April 1875. Mr Harrison remained as conductor for the next 12 years.

DCU benefitted from gifts of music from Provost Donald and music books from Andrew Carnegie. In 1885 Carnegie started giving annual donations of £50, (equivalent to £4,500 today).

In autumn 1886 Dunfermline Abbey organist, Mr WFW Jackson, became conductor until May 1888 when Mr Hugh McNabb from Glasgow was appointed to the post remaining until at least 1906.

Over its long history Dunfermline Choral Union has sung some of the finest music and engaged quality soloists.

Their music ranged from The May Queen, a pastoral composed by Sir W Sterndale Bennett, to the well-known works by Haydn, Mendelssohn and Handel.

A Scottish premiere by one Ebenezer Proust – Red Cross Knight, a dramatic cantata – was performed.

Many early concerts were performed in St Margaret’s Hall, St Margaret’s Street, Dunfermline. This hall opened in 1878, adjacent to and south of the Carnegie Central Library (which it predated by three years). It had a very fine organ which cost £1,300, (£108,000 today) with 26 stops, 1,522 pipes and a hydraulic blowing engine. Unfortunately, the interior of the building was destroyed by fire in 1961 and thereafter demolished. The extension to the Carnegie Library now stands on its site.

Join us

If you love singing as much as we do, we'd love you to join us.

Join us

If you love singing as much as we do, we'd love you to join us.