Preparing Puccini

Rehearsals are now fully underway for our final Town Hall concert of the season. With a good number of new members in the choir, Andy is putting us through our paces as we prepare Puccini’s Messa di Gloria which we’ll perform on the 19th March with orchestra and soloists. We’re also learning Feel the Spirit, a cycle of seven spirituals arranged by John Rutter – the jazzy arrangements providing us with some rhythmical challenges!

With three opera choruses also to learn, there’s some gorgeous music for what will be a beautiful and uplifting concert.

Open Rehearsal – 10th January 2023

Join us for an Open Rehearsal on Tuesday 10th January 2023 as we begin preparations for our next concert featuring music by Puccini and Rutter.

Led by our choral director Andy McTaggart we’ll get our voices back in shape following the festive break and start learning Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and John Rutter’s Feel the Spirit alongside some well-loved opera choruses.

This rehearsal will be free and open to all – we hope you might want to join us permanently!

Rehearsal starts at 7.30pm at Castlehill Parish Church, Old Hillfoot Road, KA7 3LW

New Season

Rehearsals have started for our first concert of the Season.  An Atlantic Voyage, a mix of amazing music by Scottish and American (North and South) composers will be on Sunday 30th October in Ayr Town Hall. After that we will be getting a Christmas Concert (on Sunday 11th December) in shape with help from the Newmilns and Galston Brass Band!

Our Spring Concert, with full professional orchestra, will include Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and John Rutter’s settings of African American Spiritual songs – Feel the Spirit.

Accompanist Retires

Ayr Choral Union’s AGM marked the end of an era when a presentation was made to the choir’s long serving Accompanist Morag Walton.

Morag, who studied music at Glasgow University, and has taught many aspiring young pianists over three decades, originally joined the choir, as a singer, in 1975. She became the choir’s accompanist in 1994. During the succeeding twenty-seven years, her meticulous and conscientious approach to her role has seen her support rehearsals of many of the great choral works including the choir’s most recent performance of Bach’s St John Passion in April. She has also accompanied the choir in concerts in St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh and Paisley Abbey. Morag’s skill as an arranger has been demonstrated in performances over the years especially at Christmas. Choir members are delighted that Morag is not retiring fully as she will return to sing in the new season.  

Ayr Choral Union, Castlehill Chirch, Ayr AGM marked the end of an era when a presentation was made to the choirs long serving accompanist Morag Walton. She became the accompanist in 1994 Photo shows Morag ( centre) with Marion Andrews & Kate Wilson ( current president of Ayr Choral Union )

Come And Sing “The Armed Man”

Link to application form

Ayr Choral are launching their exciting 2022- 23 Season with a warm invitation to a day of singing one of the most performed and loved choral works. Come along to Castlehill Church in Ayr on 27th August to sing The Armed Man (A Mass for Peace) by Karl Jenkins, led by the inimitable Andrew McTaggart and joined by soprano soloist Caitlin MacKenzie and piano accompanist Andrew Brown. Whether you don’t know the work, or whether you know it backwards, this will be an informal day with plenty of time to catch up with friends as well as experiencing some amazing music!  

Written in 2000 and performed more than 2750 times in over 50 countries, the piece was commissioned by the Royal Armouries Museum to commemorate the victims of the Kosovo Crisis. This contemporary Mass incorporates many different musical styles and moods and uses both sacred and secular texts from serene to dramatically intense.

To take part please complete the application form on our website and return to:

Information about the day

Saturday 27th August, Castlehill Parish Church,1 Old Hillfoot Road Ayr, KA7 3LW.  

Rehearsal 10.30am – 4pm. Registration from 10.00am

Participants £15 (ACU Members £10) 

Performance 4.30pm – 5.30pm. Audience admission £5 at the door from 4pm.  

Refreshments will be provided including home baking – bring your own lunch.

Onstreet Parking is available in the area around the Church, and it is around 15 minutes walk from Ayr Station.

Dress informal – no dress code – whatever you feel comfortable in!

We Came…and Tried

On a rainy Saturday afternoon, fifty members of the choir and some new faces turned out for a ‘socially-distanced’ taster of Bach’s St John Passion with Andy McTaggart. Andy had us trying out some of the gentler Chorals before tackling one or two of the more challenging choruses!

It was great to see so many people and we are all looking forward to returning to regular rehearsals after the Christmas break. Full rehearsals for the St John Passion begin on Tuesday 11th January at 7.30pm at Castlehill Church and the first few weeks will see us working in sections with both Andy and our assistant conductor, Nils Meier.

We hope some of the visitors who came and tried will join us regularly and if you are interested in joining, then please contact – we look forward to seeing you!

Come and Try Bach’s St John Passion

Come and Try St John Passion with Ayr Choral and Andy McTaggart.

Join us as we start learning this magnificent piece, ahead of our concert in April, at Castlehill Church in Ayr on Saturday 8th January from 1pm – 3pm. Whether you are thinking of joining the choir or just fancy a bit of singing – come and give us a try! Distancing and sanitisation measures will be in place but if you have any questions ahead of the day, contact us at

Christmas Concert

Christmas with Ayr Choral 2021  

Sunday 12th December 7.30pm  

Venue: Ayr Town Hall, New Bridge Street, Ayr KA7 1JX  

On the programme this year Ayr Choral will perform the joyful and heavenly piece Vom Himmel Hoch (From heaven above to earth I come) by Felix Mendelssohn. The choir rehearsed this piece last year online and look forward to performing it live this year. Included in the wide variety of Christmas music will be the beautiful O Magnum Mysteriumby Morten Lauridsenand the Ceremony of Carols, with harp accompaniment, by Benjamin Britten. The joyfulness will continue with lots of your traditional Christmas favourites.  

Ayr Choral’s fabulous conductor Andrew McTaggart kept the choir goingthroughout lockdown with fun and vigour using the wonders of online technology. However, Christmas will be very special as we will be singing live with a real audience.  

Andrew will be assisted by Nils Meier our Assistant Conductor.  

The soloists will be Soprano Charlie Drummond, former Scottish Opera EmergingArtist and graduate of the London Opera Studioand Baritone Christopher Nairne, soloist and ensemble member at Opera North. Piano and organ accompanist will be Andrew Forbes, Director of Music at Glasgow Cathedral.  

Tickets are available from members of Ayr Choral, the Gaiety Box Office, and online at