Ye Cronies Choir
“Dr. John Warren was responsible for starting our choir in 1967,
initially to provide a ‘quorum’ for the Grace.”
[Reflections of John Watson, 2000]
In his final year as President, police surgeon Dr. John Warren took it upon himself to establish a members choir for Ye Cronies, with their first performance being held on 26th January 1967.
Dr. Warren was known to be very particular over the traditions of Ye Cronies, doing his best to ensure the values of the club were not lost over time. Given the club was established on the principle of the entertainment being provided from within its own member-ship, it appears Dr. Warren was weary of the growing presence of professional artistes and felt a counterpoint was required in the form of a members choir.
As recalled by Concert Director John Watson, the club’s first official Choir did not have the most auspicious of starts:
“It was the butt of much humour in these early days and even had
non-participating drinking members at rehearsals...
...it was widely regarded as a great source of tapped un-talent!”
Perhaps surprisingly, the choir ran itself without a conductor for the first 16 years of its existence, meaning our budding choristers relied on on the talents of the Club's Concert Director, James Geddes, to keep them in tune through his accompaniment.
F. Elliot Dobie
Despite the initial lack of ‘participating’ members, the choir had some strong founding choristers in the form of Tenor John Watson and the venerable Mr. Francis (Frank) Elliot Dobie who both went on to become Honorary Members of Ye Cronies.
Dr. Warren and the Choir’s perseverance paid off as they are now a welcome staple of Ye Cronies nights, keeping the true spirit of the club’s foundations alive and well.
Today, the Choir is led by the Cronies Choirmaster, Mr. David Fisher, and it has an open door policy to any members who wish to join them. The choir typically meets twice a month during the Cronies season for rehearsals, and then performs 3-4 songs at each concert (including the Burns Grace).
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