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In September 1988 Ian Anderson, then Principal Teacher of Music at Stanely Green High School in Paisley, was asked to form a choir to give a performance of Handel's Messiah as part of Greenlaw Church's centenary. Following the success of that venture, it was decided to constitute the Paisley Philharmonic Choir on a permanent basis in January 1989.


In 2009 the Choir marked its 20th Anniversary with a performance of the Messiah which also coincided with the Handel 250th Anniversary celebrations. In 2019 our 30th anniversary was celebrated by with a performance of Mozart's Requiem at Paisley Abbey, which also marked the retirement of our Founding Director, Ian Anderson.

As of 2024 the Choir numbers approximately 50 members, of all ages from student to "more senior"! We are mainly from Renfrewshire, Glasgow and Inverclyde, but some of us come from further afield. We present around five concerts each year, with recent performances in most of Paisley's main churches and events spaces: Methodist Central Hall, Paisley Abbey, St Mirin's Cathedral, Holy Trinity & St Barnabas, Oakshaw Trinity Church and Paisley Town Hall. Our annual Christmas concert is especially popular, with plenty of audience participation!

Many of our concerts are in aid of charity. Over the 30 years since the choir was founded we have raised almost £100,000 for a variety on charities including Cystic Fibrosis, the Yorkhill Scanner Appeal, Riding for the Disabled, Cancer Research, the British Diabetic Association, Multiple Sclerosis, Christian Aid, the Roy Castle Lung Foundation, St Vincent's Hospice Howwood, Ekwendeni Primary School in Malawi, and church organ and refurbishment funds.

The Choir also undertakes several one-off projects. In autumn 2004, for example, we completed the recording of a Christmas CD in association with the Scottish Co-Op Band. In December 2009 the choir was invited to share a concert in Kelvingrove Art Gallery promoted by Smooth Radio. The Choir has also regularly sung in St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh as part of the Sunday at Six series and featured regularly in the Paisley Choral Festival.

The Choir has an extensive repertoire including carols, folk songs, spirituals, motets, madrigals, Scottish songs and choruses from opera, operetta and musicals. We also perform major classical works, engaging some of the best soloists in the country - both established singers and recent graduates of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - often accompanied by a professional orchestra. Where possible, we also try to engage young people still at school or university to give them an opportunity to perform.

Over the years the Choir has established a reputation as one of the finest and most versatile choirs in the West of Scotland - a reputation of which we are justly proud.

Director - Derrick Morgan

Derrick Morgan

Musical Director

Derrick Morgan is a young Scottish conductor and award winning graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and The University of Edinburgh.


He is currently musical director of Paisley Sinfonia, Paisley Philharmonic Choir, Rudsambee Company of Singers, and Blackbird Opera. He also holds the position of Principal Conductor of Ensemble Alba, Conductor of the Helensburgh Orchestral Society and is a regular guest with Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra. He was also the assistant artistic director of the Nevis Ensemble until January 2023.

The 22/23 season includes his debuts with the Helensburgh Orchestral Society, Paisley Sinfonia and the Paisley Philharmonic Choir as well as his sixth season with the Rudsambee Company of Singers.


Derrick also returns to conduct the West of Scotland Schools Symphony Orchestra in their annual taster day. These events will feature in a variety of exciting locations around Scotland including St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, Rosslyn Chapel and Paisley Abbey.

Tim Lambourn


Tim joined Paisley Philharmonic Choir as accompanist in 2016 following the retirement of Bill Ritchie, previous accompanist of 18 years.

Tim freelances, performs and accompanies several choirs across the Central Belt. He is currently the organist at St Andrew's, Clermiston, Edinburgh, and has previously held organist posts in Paisley (Paisley Abbey) and Aberdeen (High Church, Hilton). He has performed as soloist and accompanist in cathedrals, churches and concert halls throughout the UK, as well as venues in mainland Europe and the USA.

Before moving to Scotland he was the organ scholar at Jesus College, Cambridge where he also studied for an undergraduate degree in Geography. Projects with the choirs at Jesus College included CD recordings and radio broadcasts for the BBC.

Outside music, Tim enjoys walking, travel writing and the great outdoors.

Sarah Skerritt

Sarah Skerritt

Musical Director


Director - Harold Thalange

Harold Thalange

Musical Director


Ian Anderson - Founding Director

Ian Anderson

Founding Director



Bill Ritchie



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