Dumfries can trace its choral tradition back to 1863 when “Dumfries and Maxwelltown Choral Society” was founded and continued without a break until 1915. Activities appear to have lapsed at that time, presumably because of the First World War. Although a few minor contributions were made to a series of subscription concerts at the Lyceum Theatre between 1919 and 1921, no formal choral activity is recorded during the next thirty years.
The origins of Dumfries Choral Society date back to 1943. That year, Edward Murray, headmaster of St John’s School, started up a small choir which met on Monday evenings in St John’s Church with the curate accompanying on the organ. As the numbers increased, and at Edward Murray’s instigation, the choir met on 5 March 1945 at Greyfriars’ Church and formed Dumfries Choral Society.
The Society’s first performance, held in St John’s Church, just before the Christmas of 1945, was Handel’s “Messiah”.
The Choral Society has been involved with the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival Chorus, the Dumfries and Galloway Chorus, and the National Youth Choir of Scotland Dumfries & Galloway.