About Us

In the early and mid-1800s as Gaelic speaking migrants were assimilated into Australia, much of their Gaelic culture and language were lost.  This mirrored the situation in Scotland where English influences were eroding the Gaelic legacy of centuries. In recent years, however, this ancient language has been revived. Còisir Ghàidhlig Astràilianach, Australian Gaelic Singers, originally formed in 1982 to sing solely in Scots Gaelic, were created in their present format in the mid 1980’s.  The choir’s logo is the Scottish Lion & the Australian Kangaroo linked together through music.

The choir is drawn from a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds that are not simply Scots or Irish.   At one stage some  members came from as far afield as Wollongong, Shellharbour, Newcastle, Doyalson and Windsor, although the majority were and are from the Sydney Metropolitan Area.  The backgrounds of members of the choir are as varied as their social interests - they range from people who have retired from the “paid” workforce to members of academia, health, social welfare & local government.  That the Australian Gaelic Singers attracts interested people from such varied walks of life, is possibly a tribute to our multiculturalism & the beauty of the music.

From a humble beginning of singing in unison at Gaelic church services and ceilidhs in homes we progressed to singing in four-part harmony at our own concerts and formal ceilidh/dances to being asked to sing in concerts produced by other organisations. We performed at a wide range of venues from formal theatres with superb sound systems to school halls and nursing homes with none and in the open air at Highland and Celtic gatherings.  All the time increasing and developing our expertise.

Three major achievements of the choir have been our competing in Scotland's Royal National Mod in 1992, 2000 and 2003.  The Mod is an eisteddfod conducted in Gaelic, which attracts competitors from around the world.  We were the first Australian choir ever to compete in this prestigious international event, obtaining high marks, praise and recognition.

In addition to taking part in the Royal National Mod, the Australian Gaelic Singers’ programme has included various eisteddfords in NSW, in which we performed remarkably well for a choir singing “ethnic” music in multicultural Australia

In January 1995, the Australian Gaelic Singers, extended for the occasion to include over a hundred members of all nationalities and church denominations, with initially no knowledge of Gaelic, performed specially composed music sung in Gaelic for a church service organised by two members of the choir to commemorate Mary MacKillop, Australia's first Saint and a Gaelic speaker.  The event was shown on prime time television throughout Scotland in May 1995.  The choir has no particular religious orientation and has sung at church services of various denominations, weddings, eisteddfods, concerts and traditional ceilidhs.

Còisir Ghàidhlig Astràilianach, is under the overall control of the founder & Music Director, Robin MacKenzie-Hunter, and has a Management Committee whose role is to ensure a sound base for the Choir's performance.

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