Cairn Chorus in 2024

STOP PRESS…tickets for our concerts on July 21st at Gatehouse Parish Church available from:

Galloway SangStreams – music linking life, land and legacy


This multi-media exciting project brings together many of the artists and strands that so enrich the creative habitat of Dumfries and Galloway and focuses these energies on the ecology, environment, history and culture of the region.

Following on from the success of the Cairn Valley Song Cycle, performed and recorded in 2015, Cairn Chorus present songs and sounds, words and images inspired by our landscape, heritage and changing climate. This accomplished community choir, based in Moniaive, delight in stretching their many talents  and have a proven track record of putting on a great show!

As the first of our collaborators in this endeavour, we have commissioned a set of poems from Penpont`s finest – Hugh McMillan, who will also act as raconteur through the performance.

Two completely new songs will be sung by Thornhill`s very own Emily Smith and Jamie McClennan and several others performed with themselves, the choir and in house band. We are very excited to be working with such highly regarded and well known musicians.

Choir leader Kate Howard has set words by local poet Peter Roberts to her own music and choir chairperson and well known harper, Wendy Stewart has produced  an ode to the beauties of the peat bog – in four part harmony!

Dr Jo Miller, originally from St John`s Town of Dalry,  has set three local songs for us , gleaned from her many years of research into the folk songs of Galloway and it will be a joy bringing these to life.

Images and recordings from the extensive archive of Glencairn`s Alyne Jones will be intertwined with  the performance music.

Soundscapes created by Lucy Smith, Moniaive, musician and recent graduate of the MA in Music and the Environment, University of the Highlands and Islands, will form an aural landscape for the programme.

Jo Ray from Auchenstroan who is also well known for her imaginative projects all around the world, is mixing the scientific and cultural with a local twist . Taking DNA analysis from several plants mentioned in John Corrie`s, `Glencairn – The Annals of an Inland Parish` published 1910, and then helping Kate convert them into sound and music.

A truly local/global project to inspire one and all!

Wendy Stewart

Chair of Cairn Chorus






Cairn Chorus is a community performance choir based in Moniaive, Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway. Founded in 2007 the intention was to encourage the joy of singing as an inclusive community activity.

Our current musical director, Kate Howard, leads us through fantastic international repertoires and constantly presents us with ambitious new challenges.   

Choir members hail from all corners of Dumfries and Galloway and learn the songs by ear and/or sheet music. We strive to perform without the use of files as we believe that by learning the material we can engage more effectively with the audience and thus give a more lively performance.