Quotations from “Orpheus with his Lute: A Glasgow Orpheus Choir Anthology”, Selected and Edited by Hugh S. Roberton and Kenneth Roberton, 1963

Tributes and Appraisals


On page 164:


“What is the greatest compliment ever paid to the Choir? Some will say this, and some will say

that; but if there is a greater than the one we will recount here, we would like to hear of it. There

was no audience present. We were not even singing in a hall. We were not even singing at a concert.

The incident occurred when we were recording for the film ‘The Edge of the World’. Picture a cinema

studio (at Elstree) with all its electric devices, and cameras, and recorders; a full orchestra of

London professionals sitting ready to play, the Choir seated close by, all ready to start. First, we

were to have the orchestra; but the sound recorder thought he would like to have a test of the choir.

‘Dream Angus’ was started up. You know the buzz of an orchestra. Well, that buzz ceased instantly.

The players sat up to listen. When the Choir finished, they put their instruments on the floor.

Applause! You might have heard it in Glasgow. Not only applause, but an insistent encore. They

point-blank refused to play until the Choir had sung again. And sing again the Choir did. That

compliment from case-hardended professionals would be hard to beat.


“Afterwards the leader told us that one of his players had leaned over and said to him – ‘Why,

it’s like a first-class string orchestra.’ To which the leader replied; ‘True, only a damn sight



Please see the entry for Michael Powell’s 1937 film, The Edge of the World.