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



On page 191:


“AT THE threshold of the Bailie’s career we meet Henry Lambeth. To the reader of to-day the name may be

but a name; but it is ‘the’ name in music in Glasgow over the past fifty years. Lambeth … came to Glasgow as

City Organist in 1853, was appointed conductor of the Choral Union in 1858 (he held the post for 22 years),

was a leading spirit in the big Glasgow festivals of 1860 and 1873, founded (about the time the ‘Bailie’ was

founded) what is now the Glasgow Select Choir, appeared with his singers at Balmoral in 1877, and finally

took them to America.


“I do not know that his work as an organist, a pianist, or a composer exerts much influence on music of to-day.

But his work as a choirmaster does. Here he was a pioneer. A stylist, he introduced refined and artistic choral

singing as opposed to the old hammer and tongs style, and thereby brought much fame to the city. Lambeth’s

choir stood for all that was artistic. I heard Lambeth with my own ears.”


On page 192:


“Henry Lambeth, fifty years ago, lighting a lamp, and behold, to-day Glasgow has more lit lamps in the way of

first-rate choirs than probably any city in the kingdom!”


On page 193:


“Chapters might be written on other phases of Glasgow’s musical life, on the countless men and women whose

influence has been for good and who have ‘folded their tents’. The old folk will tell you of Helen Kirk; the newer

folk of Andrew Black and Jessie Maclachlan. Of composers little can be said, for we have not been rich in that



The Bailie referred to in the first quotation is the illustrated magazine, famous for its ‘Men You Know’ (women

also featured) biographies. It was established in Glasgow, in 1872.