Baton Rouge choir fills new Kilmartin Church with song

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Glassary, Kilmartin and Ford Church was treated to a beautiful performance from the Baton Rouge Magnet High School Festival Singers.

The acapella group from Louisiana, USA, is touring Scotland in honour of Robbie Giroir, their choir teacher who was lost in December of last year.

Around 20 singers have been travelling across Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Budapest, Prague, Ireland and Italy. Along the way they have performed for the Pope and have now made their way to Kilmartin.

View a video of the choir’s performance here.

After visiting St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh and the Abbey Church on Iona, the choir headed to Kilmartin. A visit to the museum was soon followed by a haunting performance in Glassary, Kilmartin and Ford Church.

The choir sang beautifully in the new, compact church, with hymns such as ‘Cry Out and Shout’, ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow’ and ‘Deep River’. The good-sized audience enjoyed the performance immensely.

Since the passing of Mr Giroir, the high school singers have mostly practised and put together their harmonies themselves.

Their guest conductor, Dr Nicholas Cummings, explained why they chose Kilmartin. ‘We wanted to reach major Christian sites for the choir to see. They’re trying to explore culture,’ he said.

‘They’ve loved the culture in Scotland. The parents are all trying to find whisky but it’s not exportable. We’ve been told about deep-fried Mars bars, but I had fried brie last night that was delicious.’

One choir singer said: ‘We love it here. We’ve tried haggis. It’s not too far from something we eat back home but with Cajun spices.’

The choir then went on to sing in the Glasgow Cathedral on Tuesday March 5.