About Us - Choir HistoryThe Queen's Island Victoria Male Choir was formed in 1974 when the two oldest choirs in the province amalgamated. The Queen's Island Choir had been formed in 1912 and the Victoria choir in 1916, both originating in the Harland & Wolff Shipyard in Belfast.
In the years both before and after the 1939-45 war the two Choirs preformed with great distinction in musical competitions throughout the British Isles. Indeed during the war, the Queen's Island Choir broadcast from belfast on the national airwaves to give the impression to the enemy of normality in the country. Among previous conductors of the of the two Choirs were John Vine and Douglas Armstrong, men of great distinction in the province.
During the early 1970’s both choirs were finding it difficult to maintain their membership as a result of “The Troubles” and rather than disband they decided to join forces and the Queen's Island Victoria Male Voice Choir was born. The title of the Choir was changed in May 2005 to Queen's Island Male Choir.
The Choir is now established as one of the foremost in the province and it devotes much of its time and energy to charity Concerts and church Services. Between 1998and 200 the Queen's Island Victoria joined forces with the Wexford and Neath Male Choirs to preform Tri-Choral Concerts in Wexford at Neath in Wales and then in Belfast. This final Concert, in the Ulster Hall in 2000, was the culimination of the 25th Anniversary celebrations for the Queen's Island Victoria Male Choir.
In March 2002 the choir was invited by the South Wales Branch of the Welsh Association of Male Choir’s to sing with them at their 40th Anniversary Festival Concert in the Royal Albert Hall in London. This venture proved to be a huge success, not least because of the great honor bestowed on their conductor, Richard Laird. From time to time the Welsh Association invite an individual Musical Director to conduct the massed ranks at the festival and in 2002 Richard became the seventh and the first non-Welsh person to be chosen. He led 750 men singing “Deus Salutis” in Welsh. It was the proudest moment in his and the Choir’s musical life. Then in October 2004 the Choir again preformed in the Royal Albert Hall , this time with both the South and North Wales Branches of the Association, at these two memorable concerts the QIVMC sang no fewer than 12 pieces in welsh.
On 27th September, 2003 the Queen’s Island Victoria Male Choir were joined by two choirs from Wales – the Bryncoch Male Choir and the Haverfordwest Male Choir, with special guest artiste Aled Jones. The star presenter of the popular BBC programme "Songs of Praise" and of classic FM. Returning to Belfast in March 2005 to Sing with the QIVMC and Warringtown Primary School Choir, winners of the junior section of Songs of Praise Choir for 2004.
On the local front in recent years, the QIVMC has given pleasure to audiences in Armagh, Newry, Coleriane, Enniskillen, and Omagh as well as Belfast area. The Choir continues to grow in strength and reputation maintaining the proud traditions of the two original Choirs.