A boar’s head, ceann an tuirc in Gaelic, is the crest of the Clan Campbell. For many generations the Campbell name was dominant in Argyll, and was the name borne by the successive Earls and Dukes of Argyll. The figure of a boar, too, is carved on the rocks of Dunadd, once the centre of the ancient kingdom of Dalriada, and a boar features in old legends and place names in the county.
It was the natural choice of name for a Gaelic choir comprised of singers brought together from all parts of Argyll. Còisir Ceann an Tuirc had its origin in a meeting held in Oban on 9th March 2002, when a decision was made to form a choir from the men in various Gaelic choirs in Argyll. No place in Argyll is really central but since its inception in 2002, the choir has met in Lochgilphead. Members have come from Cowal, Kintyre, Lorn, Mull and Mid Argyll, with a few loyal members welcomed fro furth of the county. But remarkably, despite the boar’s head crest, nobody bearing the Campbell surname has ever joined the choir!
Còisir Ceann an Tuirc made its first tentative public appearance at the Mull Provincial Mòd a few months after its formation. Since then it has competed annually at the Royal National Mòd and at a variety of provincial Mòds. Despite only meeting monthly, Còisir Ceann an Turic have grown into a formidable choir and in its first decade, have won inter alia the Mull and Iona Shield at the Royal National Mòd in 2008 and the Bentalla Trophy at Mòd Ionadach na Dreòlluinn in Tobermory.
It takes a good woman, of course, to control and guide these men. Over the years two gifted young ladies have done just that: Lisa MacDonald first of all, followed by Joy Dunlop from 2006. Occasionally too, Audrey Paterson has deputized as conductor as well as being always an invaluable ‘back room girl.” Combine this dream team with the enthusiastic support of its members, and you get the positive spirit and unique charm that makes Còisir Ceann an Tuirc so very special.