Meet the family
The people behind the music
Co-Founder / Musical Director
When she’s not waving her arms in a manner that resembles conducting and generally fulfilling her duties as MD at Quoir, Ellen teaches music at The Glasgow Academy. Having always had a passion for choral singing, Ellen specialised in vocal performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Education in music. During her time there, she was also fortunate enough to sing with Les Sirènes Female Chamber Choir; wherein she helped them to their 2012 victory in the Choir of the Year competition in London.
Her choral singing doesn’t end there, as she is also a long standing member of the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS), having toured much of Europe and the United States with them both as part of the choir and as a soloist. NYCoS has also enabled her to take part in The Proms in the Albert Hall in London on many occasions, and more recently a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Teaching and performing aside, Ellen has worked extensively with various community choirs and believes in enabling people of all ages to enhance their musicality, regardless of ability, experience or circumstance. On Quoir, she says ‘I know how good the feeling you get from singing in a choir is, and both Ryan and I wanted to offer that experience to anyone who identifies as LGBTQI+, regardless of whether they’re a shower singer or an aspiring Broadway star. At the end of the day Quoir is a safe space for people to come and fall in love with singing (if they’re not already), and if we end up on The Ellen Show, I’ll be honest, I’m not gonna turn that down!’
Co-Founder / Producer
Ryan was born in a quaint little Highland town called Fort William. He comes from a theatrical background having discovered the addiction of the stage at 12 playing the role of Eugene in the Lochaber High School’s production of GREASE. Although he isn’t sure where the performing bug came from as not a single member of his family are theatrical at all.
At the tender age of 17 Ryan left Scotland to study Musical Theatre in the prestigious Performing Arts department of Preston’s College which he calls “the most insane, brutal but best years” of his life. While training he played Goody / Understudy Nick in FAME and Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar as well as performing at various functions. After completing his studies Ryan went on to make his professional stage debut in Something’s Borrowed, Someone’s Blue at the Manchester Fringe Festival.
His other credits include performing as a vocalist in RENT: 20th Anniversary Concert Tour (Manchester Palace Theatre), Vocalist at PRESTON GUILD 2012 celebrations, Prince Charming in Cinderella (Preston Playhouse), being part of the original workshop production of Flawless: A New Musical (Based on the movie The Stepford Wives), Ares in Pandora: A Musical Fable, soloist in Jason Robert Brown: In Concert (Vanguard Theatre, Sydney), Princeton/Rod in Avenue Q (Rivergum Theatre, Melbourne), among others.
Ryan also played a Hogwarts student in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince- which he likes to bring up at any given opportunity.
After performing and living in Australia for a number of years Ryan made his was back to the home land where he now resides with his partner, Tom and his two cats, Bette and Joanie.
What Quoir is all about…
Cheap beer. A country musical festival and Sonia from Eastenders. How quoir came to be…
The idea behind QUOIR started when Ryan and Ellen began to discus the distinct lack of opportunities to bring all members of the queer community together. While there are some truly fantastic things going on in Glasgow they all seem specifically aimed at one corner of the community or another and there just doesn’t seem to be anything to bring everyone together… and so QUOIR was born.
Ryan and Ellen first met back in 2016 when Ellen was advertising a spare room in her city centre apartment. The room viewing quickly turned to discussing musicals and mutual friends and before long Ryan and Ellen had formed a beautiful friendship.
After a failed attempt by another company to start a queer choir in 2017, and the nearest choir being in Edinburgh, it was decided to stop waiting for other people to create something and for Ryan and Ellen to do it themselves!
Almost after posting the initial event on Facebook, and only expecting a turnout of around 15 people, the venue had to be changed from CATEGORY IS BOOKS to QUEENS PARK GOVANHILL PARISH CHURCH to accommodate the 200 people who showed an interest. It was a good thing the venue was changed too as 60 people showed up for the information evening.
At QUOIR it doesn’t matter how well you can sing; be the world’s worst singer for all we care! What we do care about is you having a passion for music, wanting to engage with members of your community and just being up for a bit of a laugh!
So whether you identify as gay, bi, trans, gender fluid or anything in between you are part of our community and we are your family.